BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (March 5, 2021)—On average, 76% of health systems and physician groups would send more referrals to post-acute care providers that enable greater electronic data access, according to a new survey from MatrixCare. This is up from more than 60% of home-based care referral sources last year, underscoring the growing importance of interoperability.
These findings are from a 700-person survey on the state of interoperability in post-acute care. Following up on its 2019 interoperability survey, MatrixCare partnered with Porter Research to poll 100 health systems and physician groups, 300 home-based care organizations spanning home health, hospice, palliative care, and private duty, and for the first time, 300 skilled nursing facilities.
The results show post-acute care providers and their electronic health record (EHR) vendors progressed interoperability from last year. However, there are still significant gaps and an opportunity for both to improve their electronic data-sharing capabilities:
- Nearly 100% of acute and ambulatory providers are doing business electronically and expect their downstream counterparts in post-acute care to do the same.
- Only 14-15% of acute care providers report being satisfied with their referral partners' abilities to receive electronic referrals. Only 12% of skilled nursing referrals are currently sent through electronic data feeds.
- 95% of home-based care respondents and 71% of skilled nursing respondents acknowledged interoperability is important to their referral sources, up from only 34% of home-based care respondents last year.
"Post-acute providers are focused on patient care as their top priority; however, their reliance on manual processes ultimately takes focus away from those patients and as we've seen today, hinders their ability to effectively compete for referrals," said MatrixCare President and CEO Steve Pacicco. "The gaps we've identified can be solved with the right EHR solution, enabling data to flow seamlessly between settings so post-acute providers can continue to focus on their patients.
"At MatrixCare, we've always prioritized interoperability and are proud to be a pioneer in solutions and integrations, like those with CommonWell and Carequality, that advance post-acute care interoperability and our vision of a truly connected healthcare ecosystem."
The survey offers key insights specific to two large sectors of out-of-hospital care:
Home-based Care Providers
- 85% of home-based care respondents report they can accept admission, discharge, and transfer, or "ADT" feeds, and 72% report they can accept clinical information in some format. This is up from last year's 34% being able to receive these two types of data.
- Moving beyond patient demographic and clinical data, only half of home-based care providers can automatically send status reports and half can send discharge summary reports.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
- 78% of referring providers report they are likely to send more referrals to SNFs that can support advanced interoperability workflows. In comparison, 38% report they would make care network decisions based on SNF interoperability capabilities.
Skilled nursing respondents reported relying on electronic faxes (28%), phone calls (24%), and paper faxes (23%) to exchange referral data. Referring providers report these methods often lead to incomplete documentation, delays in care, and lack of bi-directional communication and patient status updates.