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Lonhala Magnair

Significant Barriers Health Information Technology in Nursing Homes

Each year, at least 8 million adverse events occur in nursing home settings.

A recently published survey found several barriers to the use of health information technology (IT) to enhance incident reporting processes and reduce adverse events in nursing homes. The survey asked 399 nursing home administrators about the factors that either promote or prevent health IT for reporting adverse incidents.

Two of the top three most important barriers identified by nursing home administrators were related to fears of reporting.

The three barriers were: (1) Lack of recognition that an adverse event had occurred; (2) Fear of liability, lawsuits, or sanctions; and (3) Fear of disciplinary action, which was tied to fear of being blamed.

The researchers believe health IT structures can help improve incident reporting by minimizing staffs’ fear of reporting events.

To learn more, see Wagner et al. (2012). Use of HIT for adverse event reporting in nursing homes: Barriers and facilitators. Geriatric Nursing, 34(2), 112-115. doi:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2012.10.003.

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