EHRs Improve Care in Nursing Homes

The Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ) www.ofmq.com is working in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) www.ok.gov/health, the Alzheimer’s Association, and more than 100 nursing homes to track activities in nursing homes across the state.

For example, the Cedar Creek Nursing Center in Oklahoma participating in a CMS www.cmc.gov national program to improve dementia care in nursing homes signed up to be a pilot facility for the Oklahoma Challenge Grant program http://oktoc.org to use EHRs for tracking purposes.

CareTracker www.resourcesystems.net/LongTermCareTracker.aspx, an EHR system powered by Cerner Corporation is being used in the nursing center. Since using CareTracker, the nursing center has gone almost fully electronic. The certified nursing assistants are now able to more accurately document the resident’s activities in their daily living and behaviors.

There has been an increase in the quality and quantity of information since access to EHRs enables the staff to accurately monitor all behaviors by running a behaviors detailed report from the EHR system and then comparing it to the resident medication list.

The administration of antipsychotic medication is a serious problem. Since the staff is able to obtain the correct information on each patient, strong clinical cases can be presented to physicians or healthcare providers to decrease the administered dose of antipsychotics or to end the use of the drug.

If a drug or treatment is no longer going to be used with a patient, then this information is entered into the EHR systems and displayed through CareTracker kiosks. As a result, the Center has seen a 28 percent reduction in antipsychotic medication administration.

In another project in Oklahoma, OMFQ is continuing to work to improve healthcare quality by serving as a subcontractor to Telligen www.tellien.com. Telligen was recently awarded a contract by CMS to support 14 Quality Innovation Networks-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIO) throughout the country http://qioprogram.org.

Some of the strategic initiatives to support Qin-QIOs will focus on helping nursing homes to improve care, provide support for clinical practices using EHRs to track and improve care management and coordination, promote disease management to help prevent cardiac disease and diabetes, work to reduce healthcare disparities through communities, providers, and provide patient-centered care.

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