Nursing Homes Prioritize Health Data Sharing, But Barriers Remain

May 18, 2021
Health data sharing is a national priority in the United States, with significant benefits for patients and providers alike. In a new study in the May issue of JAMDA, the authors discussed the value of nursing home leaders working with other stakeholders to overcome barriers and capitalize on the potential benefits of implementing technology to improve data sharing. In Health Data Sharing in U.S. Nursing Homes: A Mixed Methods Study, the authors conducted an analysis of data from a national survey of nursing home administrative leaders across the country. They also conducted semi-structured interviews with administrators for contextual information. Of 815 nursing homes completing the survey, 95% had electronic medical records (EMRs) and 46% had some capability for health information exchange. Nursing homes located in metropolitan areas had nearly three times greater odds for having health information exchange capabilities compared to their small-town counterparts. Perceived benefits of health data sharing included improved communication and care planning. This also was seen as a proactive way to anticipate future data for information exchange. At the same time, administrative leaders identified challenges to health data sharing with residents and family members and external clinical partners. These included variance in system/software, privacy/security concerns, and organizational factors slowing uptake of technology. The authors concluded that while most nursing homes have some ability for data sharing, what they can share and with whom varies greatly. They said, “As health data sharing becomes more ubiquitous in acute care settings, nursing homes and other post-acute providers should prepare by working to mitigate known barriers and capitalize on the potential benefits. When information is able to flow seamlessly across the health care continuum, efficiency gains can be realized, giving clinicians more time to focus on improving care coordination and, ultimately, health outcomes.” The study was conducted by researchers at the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Click here for more information on the findings above and more details about the study. To contact the researchers or JAMDA editor for an interview, please email ### About JAMDA JAMDA is the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. JAMDA publishes peer-reviewed articles including original studies, reviews, clinical experience articles, case reports, and more, on all topics more important to post-acute and long-term care medicine. Visit for more information. About AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit for more information.