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Researchers are hopeful that a new initiative to create the largest health records system and study of nursing home residents will change the way providers deliver care in the future. 

“Thirty years ago, the Minimum Data Set made it possible to characterize the needs of nursing home residents and to document the impact of new treatments and policies,” Brown University professor Vincent Mor, Ph.D., said Friday. 

“This initiative transforms this effort by linking ‘real-time’ clinical data, including lab results and orders, in ways that can transform the delivery of care to the increasingly vulnerable population of nursing home residents,” he added. 

His comments come after the Long-Term Care Data Cooperative in late May added EHR provider American HealthTech for the initiative being led by the American Health Care Association. AHT joins Brown University, Exponent Inc. and MatrixCare. 

The cooperative will collect and use nursing home residents’ electronic medical records and associated data to create comprehensive EHRs to help providers monitor resident needs and outcomes. 

The health records system also will support public health reporting and academic researchers to generate real-world evidence on different treatments and care practices. The National Institute on Aging is funding the multi-year project. 

“By lending our insight and expertise to this important initiative, we continue to do our part to support community heath by better understanding and utilizing resident data which will aid future prevention measures for COVID-19 or an equivalent health crisis,” Claire Stephens, American HealthTech’s senior vice president, said in a statement Friday.