To obtain indications of the influence of electronic health records (EHR) in managing risks and meeting information system accreditation standard in Australian residential aged care (RAC) homes. The hypothesis to be tested is that the RAC homes using EHR have better performance in meeting information system standards in aged care accreditation than their counterparts only using paper records for information management. Content analysis of aged care accreditation reports from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency produced between April 2011 and December 2013. Items identified included types of information systems, compliance with accreditation standards, and indicators of failure to meet an expected outcome for information systems. The Chi-square test was used to identify difference between the RAC homes that used EHR systems and those that used paper records in not meeting aged care accreditation standards. 1,031 (37.4%) of 2,754 RAC homes had adopted EHR systems. Although the proportion of homes that met all accreditation standards was significantly higher for those with EHR than for homes with paper records, only 13 RAC homes did not meet one or more expected outcomes. 12 used paper records and nine of these failed the expected outcome for information systems. The overall contribution of EHR to meeting aged care accreditation standard in Australia was very small. Risk indicators for not meeting information system standard were no access to accurate and appropriate information, failure in monitoring mechanisms, not reporting clinical incidents, insufficient recording of residents' clinical changes, not providing accurate care plans, and communication processes failure. The study has provided indications that use of EHR provides small, yet significant advantages for RAC homes in Australia in managing risks for information management and in meeting accreditation requirements. The implication of the study for introducing technology innovation in RAC in Australia is discussed.
Available for download on Tuesday, August 08, 2017