Technology

New tech seeks to calm SNF residents having dementia

New tech seeks to calm SNF residents having dementia

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Caring for individuals with dementia often involves managing residents' disruptive and sometimes dangerous behaviors, including screaming, hitting or kicking.

Advance directive app wins big in HHS tech competition

Advance directive app wins big in HHS tech competition

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A program that allows consumers to develop and securely share their end-of-life plans with caregivers and healthcare providers is among the winners of the Department of Health and Human Services' "Move Health Data Forward Challenge."

Price wants more tech and less government meddling

Price wants more tech and less government meddling

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Physicians need to be more patient-facing, not computer-facing, according to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, M.D.

Windows create a new world for residents with dementia

Windows create a new world for residents with dementia

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Dutch designers have developed interactive art screens to help nursing home residents reconnect in a more meaningful way with family, caregivers and the outside world.

GAO: More planning needed to increase info exchange

GAO: More planning needed to increase info exchange

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When patients leave the hospital and move to post-acute care settings such as skilled nursing facilities, electronic health records and the electronic exchange of patient health information can help better coordinate patient care and reduce costs.

Walking tied to word game may boost seniors' activity

Walking tied to word game may boost seniors' activity

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An iPad-based game connecting seniors with walking is showing promise and being evaluated for a larger community trial, according to a feasibility study.

FDA publishes cybersecurity advice for medical devices

FDA publishes cybersecurity advice for medical devices

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Thanks to significant technological advances in patient care over the past decade, many medical devices are now being designed to connect to a hospital or long-term care facility's network, or even a patient's home internet service.

Epilepsy self management boosted by tablet-based tool

Epilepsy self management boosted by tablet-based tool

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One-third of people with epilepsy, or about one million Americans, have trouble controlling their seizures, even with medication. Frequent and severe seizures can severely undermine their ability to work, sustain relationships and live independently.

Where Are They Now: The Terraces at Los Gatos

Where Are They Now: The Terraces at Los Gatos

Since winning the 2013 McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards in the Dignity category, The Terraces at Los Gatos in California has continued to build on its successes.

Telemedicine program offers specialized speech therapy

Telemedicine program offers specialized speech therapy

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Dementia patients as well as individuals with primary progressive aphasia can experience problems with language, struggling to retrieve the name of a grandchild or finding words to order dinner.

Technology boosts nursing home care, study reveals

Technology boosts nursing home care, study reveals

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Long-term care administrators can expect to see an even greater push to share data electronically with hospitals and other post-acute facilities, thanks to new research out of the University of Missouri.

Xbox console used to show how MS harms walking gait

Xbox console used to show how MS harms walking gait

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An inexpensive yet effective tool for assessing walking difficulties in patients with multiple sclerosis may already be sitting in many living rooms, being used for interactive video game activities such as tennis and dancing.

FDA won't regulate fitness trackers and wellness apps

FDA won't regulate fitness trackers and wellness apps

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FitBit and other fitness and sleep tracker developers are breathing a sigh of relief after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released final guidance in July proclaiming a hands-off approach by the agency when it comes to low-risk devices for general wellness. Through this new policy, the FDA says it hopes to foster the development of low-risk products intended to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Video consultations provide boost to SNF dementia care

Video consultations provide boost to SNF dementia care

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When aggressive behavior occurs among dementia patients, nursing home staff often must resort to using physical restraints or prescribing powerful antipsychotic medications to reduce it.

Disabled and seniors connect, thanks to a new tech program

Disabled and seniors connect, thanks to a new tech program

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When Nancy Likens, director of the Soprema Senior Center and Café in Wadsworth, OH, first came up with the idea of using the café as a job-training site for volunteers from the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities in 2013, she wasn't quite sure how the two groups — senior citizens and adults with developmental disabilities -— would get along.

Video chats trim aggression for residents with dementia

Video chats trim aggression for residents with dementia

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Video chatting with relatives over the internet may reduce the risk of nursing home residents with dementia becoming agitated or aggressive, according to research out of Monash University in Australia.

Twitter can help smokers kick the habit, make more friends

Twitter can help smokers kick the habit, make more friends

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Kicking a smoking habit can feel like a lonely endeavor, but researchers in California have found Twitter's social media platform can help build a community of successful quitters.

CMS supports collection of sex orientation, gender data

CMS supports collection of sex orientation, gender data

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Researchers believe collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data will improve care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

Senate IT legislation targets red tape and interoperability

Senate IT legislation targets red tape and interoperability

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Interoperability improvements for electronic health records and reducing documentation burdens are among the proposals of a draft bill released in January by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Dementia patients helped by art-based tablet application

Dementia patients helped by art-based tablet application

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Previous research has shown that spending time together viewing art at a gallery can lead to cognitive improvements and enhanced quality of life among patients with dementia, as well as reduce caregiver burden.

States to get $3 billion for Medicaid system upgrades

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized a rule in December to permanently retain funding that helps states upgrade the technology they need to allow their residents to enroll in Medicaid.

Interactive robotic pets are calming dementia patients

Interactive robotic pets are calming dementia patients

A robotic therapy cat can help improve quality of life for people with dementia, according to a pilot study out of Mälardalen University in Sweden.

Apple's new iPad marketed with healthcare uses in mind

Apple's new iPad marketed with healthcare uses in mind

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With its November launch of the iPad Pro, Apple is working to make the tablet more accessible to the healthcare industry. The tablet features a 12.9-inch viewing surface and 64-bit processor, as well as add-on capabilities that include a stylus and detachable keyboard.

CVS signs telehealth deals, could lead to less face time

CVS signs telehealth deals, could lead to less face time

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In August, pharmacy giant CVS Health announced it will work with three leading telehealth companies — American Well, Teladoc and Doctor on Demand — to expand patients' access to physicians.

I Couldn't Live Without... NxStage System One

I Couldn't Live Without... NxStage System One

MediLodge of Howell is in a small-knit community, and Administrator Matt Cortis knows residents are the voice of that community.

3-D technology may hasten denture sizing for residents

3-D technology may hasten denture sizing for residents

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A new device that uses holography to scan the insides of patients' mouths decreases the time needed to measure for dentures from days down to mere minutes.

I Couldn't Live Without ... American HealthTech

I Couldn't Live Without ... American HealthTech

With long-term care's need for automation growing, JMS Senior Living CEO Ben Scheulen thought it was time to update his company's paper-based system. It invested in American HealthTech in November.

Standardized electronic info remains a challenge: experts

Standardized electronic info remains a challenge: experts

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An emphasis on data assessment and standardization across care settings was a hot topic at the Long Term and Post Acute Care Health IT Summit, held in late June in Baltimore.

Tablets helping seniors cross 'digital divide,' study asserts

Tablets helping seniors cross 'digital divide,' study asserts

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Recent research has shown the use of tablet computers among seniors has helped them break the "digital divide" barrier.

Data security concerns still haunt Medicare contractors

Data security concerns still haunt Medicare contractors

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Information security at nine selected Medicare administrative contractors, at least as of two years ago, was improving, but deficiencies remain, according to a report from the Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General.

Dates, accurate data remain problems, MDS expert warns

Dates, accurate data remain problems, MDS expert warns

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Accuracy mistakes in MDS 3.0 data may cause additional payment problems, a reimbursement expert warns.

New software confirms it: Getting old costs a fortune

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New software is helping financial advisors advise clients on their long-term care plans.

I Couldn't Live Without ... Novaerus

I Couldn't Live Without ... Novaerus

Robert Reed clearly recalls the moment in 2012 when he and colleagues became impressed with a Novaerus air sanitizing system.

Incentives seen as a spark for EHR expansion in field

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Electronic health record use in nursing homes is at an all-time high, but health information technology adoption in long-term care is still lagging behind other healthcare sectors, according to a study led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College at Cornell University.

I couldn't live without ... PointRight

I couldn't live without ... PointRight

With data as a critical focus of her job, Samantha Broussard, RN, needs a system that can handle the volume, speed and constant flow of information to the point of care.

ITUpdate for February 2015

» An updated federal health information technology plan announced in December aims to expand health information technology adoption and use efforts across the care continuum, emphasizing assistance for healthcare providers serving long-term care. The plan also focuses on efforts to promote the use of interoperable information by healthcare providers and public health entities to improve healthcare and reduce costs.

Weak IT system brings first HIPAA provider settlement

Weak IT system brings first HIPAA provider settlement

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A first-of-its-kind HIPAA settlement demonstrates that long-term care needs to be vigilant about updating software and other basic security tasks, officials say.

ITUpdate for January 2015

» More analytics are needed in long-term care technology, according to comments in a report by Majd Alwan, M.D., executive director of the Center for Aging Services Technologies. The report summarized a September applied research forum on technology and services for older adults, hosted by CAST and the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing. Presenters discussed how technology can help explain human behaviors, and turn data into usable information that can enhance quality of life for seniors.

Brain training systems have mixed results, analysis finds

Brain training systems have mixed results, analysis finds

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Computer-based "brain training" systems can help memory and thinking skills among seniors, but do not have an impact on problem solving or impulse control, according to a new study.

ITUpdate for December 2014

» University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers are examining the effect of the Music and Memory program on dementia patients. The team is monitoring the mental state of 1,500 Alzheimer's and dementia patients at Wisconsin nursing homes who receive iPods. The program will be expanded to an additional 150 Wisconsin nursing homes in 2015.

Improved voice recognition may be a boon for providers

Improved voice recognition may be a boon for providers

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Scientists are working to teach computers to recognize not only words but also the myriad meanings, subtleties and attitudes those words can convey.

ITUpdate for November 2014

» Nurses are increasingly relying on mobile devices, social media and the Internet, according to a survey from Wolters Kluwer Health. Their results, released in September, said 65% of nurses are using mobile devices at work for professional purposes at least 30 minutes a day, with 20% using them for 120 or more minutes. Half of the respondents said their organization blocks Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube on company networks.

Online tool helps providers target ICD-10 preparations

Online tool helps providers target ICD-10 preparations

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As providers get back into gear for the ICD-10 changes to hit in 2015, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a free online tool to help healthcare facilities determine where more time and effort will be needed to prepare for the transition.

ITUpdate for October 2014

» The personal information of roughly 4.5 million patients was compromised during a series of cyber-attacks against hospital group Community Health Systems, the organization reported Aug. 18. The attacks are believed to have occurred in April and June. Stolen information includes names, addresses and Social Security numbers; no credit card or medical data was lost, officials said. CHS officials said they were working with authorities, and have plans to offer identity theft protection services to victims.

Dated technology can cause communication rifts: study

Dated technology can cause communication rifts: study

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Outmoded methods of communication between caregivers may be responsible for significant amounts of wasted time during shifts, resulting in inefficient patient transfers and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue each year, according to a new survey.

ITUpdate for September 2014

» The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a technical assistance program, called the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program, in July. The goal is to help with payment and delivery system reform. It was created through a collaboration with the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, along with the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office and other centers.

mHealth apps may end up hurting consumers: expert

mHealth apps may end up hurting consumers: expert

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Mobile health apps need more oversight, according to a July article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

ITUpdate for August 2014

» David R. Hunt, M.D., FACS, the medical director of Health IT Adoption and Patient Safety in the Office of the National Coordinator, urged uniform standards for health IT at the LTPAC HIT Summit in Baltimore. Patient safety is "completely embedded in the concept of a shared vision of interoperability," he explained. It is "indistinguishable from the delivery of quality healthcare." However, providers should resist the urge to consider the reduction of errors as being the same as mitigation of harm.

EHR 'solutions' research retains relevance: panelist says

EHR 'solutions' research retains relevance: panelist says

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The CIO Consortium & Nurse Executive Council's white paper, "Electronic Health Record Solutions LTPAC Providers Need Today," still has relevance to long-term care providers working through new technology, panelists said at the Long Term and Post Acute Care Health IT Summit.

ITUpdate July 2014

» The McKnight's Technology Awards will accept entries until July 12.