The truth is that the population of the United States is growing older which means that there will be more and more elderly people in the future. And the US isn’t the only one getting older, populations of numerous countries around the world are dominated by people aged 65 and over. That means that the interest in nursing homes will also increase in the next few years. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are expected to adopt new technology in their work in order to render themselves more efficient.
Undoubtedly, Health Information Technology has already had a big influence on healthcare. By incorporating Information technology into nursing homes and LTCs, we can make them more effective, efficient, and make a lot of their daily work much easier and faster. The problem, however, is that many of these facilities aren’t too keen on adopting these technologies. So, why is that?
What are the issues with combining IT and nursing homes?
It seems that a great number of nursing homes and LTC facilities explain that the main reasons why they are so slow to accept the changes are the cost, the necessary introduction of the staff to the technology and their training, as well as difficult and time-consuming implementation processes. Some have also expressed their doubts about the efficiency and usefulness of such technologies and have also mentioned their concern about losing the personal interaction with the people using their services. HitsTech class=”id91″ warns about some of the potential risks of using the new technology improperly. New hardware must follow the improvements in software in order to avoid any issues, and proper knowledge needed to operate the technology is a necessity.
There have also been concerns concerning the legal and moral aspect of nursing home cameras. Even though they are implemented as a security measure to protect the residents, they are also recording the everyday life of the residents meaning they have little privacy. Some ethical issues are at play here, but it still isn’t recognized as illegal.
Benefits of incorporating new technologies in nursing homes
The truth of the matter is that by introducing new technologies to these facilities, the majority of their daily tasks and processes will be faster, more efficient, and will consequently lower the costs of nursing homes making them accessible to a bigger number of people. Not only will staff productivity increase, but the safety and quality of care will both be on a higher level.
While by using written charts you risk misplacing them, electronic devices such as laptops and tablets can be used to save the information permanently and help you reduce the risk of losing information. The majority of nursing homes are still using handwritten charts. Sometimes finding certain information or a medical record needs to be done as quickly as possible, but searching the handwritten records is a time-consuming process. This is why having everything stored in an electronic form is a benefit as the database can be searched quickly and efficiently. No risk of misplacing, losing, or forgetting the information as everything is stored in one place and is easily reachable by all employees.