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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Researchers believe collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data will improve care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MediLodge of Howell is in a small-knit community, and Administrator Matt Cortis knows residents are the voice of that community.
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.
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.
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.
Recent research has shown the use of tablet computers among seniors has helped them break the "digital divide" barrier.
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.
Accuracy mistakes in MDS 3.0 data may cause additional payment problems, a reimbursement expert warns.
New software is helping financial advisors advise clients on their long-term care plans.
Robert Reed clearly recalls the moment in 2012 when he and colleagues became impressed with a Novaerus air sanitizing system.
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.
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.
» 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.
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.
» 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.
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.
» 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.
Scientists are working to teach computers to recognize not only words but also the myriad meanings, subtleties and attitudes those words can convey.
» 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.
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.
» 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.
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.
» 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.
Mobile health apps need more oversight, according to a July article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
» 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.
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.
» The McKnight's Technology Awards will accept entries until July 12.
Executives are typically allocating between 2% and 3% of their operating budgets for technology, according to a recent Ziegler survey. More assets are devoted within the capital budget, with an average of 12% of those blueprints devoted to technology.
» An app developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U of I at Chicago allows healthcare providers to analyze a patient's gait. GaitTrack uses eight motion parameters after a person takes a short walk. The app can provide data more cheaply and accurately than a medical accelerometer, and can be installed on a smartphone. Results were published in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health.
The proliferation of wireless devices and seemingly limitless supply of apps have advanced communications capabilities to wondrous new heights. But there is a dark side as well, typified by the vulnerabilities to cyber-attack and having vital information stolen by hackers that a research team at Syracuse University has found.
The HHS Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Office for Civil Rights are making a new security risk assessment tool available to help small- to mid-sized providers conduct their own risk assessments.
» HIMSS Analytics alleged that too many providers rely on outdated and inefficient practices to back up and archive resident-related information. The organization surveyed 150 senior IT professionals nationwide. They found that processes tend to be inconsistent when it comes to safeguarding data and meeting long-term compliance requirements.
The procrastination is over for the conversion to ICD-10 coding. After the third postponement of the start date last year, officials are adamant about starting the new format Oct. 1.
» Gregory L. Alexander, Ph.D. will address "How tech tools are changing the face of LTC," at an upcoming webinar. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) on March 26. This presentation is part of the McKnight's Online Expo. Attendees will be eligible to earn up to five free NAB-approved continuing education credits at the expo. To register, visit www.mcknights.com/expo2014.
In the 10 years since the Bush Administration launched its healthcare interoperability initiative by creating the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, a lot of progress has been made toward the goal of an interconnected healthcare continuum.
» The government's five-star system for rating nursing homes does not reflect the quality of life experienced by residents with preserved cognition, according to newly published research.
If last month's International CES show had a strong message for providers, it was this: Being connected to the Internet is about to take on a whole new meaning.
» Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) has introduced legislation that aims to cut federal outlays by increasing the use of health technology in federal programs. Under the proposal, a 19-member commission would be established to collect information and make spending cut recommendations for Medicare, Medicaid and other federally supported healthcare programs.