Objective: There is growing recognition that a more sophisticated information technology (IT) infrastructure is needed to improve the quality of nursing home care in the United States. The purpose of this study was to explore the concept of IT sophistication in nursing homes considering the level of technological diversity, maturity and level of integration in resident care, clinical support, and administration.
Methods: Twelve IT stakeholders were interviewed from 4 nursing homes considered to have high IT sophistication using focus groups and key informant interviews. Common themes were derived using qualitative analytics and axial coding from field notes collected during interviews and focus groups.
Results: Respondents echoed the diversity of the innovative IT systems being implemented; these included resident alerting mechanisms for clinical decision support, enhanced reporting capabilities of patient-provider interactions, remote monitoring, and networking among affiliated providers.
Discussion: Nursing home IT is in its early stages of adoption; early adopters are beginning to realize benefits across clinical domains including resident care, clinical support, and administrative activities. The most important thread emerging from these discussions was the need for further interface development between IT systems to enhance integrity and connectivity.
Conclusion: The study shows that some early adopters of sophisticated IT systems in nursing homes are beginning to achieve added benefit for resident care, clinical support, and administrative activities.