The United States population is growing older, meaning there will be higher numbers of elderly people. The first baby boomers are now turning 65 and by 2030 the US population aged 65 and over is expected to double, which means that assistance or the transition to long-term care facilities (i.e. nursing homes) will be in higher demand. Advancements in Health Information Technology (HIT) have influenced the healthcare field by becoming more efficient, effective, and have improved patient satisfaction and safety. However, nursing homes and long-term care (LTC) facilities are slower in the adoption process or lack the willingness to transition to the various technologies available. One of the best examples is the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). While acute care settings and physician practices are adopting EHR systems at a brisk pace, LTC facilities, specifically licensed nursing facilities, have been slower to embrace such technologies. The main barriers to the implementation of EHRs include: cost; training; complex implementation processes; and the lack of evidence that such systems can deliver the promises. This review paper addresses the current state of HIT and what is currently available in nursing homes; it also addresses barriers and benefits that HIT faces with EHR implementation.
Last date updated on July, 2014