Rural nursing homes are behind their urban counterparts when it comes to IT (information technology).
In the 1st national assessment of nursing homes since the year of 2004, researchers have discovered a key difference in health information technology use between nursing homes in urban and rural communities which might have an effect on patient care.
The research conducted by the institute of University of Missouri found that nursing homes situated in metropolitan areas had greater information technology laboratory capabilities for resident registration and admission along with having a better ability to conduct and verify medical tests in contrast to their rural nursing homes and counterparts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that more than one million older Americans rely on the 16,000 nursing homes in the US for health care.
“Initial studies indicate that IT sophistication can make better health outcomes for sufferers, like reducing hospitalizations,” Greg Alexander, professor at the Sinclair School of Nursing, claimed in a press release. “The advantages of IT sophistication don’t differ based on geography; although, in this national assessment, we discovered a significant gap in IT sophistication between rural and urban areas.”
This gap in health information technology could have implications for patient care because rural nursing homes would have less capacity to share data with hospitals to permit for high-quality transitions in care, in accordance to researchers.
“As competition for experienced health care information technology professionals increases in urban areas, rural health care agencies are finding it difficult to compete for needed talent,” Alexander stated in a press release. “Policy makers require being aware of the unique problems facing rural nursing homes or health organizations and provide the essential incentives to assist rural nursing homes improve their IT sophistication. Improvement of information technology sophistication will lead to better patient results and a better quality of life for nursing home residents.”
Alexander decides to study health informatics in nursing homes and IT sophistication and quality measures at Macquarie University in the Australia credit goes to Fulbright U.S. Scholar program grant he recently acquired.
“The state of nursing home information technology sophistication in rural and non-rural U.S. markets,” was released in the Journal of Rural Health.
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