Seniors often prefer to age in place, but for those who end up seeking nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, they may be comforted by technology. Certain technological advancements are improving the standard of care at senior facilities, making care more patient-centric and efficient.
Better Track of Medications
Keeping track of medication administration records is even more paramount with the elderly. As such, there are various technological tools available for use.
For example, nursing home mar enables pharmacies to organize numerous facilities to print things such as physician order forms and records of medication administration easily. Additionally, patients are further encouraged to maintain their own medication records to compare with care providers’ records.
Better Quality of Care
New research showed that nursing homes that adopted new information technologies reported better quality of care. Researchers from the University of Missouri showed that the more sophisticated a nursing home’s technology, the better the quality of care.
“We already knew that information technology can help create better care outcomes, but this study helped us see which technologies improve which elements of care,” said Gregory Alexander, interim associate dean of research at the university’s Sinclair School of Nursing.
Lower Rates of Infection
Health information technology also showed promise in senior settings.
“As IT capabilities and extent of IT use improved in nursing homes, we saw an associated decline in urinary tract infections, among other correlations,” Alexander said.
Alexander and colleagues also found that nursing homes that adopted technologies saw notable reductions in urinary tract infections, as well as fewer patients who reported new or worsened pressure ulcers. There were also fewer patients reporting moderate to severe pain.
As nursing homes are frequently hit with complaints of abuse and neglect, cameras and recording devices can also offer security as well as a note of assurance.
Though nursing homes and LTC facilities can be unwilling or slow to adopt new ideas, technology may hold the answer for the aging population. Nursing home costs, which have increased from $18 billion to almost $100 billion between 1980 and 2002, will continue to rise. Adopting health information technology will enhance the quality of care, facilitate coordination and boost efficiency in long-term care, according to the LTC Health Information Technology Summit.
Though technological advances may be costly upfront and take time and energy to implement, it will inevitably help save costs in the long-run while boosting efficiency and productivity.