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» 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. Investigators from a variety of institutions, funded in part by the American Geriatrics Society, interviewed about 300 long-stay nursing home residents with preserved cognitive functioning. The researchers used a 10-part survey to assess quality of life. The survey scores did not correspond with the number of stars earned by the residents' nursing homes through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' quality rating system, the team found. Physical impairment and depression both were found to diminish quality of life. Pain was not associated with quality of life — a finding the researchers said was “notable.” The results were published in an online edition of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

» The nation's largest not-for-profit long-term care providers have implemented electronic health records, but there is still much room for growth when it comes to the sharing of digital data, according to a recently released survey. The technology adoption and utilization survey was administered to the 100 largest nonprofit LTC providers, as ranked earlier this year by total owned market-rate units. The list was compiled by provider association
LeadingAge and investment bank Ziegler. Of the 94 provider companies that responded to the survey, three-quarters said they have adopted an electronic medical record or electronic health record system. The survey defined these as systems that include functions such as patient demographics, progress notes, medication management and functional assessments unique to senior living settings. 

» Health IT industry officials have given high marks to Karen DeSalvo, who took over as the nation's health IT chief in January. DeSalvo was previously health commissioner for the city of New Orleans. In August, Farzad Mostashari announced that he would step down in the fall after serving two years in the role. The following month, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT named Jacob Reider, director of ONC's Office of the Chief Medical Officer, as the agency's acting national coordinator.