Only 11 percent of acute care providers use an integrated electronic health record (EHR), according to PointClickCare’s results of its 2019 Patient Transition Study. The study reveals that acute care and long-term post-acute care patient coordination remains largely manual through paper, email, and fax processes.
Conducted in partnership with Definitive Healthcare, c-suite executives from acute and post-acute care facilities provided input on data sharing, concerns about interoperability, and other pressing pain points in care delivery and coordination in a blinded, voice-of-customer quantitative study.
The research indicates:
– 36 percent of acute care providers use manual-only strategies to coordinate patient transitions with the LTPAC community, compared with only 7 percent of LTPACs with acute care providers
– Approximately 62 percent of post-acute care facilities rely on phone calls between case-workers to transfer patient information and other clinical details
– More than one-third (36 percent) of acute care providers do not track patients after they are transferred to a post acute care provider
– Only two percent of acute care and LTPAC providers are using IT-driven strategies only to coordinate patient care and transfer data
Acute Care Perspective: Phone & Fax Still Dominate Data
Driven by acute-care providers, patient coordination between acute-care and long-term post-acute care facilities largely remains manual. Manual methods are inefficient and are prone to mistakes, mismatched details, and omissions. Results suggest many challenges for the acute care industry and potentially dangerous scenarios for patients when transitioning care.
“Sending a patient to a facility that doesn’t have a good intake process is a reflection on us,” said one hospital CIO. And, when patients have to be readmitted, the paperwork problem happens in reverse, with emergency department personnel relying on paper instead of complete information about care provided at the post-acute care facility and the reasons for the transfer.
Providers who rely on manual processes to share data:
– 46% – acute care providers
– 18% – post-acute care providers
Providers who rely on email/fax to share data:
– 49% – acute care providers
– 31% – post-acute care providers
Providers who have manual-only strategies to coordinate patient transitions
– 36% – acute care providers
– 7% – post-acute care providers
Providers who use a combination of IT and manual processes
– 56% – acute care providers
– 84% – post-acute care providers
Interoperability Issues: Incomplete patient data, financial impact, and security are top concerns
As more value-based reimbursement reforms affect both the acute-care and long-term post-acute care markets, patient data-sharing between the two is increasingly important for improving outcomes and reducing readmission rates. Streamlining interoperability between systems create huge opportunities for cost reduction, patient care improvement and reduced workloads for people on both ends of patient transfers.
Interoperability challenges present above-average financial challenges
– 61% – acute care providers agree
– 50% – post-acute care providers agree
Organizations that are putting a higher priority on implementing interoperable systems for transferring patients
– 73% – acute care providers
– 64% – post-acute care providers
Organizations that have “very little” ability to access or share patient data electronically
– 52% – acute care providers
– 24% – post-acute care providers
Serving the Individual Patient at Scale: Sharing complete data in real-time safely and securely
As patients move from acute-care facilities to LTPACs, the sharing of critical patient information and associated data is extremely important for coordinating care. But despite best efforts and intentions, many providers still aren’t sharing all patient data and information.
One local hospital “uses faxes to accommodate HIPAA and be confidential,” said one LTPAC CEO, forcing a manual method that stymies coordination. “Almost everything we touch is obtuse. You have to search it out, figure it out, and confirm it by phone,” adding that the absence of standardized forms and data-entry fields makes faxes especially inefficient.
Acute-care providers share ‘very little’ (7%) or ‘some’ (35%) patient data with their post-acute care partners Only 16% of acute-care providers report sharing ‘all’ patient data
Most acute-care providers share only the most critical data points
– 98% share only medication information
– 89% share demographic and diagnostic data
Key elements that can be critical to coordinating care are still missing
– 58% Measurements and observations
– 55% Advanced care planning information
– 45% Location and patient status information
Why It Matters
PointClickCare’s research comes at a time when skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) are preparing for the impending patient-driven payment model (PDPM) deadline in October, which will shift reimbursement to a value-based model. With an inability to coordinate data from acute care providers to their existing electronic health records (EHRs), LTPACs will be increasingly unable to deliver the type of care mandated by CMS, which will certainly negatively impact the opportunity reimbursement and patient health outcomes.
“We live in a siloed healthcare system where communication among hospitals and their skilled nursing partners is neither standardized nor coordinated,” says B.J. Boyle, vice president and general manager of post-acute insights at PointClickCare. “Unfortunately, it’s common for patients to be transferred from one setting without the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure that these transitions will result in positive outcomes for patients. The goal of our research is to better understand the types of technology used during transitions of care, as well as the challenges and opportunities that said technology presents for providers to improve processes and patient care.”