Introduction: The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is being advocated as a tool to improve patient care. Nationwide initiatives are under way to determine how to implement EHR. To date, community nursing homes have not been involved in that effort. Many reasons, including multiple providers in a home, physical structure of a facility, multiple facilities, high costs of implementation, and maintenance of an EHR, hinder efforts to establish such a record in a nursing home. Convinced that an EHR would improve resident care, we undertook a project to establish an EHR in 11 community nursing homes.
Methods: Boston University Geriatric Services and Boston Medical Center partnered with 11 community nursing homes in the Boston, MA, area to introduce GE Centricity as the medical provider's medical record for the residents under the care of this medical practice. This effort included allowing the software to be used at various sites, providing hardware, and establishing Internet connectivity.
Results: All 11 of the nursing homes served by Boston University Geriatric Services have been connected to the system.
Discussion: It is possible to establish an EHR in a diverse, unrelated group of nursing homes. This has allowed for improved communication between providers, consultants, hospital, and nursing home staff.