New Report Finds Information Technology Essential But Not Sufficient in Long-Term Care
Washington””October 4, 2007″”Health information technology (HIT) is a powerful tool for improving the quality of long-term care, but it must be implemented to interact with other segments of healthcare in order to be successful, according to a new report by BearingPoint, prepared for the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care. The Commission is a non-partisan independent body based in Washington but overseen by The New School in New York. The report examines long-term care within the broader healthcare context, addressing the steps that need to be taken so that information technology can help improve quality of life for all. Due to the shortage of available resources, a strong business case must be made for the adoption of HIT by many differing long-term care stakeholders, and clear incentives for improving efficiency and outcomes for consumers must be provided.
The report concludes that technology in long-term care is much more fragmented than the rest of the healthcare system. It also involves a wider spectrum of issues; provides a wider range of services for seniors; faces greater workforce and financing challenges; and has been slower to adopt technology. To combat these barriers, the report suggests that policymakers and federal healthcare purchasers must understand that the full integration of HIT into long-term care will affect all other healthcare sectors because a disproportionate percentage of health care dollars are spent on the elderly. However, the origins of these expenditures often begin many years earlier. So the role of HIT in improving the health of seniors must focus on people of all ages. A more holistic approach to developing HIT-related solutions is required.
The report explains how HIT can enhance data collection, aggregation, and analysis more efficient, more consistent, and more effective in determining what changes will deliver better outcomes. In particular, HIT reduces isolation among caregivers and patients through social networking and electronic communities; enables learning management systems and modular education programs; uses information sharing to maximize the utility of technology investments; delivers greater consistency in reported data through unambiguous, computable queries; supports the greater alignment of financial incentives and reimbursement models with quality outcomes.
Several recommendations are offered to the Commission, including making quality long-term care a national priority; accelerating industry-wide collaboration and leadership around the use of HIT in long-term care; and establishing federal leadership entities and positions dedicated to long-term care technology.
About BearingPoint, Inc.
BearingPoint, Inc. is one of the world’s largest providers of management and technology consulting services to Global 2000 companies and government organizations in 60 countries worldwide. Based in McLean, Va., the firm has more than 17,000 employees focusing on the Public Services, Financial Services, and Commercial Services Industries.
About the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care
The National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care is a non-partisan independent body charged with improving long-term care in America. Its members reflect the diverse experience of government, academia, quality improvement, and long-term care. Its co-chairs are Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, and Bob Kerrey, President of The New School.
The Commission was convened in October 2004. It grew out of an industry-led quality initiative called Quality First, A Covenant for Health Affordable, and Ethical Long Term Care. Funding for the Commission’s work is provided by the American Health Care Association, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.
The Commission is housed at The New School and functions independently under the leadership of executive director Doug Pace. For more information, visit the Commission’s Web Site at www.ncqltc.org.
National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care Commissioners
The Honorable Newt Gingrich (Co-Chair)
CEO, The Gingrich Group
The Honorable Bob Kerrey (Co-Chair)
President, The New School
The Honorable Haley Barbour
Governor of Mississippi
The Honorable Phil Bredesen
Governor of Tennessee
The Honorable David Durenberger
Chair, National Institute of Health Policy
Former Senator from Minnesota
Monsignor Charles J. Fahey
The Honorable Nancy L. Johnson
Former Congresswoman from Connecticut
Mary Jane Koren, MD
Assistant Vice President, The Commonwealth Fund
Mike Magee, MD
Senior Fellow in Health Policy, CAST; Host, HealthCommentary.org; Co-Director, Rocking Chair Project
The Honorable Jim McCrery
Congressman from Louisiana
Independent consultant and the Mervin Shalowitz, MD Visiting Scholar, Health Industry Management Program, Kellogg School of Management
William D. Novelli
Richard Payne, MD
Director, Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, Duke University Divinity School
The Honorable Earl Pomeroy
Congressman from North Dakota
Sister Mary Jean Ryan
President and CEO, SSM Health Care
Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS
Deputy Director, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
William J. Scanlon
The Honorable Gordon Smith
Senator from Oregon
Sandra R. Smoley, RN, BSN
President and CEO, The Sandy Smoley Group
President, Long-Term Care Insurance, Genworth Financial
Jeanette C. Takamura, MSW, PhD
Columbia University School of Social Work
The Honorable Ron Wyden
Senator from Oregon