Tech-savvy nursing homes improve care coordination and resident privacy, researcher states

Share this article:

Health information technology helps nursing homes coordinate care and protect resident privacy, according to a leading researcher on the impact of health IT.

“In nursing homes that have technology, much of the information is kept close to the patient and communication occurs more often at the bedside rather than at nursing stations, which is ideal,” says Gregory Alexander, Ph.D., of the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri. “Staff without IT rely on more creative ways to communicate, such as posting a photo of a water droplet on patients' doors to indicate the patients need to be hydrated. This may create issues for privacy and leaves room for misinterpretation among staff.”

Alexander reached his conclusions through his work as co-principal investigator of a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services research project. The project's goal is to reduce rehospitalizations among nursing home residents. It is funded through a $14.8 million grant.

Alexander's latest report, “Case studies of IT sophistication in nursing homes: A mixed method approach to examine communication strategies about pressure ulcer prevention practices,” was published January in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics.

Future research will explore how reduced face-to-face communication due to HIT impacts workflow, resident care, and the relationships among nursing home workers, Alexander told the University of Missouri News Bureau.

Share this article:

More in News

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest ...

Two infectious conditions common in long-term care settings — septicemia and urinary tract infections — were among the top causes of hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011, according to ...

PharMerica to pay $200,000 settlement over federal charges of unsafe dispensing practices

Long-term care pharmacy company PharMerica has agreed to pay about $213,000 to settle charges that it dispensed medications without prescriptions and committed other breaches of the Controlled Substances Act, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

Shortchanging the Older Americans Act has led to unnecessary nursing home placements, ...

Chronic underfunding of the Older Americans Act is leading to unnecessary long-term care facility admissions, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and 26 of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate said in a recent letter to Appropriations Committee leaders.