EHR Adoption Lagging Among Small Nonprofit Providers

Smaller nonprofit senior living organizations are not only trailing behind their larger counterparts when it comes to implementing electronic medical/health records (EMRs/EHRs) — they’re also implementing less sophisticated technology. 

That’s according to a recent survey conducted by senior living industry association LeadingAge and Chicago-based specialty investment bank Ziegler as a follow-up to their 2016 LeadingAge Ziegler 150 report (LZ 150).

In their 2016 report, LeadingAge and Ziegler found an 80% rate of adoption of EMRs/EHRs among the larger nonprofit senior living organizations that they surveyed. The follow-up survey, conducted by LeadingAge CAST LeadingAge’s technology research and resource center and Ziegler, paints a different picture regarding the actual quality of the EHR systems being deployed.


For the survey, LeadingAge CAST asked organizations who utilized EHRs to rank their EHR’s level of advancement using CAST’s 7-Stage EHR Adoption Model, which allows participants to rank their EHR between “Stage 1 – A Basic Information System” and “Stage 7 – An Advanced EHR/EMR with Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Capabilities.”

A total of 117 organizations responded to this follow-up survey. Among those in the LZ 150 membership, close to 30% are in the upper tiers of EHR adoption — Stage 6 and Stage 7 — compared to 23% of long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers in general.

In the same vein, roughly 20% of LTPAC providers in general classified their current records system as being on the lower end of the scale, or in Stage 1 or Stage 2, compared to roughly 4% of LZ 150 members.


Overall, these numbers indicate a disparity in EHRs implemented at larger, multi-site, multi-state nonprofit organizations, compared to those implemented by LTPAC providers generally.

“The results did not surprise me at all knowing the quality-driven mentality of these organizations and the role advanced EHR functionalities play in driving care quality, both within an organization and across the care continuum,” said LeadingAge Senior Vice President of Technology, Majd Alwan. 

Written by Carlo Calma

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