EHR Tool to Aid in Geriatric Care

While the Electronic Health Records (HER) System was initially created to aid in organizing a patient’s records digitally, the Indiana University School of Medicine is now broadening its use to eldercare. First launched by both the AMA and the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute, the Regenstrief-EHR Clinical Learning Platform provides the caretaker with extensive data from over 11,000 records with misidentified data (real patient information that has been altered to maintain privacy).

Thusly, those from the university are learning how to effectively use EHR, and to expand their knowledge of a huge demographic – those in America aged 85 and older – via a team-based, multidisciplinary approach.

IU Medical School Geriatrics Program Administrator Kathy Frank, RN, PhD emphasized how accurate knowledge of treating the elderly today is more necessary than ever, arguing that “to say that we don’t pay enough attention to the health care of seniors is an understatement.” The way it will work is by connecting groups of five residents with five students from each of the school’s master’s-level programs in nursing and social work. An assessment will be made on the health needs of specific geriatric patients (whose data is on the EHR) who then have to regularly update each other on primary issues that impact the elderly such as: dementia, depression, falls and other medical complications.

Ultimately Frank believes that this will help “guide their [the caretakers] thinking about geriatric care,” which will lead to greater efficiency in the industry.