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Nursing Home Technology
Latest Nursing Home Technologies Used

Technology in Nursing Home Care

Technologies used nursing home care today focus primarily on remote health and safety monitoring systems which improve the care quality and increase efficiencies of care given to the elderly. Healthcare is not sustainable in its current form due to the demographic changes and technological advances.

Global Trends that Effect Healthcare

  • Rising numbers in the senior population pressures on providers and the healthcare payers.
  • Most seniors prefer to age in place, but due to the dispersed family unit who could help them complicates that choice.
  • Communication advancement helps the elderly and caregivers to use technology.
  • Medical healthcare and practices change from acute care to prevention and disease management.
  • The shift leads healthcare to patient-centric, allowing one to engage and be more responsible for health.

Nursing Home Technology

Nursing home technology

Nursing homes use technology to assist in the delivery, support, and management of patient care; assist in administrative and financial matters, and assist in patient self-management.

The following core functions for clinical information systems include:

  • Storage and retrieval of health data
  • Results management
  • Electronic order entry
  • Decision support
  • Communication and connectivity
  • Education
  • Administrative processes

Storage and retrieval of Health Data

The medical record in a nursing home facility includes:

  • Resident identification
  • Admission/readmission documentation
  • Health Assessment
  • Care plan
  • Care delivery
  • Advance directives and consents
  • History and physical exams
  • Physicians orders
  • Physician and professional consult progress notes
  • Other related hospital records
  • Nursing documentation/progress notes
  • Medication and treatment records
  • Reports from lab, x-rays, and other diagnostic tests
  • Rehabilitation and restorative therapy records
  • Social service documentation
  • Activity documentation
  • Nutrition services
  • Administrative documents

Results management

A results management technology measures the relationship between management practice and the resident outcomes.

  • Communication openness
  • Decision making
  • Relationship-oriented leadership
  • Education and Staff Training
  • Teamwork

Resident outcomes

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Restraint use
  • Immobility of complications
  • Effectiveness of Pain management
  • Effectiveness of Falls Programs
  • Effectiveness of Safety Improvements
  • Effectiveness of Care plan

Electronic Order entry

Electronic Order Entry allows nursing home staff to:

  • Enter medical orders directly via computer
  • Replace traditional paper, verbal, telephone, and fax methods.
  • Place electronic orders for medications
  • Order for laboratory tests
  • Order admissions paperwork
  • Order radiology exams
  • Order referrals
  • Obtain procedures

Decision Support

Poor quality of care is a significant issue in nursing homes because it's associated with pain, suffering, increased costs,

Reduce errors
Reduce errors
and poor nursing home ratings.

Health Information technology could lead nursing homes to more efficient, safer, and better quality of care for residents.

When quality of care increases, a nursing home sees improvements in:

  • Care
  • Reduced medication errors
  • Enhanced surveillance
  • Better monitoring
  • Improved adherence to evidence-based guidelines

Communications and Connectivity

Resident communications and electronic education like email, text messaging, and social media, are on the rise in nursing homes today.

When residents use technology solutions to manage their health, they see results in:

  • Modify their behavior related to chronic conditions
  • Increase nutrition and eat healthy foods
  • Increase exercise and fitness
  • Decrease alcohol and tobacco
  • Increase family connections
  • Enhance social connectivity
  • Improve medication adherence.

Education Technology

Technology advancement makes nursing care in nursing homes more efficient. But as technology advances, the more skill medical professionals need to operate them. The latest in education technology:

  • Perform electrocardiogram monitoring
  • Help screen for skin cancer
  • Monitor their residents' vital signs.
  • Apps and mobile technology monitors residents

Other Education Technology Uses

Vein Finders - new technology and portable vein viewers are making veins more visible, saving a lot of pain and problems for both patients and nurses.

Telemedicine - Nursing homes adopt platforms to allow doctors to communicate with the nursing staff and manage patient care, remotely. They also use teleconferences, smart phones, and remote access systems.

Downloadable Drug References - It replaces the three-inch reference books to give information they need on hand. Free, downloadable drug references, and full PDA versions, allow the registered nurses to carry clinical info in their pockets on their smartphones and tablets.

Track, Manage, and Remind - Apps for smartphones and tablets help residents and patients track their health, manage chronic diseases, remind them to take medications, and get more out of their doctor appointments.

Administrative processes

People living in nursing homes have more complex health care needs and they're at greater risk for receiving poorer quality of care.

Nursing homes recognize that a strong information technology infrastructure needed to address the complex health care needs of nursing home residents.

Advanced technologies in nursing homes today:

  • Support clinical decision-making
  • Promote data standards
  • Assist in diagnosis and supports
  • Chronic care management
  • Enhance medication adherence
  • Provide focus on residents with chronic diseases
  • Monitors resident well-being

Nursing Home Use Technology for Resident Safety

People move to a nursing home to help with one glaring issue, to keep them safe.

Nursing homes are a safe place for older residents because they have a staff of fully capable professionals trained to identify a resident at risk for falls, medication issues, and chronic episodes.

New technology when used in nursing homes offer:

Electronic medical records for easy access to check health and medications for allergic reactions.

Pre-packaged medications helping nurses dispense proper dosage, avoiding human error.

Medical alert systems that calls out to staff when a resident falls.

Security cameras to stop resident wandering and keep watchful eye for elder abuse by staff.

Remote resident monitoring for safety concerns.- gives care providers the power to proactively manage and anticipate residents' care needs.

Nurse call systems for emergencies - sends out notifications of alerts with information about the resident's location.

Emergency call pendant - resident presses a button to alert staff when she needs help, bu also an Activity of Daily Living (ADL) sensor that identifies when residents may need help, even if they haven't pressed a pendant.

Software and sensors enabling professionals and nurses to gather and analyze critical wellness trends of those in need.

Telemedicine and Telehealth seniors that accurately measure vital signs, easily track and share information, coordinate care, and improve health and wellness.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.