A Survey of Technology Abandonment in US Nursing Homes

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2024 Jan;25(1):6-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2023.09.002. Epub 2023 Oct 11.


Objective: Adoption of health information technology (HIT) in nursing homes (NHs) improves quality of care. Although there is a robust body of research on HIT adoption, the closely related process of technology abandonment is not well understood. As NHs grow more reliant on HIT, problems of technology abandonment, defined as failure to scale up, spread, and sustain HIT need to be studied. Our objective is to describe HIT abandonment and its associations with organizational characteristics among a national sample of US NHs.

Design: Longitudinal, retrospective analysis of data from 2 sources: HIT Maturity Survey and Staging model and public data from the Care Compare database.

Setting and participants: Random sample of NHs (n = 299) representing each US state that completed the HIT maturity survey in 2 consecutive years: year 1 (Y1) was June 2019-August 2020 and year 2 (Y2) was June 2020-August 2021.

Methods: The primary dependent variable was technology abandonment, operationalized by using total HIT maturity score, HIT maturity stage, and subscale scores within each dimension/domain. Independent variables were NH organizational characteristics including bed size, type of ownership, urbanicity, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Five-Star Overall Rating and Staffing Rating.

Results: Over the 2-year period, HIT abandonment occurred in 28% (n = 85) of NHs compared with 44% (n = 133) that experienced growth in HIT systems. HIT capabilities in resident care were abandoned most frequently. Using multivariable multinomial logistic regression, we found that large NHs (bed size greater than 120) were more likely to experience technology abandonment in administrative activities.

Conclusions and implications: Technology abandonment can increase strain on scarce resources and may impact administrators' ability to oversee clinical operations, especially in large NHs. This study contributes to the limited understanding of technology abandonment and can serve as a building block for others working to ensure limited resources are used effectively to improve care for NH residents.

Keywords: Nursing home; health information technology.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Medicare*
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States