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Updated EHR selection tools released by LeadingAge CAST

August 25, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Are you a long-term or post-acute care (LTPAC) provider in the market for an electronic health record (EHR) system? The updated portfolio of free tools released by LeadingAge’s Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) is designed to aid in the decision process.

The portfolio details 32 products, including eight newly added EHRs designed specifically for LTPAC attending physicians. 

Participating EHR vendors

  • ADS Data Systems
  • Afoundria
  • Allscripts
  • American Data
  • Answers on Demand (AOD)
  • BlueStep
  • CareVoyant, Inc.
  • Catalyst Healthcare Ltd.
  • Cerner Extended Care
  • Extended Care Professional
  • gEHRiMed
  • Health Care Software
  • HealthMEDX
  • Hi-Tech Software Solutions
  • LG CNS
  • MatrixCare
  • Mckesson
  • Med e-care Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Melyx Corporation
  • Momentum Healthware
  • New Tech Computer System
  • Optimus EMR
  • PointClickCare
  • ResCare, LLC
  • Senior Care Software Inc.
  • SigmaCare
  • SOS Corp.
  • Suncoast Solutions
  • WinCare
  • Yardi/ALMSA

“We identify EHRs that are designed specifically for LTPAC, and we contact all of them and give them the opportunity to participate,” Majd Alwan, PhD, senior vice president of technology for LeadingAge and executive director of CAST, tells Long-Term Living. “We also receive interest from companies that initially were in the acute-care space and now are expanding their product offerings for LTPAC.

“We only extend the invitation and accept participation from products that are considered full EHRs,” Alwan continues, so products that are solely electronic medication administration record systems or are designed strictly for those working in acute-care settings are not included.

The updated portfolio consists of:

  • An online tool for identifying products that meet an organization’s must-have requirements;
  • selection matrix (PDF) that allows organizations to find the right EHR for their use based on more detailed selected criteria;
  • An accompanying whitepaper (PDF) to guide organizations through an interdisciplinary planning for EHRs process and defining the needed specifications; and
  • A set of four case studies (PDF) of providers’ implementations of EHRs.

The matrix includes 225 functionalities, among them physician quality reporting and place of data capture. Other additions include detailed information about ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding capability, different types of certification and increased analytic capability categories, such as readmission rates.

KLAS Research ratings, based on feedback from users, also are available for six products.

“An EHR is a significant investment for our members, and we want to make sure that we not only give them objective information about the functionality that these products offer but also information about the stability and strength of the companies, because buying an EHR is a long-term relationship,” says Alwan, who is a member of the Long-Term Living editorial board. KLAS interviews users of products to arrive at an overall score for each product as well as scores related to ease of use, customer service, ease and simplicity of contracting and support and other areas, he adds. Users of the CAST tool can see some KLAS information via the matrix and also can register on the KLAS website to access additional information, including comments from users. Access to the comments on the KLAS website is free for care providers.

Alwan encourages users of the CAST EHR portfolio to take the brief survey that is accessible at the bottom of the results page of the tool. “This feedback will give us insights on not only whether they found the tools useful and the online search tool easy to use; it also gives them the opportunity to guide us on what changes we should make when we do the next update and tell us what similar tools we can develop,” he says.

“We envision that the update frequency may vary based on changes to the products, changes in the needs of LTPAC providers and the feedback we receive,” Alwan adds.

LeadingAge CAST, he points out, began offering an EHR portfolio in 2012 that was updated in 2013 and, based on feedback, offered a telehealth/remote patient monitoring portfolio in 2013 that was updated in 2014. CAST also plans to launch a new medication management portfolio in October.