In 2010, only 17 percent of residential care communities in the U.S. used electronic health records (EHRs), according to a National Center for Health Statistics data brief. Residential care communities, as defined in the brief, includes assisted-living facilities and similar residential care communities (personal care homes, adult care homes, board care homes, and adult foster care).
Residential care communities that used EHRs were more likely to be larger, not-for-profit, chain-affiliated, co-located with another care setting, and in a nonmetropolitan statistical area. The types of information most commonly tracked electronically by residential care communities that used EHRs were medical provider information, resident demographics, individual service plans, and lists of residents' medications and active medication allergies.
Four in 10 residential care communities that used EHRs also had support for electronic exchange of health information with service providers; nearly 25 percent could exchange with pharmacies, and 17 percent could exchange with physicians, the data revealed.
The brief found that 25 percent of facilities with at least 26 beds used EHR systems, compared with 14 percent of facilities with four to 25 beds. Additionally, residential care communities co-located with another care setting (29 percent) and located in a nonmetropolitan statistical area (22 percent) were more likely than those not co-located (14 percent) and in a metropolitan statistical area (16 percent) to use EHRs.