Researchers Claim Increased Use of Technology May Improve Nursing Home Resident Care and Increase Patient Privacy in Illinois and Nationwide

1208424_woman_using_computer%20sxchu.jpgResearchers from the University of Missouri claim health information technology can have a dramatic impact on nursing home resident care and patient privacy. In an article published in the January issue of the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, researchers reportedly compared the care received by patients at nursing facilities with differing levels of information technology sophistication. According to lead study author Gregory Alexander, Professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, most communication in long-term care facilities does not occur at nursing stations where computers are normally placed, but instead at a resident’s bedside. The study authors also allegedly found that face-to-face dialogue among skilled nursing facility staff decreased when more sophisticated information technology was utilized by caregivers. Researchers reportedly believe that using information technology tools instead of written notes and verbal dialogue to coordinate resident care allows nursing home staff to not only avoid potential misunderstandings, but also increase patient privacy.

The research came about as part of a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services project designed to reduce rehospitalization rates among skilled nursing facility patients. Researchers reportedly hope the information obtained from the study will provide insight into the best way for direct care staff to communicate nursing home resident needs to one another and medical professionals. In the future, the study authors purportedly plan to examine how a decreased reliance on face-to-face communication affects not only patient care but also skilled nursing facility employee relationships.

Most skilled nursing facilities located in the State of Illinois are under contract to receive Medicare and Medicaid funds. As a result, nurses, direct caregivers, and others who are employed at such nursing homes are required to adhere to both state and federal laws. Despite that most nursing homes in Illinois provide quality patient care, there is always room for improvement. In addition, some long-term care facilities choose to cut corners through personnel expenses. When a nursing home fails to employ a sufficient number of qualified staff or when direct care workers fail to communicate with one another, patient neglect or abuse often results. If you believe a friend or family member was the victim of abuse or neglect while residing in a skilled nursing facility in Illinois, you should discuss your concerns with a quality attorney.

If your loved one was injured or died as a result of the poor care provided by an Illinois nursing home, please give the experienced lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call today at (312) 924-7575. Our hardworking Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled friends and family members. For a free consultation with a diligent advocate, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

More Blogs:

Madison County Lawsuit Claims Neglect Led to Death of Alton Nursing Home Resident, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2013
Study Claims Nursing Home Residents in Illinois and Elsewhere Are Often Prescribed Dangerous Anti-Psychotic Medications Despite FDA Black Box Warning, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2013
Additional Resources:

Tech-savvy nursing homes improve care coordination and resident privacy, researcher states, by Tim Mullaney, mcknights.com

Case studies of IT sophistication in nursing homes: A mixed method approach to examine communication strategies about pressure ulcer prevention practices, by Gregory L. Alexander, Linsey M. Steege, Kalyan S. Pasupathy, and Keely Wise, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics

Photo credit: arinas74, Stock.xchng