Providers struggling for better IT buy-in

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Hoping to build from an initial overflow meeting, organizers have announced dates for a second long-term care health information technology summit. An array of key figures for the LTC tech world will meet June 8-9 in Baltimore.

Yet experts recently reiterated that the focus must not stray too far from the grassroots level. Direct-care workers must have strong "buy-in" into any new computer system, they say, or failure is imminent.
"If it's going to cause tremendous dissatisfaction, you have to rethink things," says Dr. Michael Weiner, who heads the Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute's GeroInformatic program in Indianapolis.
From the start, you have to identify whom the new system will benefit — just administration or direct caregivers, too? Weiner explained. Having a vendor that will work with each facility is also critical, he added.
Just as summit participants will be aggressively tackling issues in June, facility operators need to become more assertive about IT adoption.
"IT's going to be huge business because many long-term care facilities don't have good systems," he notes. "In terms of business development, it will be very big."