Exploring information technology (IT) sophistication in New South Wales residential aged care facilities

Gregory L. Alexander*, Andrew Georgiou, Joyce Siette, Richard Madsen, Anne Livingstone, Johanna Westbrook, Chelsea Deroche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine baseline information technology (IT) sophistication in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, residential aged care facilities. Method: IT sophistication measures IT capabilities, extent of IT use and IT integration in two domains, resident care and clinical support. A survey was administered to all NSW residential aged care facilities (n = 876) between February and May 2017. A 15% response rate was achieved (130/876). Facilities were organised by organisational type, total residential places and remoteness. Using post-stratification weights, estimates of IT sophistication scores for NSW were determined. Regression was used to examine whether there was a linear relationship between IT sophistication and the ratio of residents receiving high care. Results: Participating facilities were similar to other NSW facilities in residential places and remoteness, but different in organisational type. IT sophistication was highest in IT capabilities and integration in resident care. IT sophistication was lowest in clinical support. Respondents had a mean of 1.2 years of IT experience. IT sophistication varied among aged care facilities. There was a linear relationship (P < 0.05) with the proportion of high-care residents and total IT sophistication Conclusion: Routine reports of IT sophistication in aged care are not available. If data were available, determining the influence of IT sophistication on the quality care for residential aged care would be possible. What is known about the topic?: Aged care settings that deliver care to the older population need to be contemporary in their approach to delivering high-quality and safe care. Health IT holds great potential for improving the quality and safety of care of older residents in aged care facilities. What does this paper add?: This report provides a baseline assessment of IT capabilities, extent of IT use and IT integration, called IT sophistication, among aged care facilities with variable characteristics. What are implications for practitioners?: Increasing IT sophistication has the potential to improve the quality of care delivered by aged care staff.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-296
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume44
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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