CAST report highlights financial, operational barriers for IT adoption in aging services

LeadingAge’s Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) recently released a compilation of 18 member case studies highlighting how providers are using technology to change their business models as well as improve care and services.

The studies, however, also investigate the barriers and challenges providers face in implementing new technologies, such as:

The lack of funding for developing and maintaining IT systems, which can be funded by grants but are more often supported by the organization’s capital budget.

The lack of infrastructure and wireless networking technology in older buildings.

The inability of different technology products to work together, particularly the need to juggle multiple electronic record systems that are designed for specific care settings but are unable to interface easily with one another or with the organization’s primary billing software.

Conflicts and confusion between IT and clinical staff due to internal silos and poor communication.

“Most organizations struggle to calculate return on investment (ROI) for technology initiatives,” according to the report. “Others deliberately avoid such calculations because their technology initiatives are so intertwined with organizational services and processes that it is difficult to separate one from the other.

“Despite difficulties calculating ROI, organizations still look to technology-enabled services as a source of either current or future revenues.”

Technologies that are commonly being implemented by the report’s case facilities include handheld devices like smart phones and tablet computers, personal emergency response and other safety detection systems, electronic health records, point-of-care systems, and telehealth devices.

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Full report: Preparing for the Future: Developing Technology-Enabled Long-Term Services and Supports for a New Population of Older Adults (PDF format)

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