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Technology grows as a priority for LTC business

September 4, 2013
by The Long-Term Living Editors
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The annual readership survey results are in: Long-Term Living’s readers took time to let us know how they've invested in operational and clinical technology during the past year, especially when it comes to electronic health records, IT systems maintenance and technologies geared toward resident safety and quality care measures.

Thanks in part to federal care improvement mandates from the Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2013 became the year that long-term care communities realized why technology matters to business and quality resident care. Financial software is still the #1 system in legacy use, but the majority of our respondents are now hot on the trail of electronic medication administration systems (eMAR) and electronic health records (EHRs). Our readers respond that 56% already have an EHR, with another 27% actively planning to install one--a vast leap from just two years ago.

The hottest technology on respondents’ slates to implement in the near future is an eMar system. However, despite the rising adoption of technology in LTC facilities, almost half of respondents still report issues with staff resistance and connectivity pertaining to their technology implementation initiatives.

In addition to eMAR and EHR technology, our respondents are increasingly implementing touch screens (for both clinical and resident use) and new telehealth and nurse documentation tools. And, a whopping 55% of respondents are exploring brain fitness technologies this year—a response, no doubt, to the rapidly growing memory care segment of the industry. Many technology processes continue to be outsourced, readers say; although 47.6% of our respondents have at least one dedicated IT staffer in-house, more than half of respondents say they have no IT person on staff or choose to outsource their tech processes.

Long-Term Living’s annual online survey is open to all our readers, including owners, executives, administrators and directors at nursing homes, assisted living and CCRC communities, independent living and post-acute care sites.