A mixed-methods analysis of telehealth implementation in nursing homes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 Dec;70(12):3493-3502. doi: 10.1111/jgs.18020. Epub 2022 Aug 30.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced nursing homes to adapt new models of care in response to the evolving crisis including rapid implementation of telehealth services. The purpose of our study was to investigate implementation of telehealth in nursing homes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic using a human factors model.

Methods: Using a mixed methods design, we conducted a secondary analysis of data from a national survey of nursing home administrative leaders (n = 204). Using six survey questions, we calculated a total telehealth score (range 0-42). Descriptive statistics and paired sample t-test were used to explore the change in telehealth in two consecutive years (2019-2021). Next, we conducted semi-structured interviews with (n = 21) administrators and clinicians to assess differences in implementation according to extent of telehealth use.

Results: The mean telehealth score in year 1 was 12.11 (SD = 9.85) and year 2 was 19.25 (SD = 11.25). There was a significant difference in telehealth scores from year 1 to year 2 (t = 6.83, p < 0.000). While 64% of nursing homes reported higher telehealth scores in year 2 compared to year 1, over 32% reported a decline. Qualitative analysis revealed facilitators of telehealth including training, use of integrated equipment, having staff present for the visit, and using telehealth for different types of visits. Barriers included using smart phones to conduct the visit, billing, interoperability and staffing.

Conclusion: Training, adaptation of work processes to support communication, and restructuring teams and tasks are the result of interactions between system components that could improve usability and sustainability of telehealth in nursing homes.

Keywords: SEIPS model; human factors; informatics; nursing homes; telehealth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes
  • Pandemics
  • Telemedicine*