Improving Continuity of Care in Long Term Care: Impact of Health Information Exchange

Publication Title

Journal of Healthcare Information Management

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Document Type



Long Term Care, Continuity of Care, Health Information Exchange


Library and Information Science | Nursing


CONTINUITY OF CARE FOR OLDER adult patients transitioning from acute care settings (hospitals) to long term post-acute care (LTPAC) settings is essential to maintain quality of care for patients. As hospitals move toward the exclusive use of electronic health records (EHRs) to house patient medical data, continuity of care for patients requires visibility to this electronic health data by unique members of the care team across a number of care settings. For older adults in particular, these settings include LTPAC services such as home health, short term rehabilitative and long term skilled nursing facilities. LTPAC organizations were not eligible for federal monetary incentives from the Meaningful Use program (ARRA, 2009) and as a result have lagged behind hospitals and other clinical providers in terms of health IT adoption (HealthIT.gov, 2013). Yet, LTPAC settings are critical to the success of continuity of care in an electronic data environment. Continuity of care for older adults using different care settings necessitates mechanisms and processes for sharing electronic data from one setting to another. Health information exchange (HIE) is the mechanism for providing this access to achieve continuity of care.