Friday, April 16, 2021

Hospital SUD Programs, Psychiatric Hospitals Lag in Electronic Health Record Use

Hospital-based substance use disorder (SUD) programs and psychiatric hospitals are less likely than acute care hospitals to use basic electronic health record (EHR) and electronic health information exchange (HIE) technology, a study in Psychiatric Services in Advance has found.

Morgan C. Shields, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues reviewed data from the 2017 National Survey on Substance Abuse Treatment Services to determine the extent to which basic EHR functionality has been adopted by hospital-based programs. Basic EHR functionality was defined as assessment, progress monitoring, discharge, labs, and prescription dispensing. They also analyzed the use of electronic HIE across hospital-based programs.

In 2017, 68% of hospital-based SUD programs reported basic EHR functionality compared with 84% of acute care hospitals, and 71% reported sending electronic HIE to outside health care professionals, compared with 88% of acute care hospitals. Hospital-based programs that provided medications for alcohol or opioid use disorders were nearly twice as likely to use basic EHR than those that did not provide such medications. Psychiatric hospitals were roughly half as likely as acute care hospitals to have adopted EHRs. Hospitals that used HIE to send information to outside health care professionals were nearly five times as likely to use basic EHR functionality.

The researchers noted several potential reasons for lower EHR adoption among hospital-based SUD programs and psychiatric hospitals, including the stringent privacy requirements of 42 CFR Part 2 and of various state laws.

“Given the importance of [health information technology] in the quality and safety of health care, important future policy efforts should not only encourage adoption in behavioral health treatment settings but also apply consistent definitions of adoption to behavioral health settings,” the researchers wrote.

(Image: iStock/pandpstock001)

Members Invited to Apply for New Presidential Task Force on Social Determinants of MH

APA members are invited to apply for appointment to the new Task Force on the Social Determinants of Mental Health, which reflects the theme of incoming APA President Vivian Pender, M.D. There will also be eight work groups that will address major issues related to social determinants of mental health. The appointments begin on May 3 and end at the close of the 2022 Annual Meeting. Those interested should submit a CV, brief summary of expertise, and specific area of interest to by April 26.


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