SigmaCare EMR achieves high user adoption in New York nursing homes

New York 08 January 2008SigmaCare has expanded the user base of its long-term care mobile electronic medical records (EMR) system throughout the New York City area. Early field results from nursing homes participating in the New York State Quality of Care Demonstration Project show promise for the adoption of EMR technology and its impact on long-term care. Additional contracts secured outside the project further support the case that EMR adoption in long-term care is gaining momentum in New York.


Supported by a $13,5 million grant made available through the state-funded Demonstration Project, the Quality Care Oversight Committee (QCOC) selected 19 nursing homes (4167 beds) in the New York metropolitan area to participate in the project. In August 2007, SigmaCare began implementing its mobile EMR system in these facilities, which allows health care providers to access resident medical records and document activities, treatments, vital signs, and notes at the point of care using handheld and portable devices.

SigmaCare has attained extremely high user adoption rates across the Demonstration Project nursing homes implemented to date. On average, within one week of go-live, Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA) are documenting 98,1 percent of their assignments on time, and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) are documenting 99,4 percent of their medication administrations on time.

"As the first home in the Demonstration Project to go live, we are thrilled to be a pioneer in this initiative", stated Caroline Rich, Administrator, Four Seasons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. "The real-time dashboard of notifications helps our nurses manage the delivery of care throughout the shift and keeps communication flowing across departments. Our staff has taken great pride in this project, and it has brought new life to our facility."

"SigmaCare provides an easy way for caregivers to document at the point of care and frees up more time to be spent with residents", stated Jay Sackman, QCOC Union Member, Executive Vice President, Nursing Home Division, 1199SEIU. "The system has empowered CNAs by giving them a voice in the care planning process, which has boosted staff morale. As a result, residents and their families are more satisfied with the care they are receiving."

Months before EMR training starts, SigmaCare works with nursing home staff to understand the work flow for each department and customize the product to fit the needs of the facility. Focus groups by discipline are also conducted to introduce the technology and begin to shift the thinking away from a paper-based culture. The intuitive software and unique approach to technology implementation - with on-site training and 24/7 support - have contributed to the EMR system's high adoption rate.

"Among the biggest obstacles to gaining traction for EMRs in long-term care is the skepticism of whether caregivers will adopt the system, particularly for point-of-care documentation. The fact that SigmaCare has achieved this extraordinary level of user adoption in such a short period of time speaks not only to the product's quality, but also to our novel approach to installation and training", stated Stephen Pacicco, CEO of SigmaCare/eHealth Solutions.

As part of the Quality of Care Demonstration Project, a landmark study is being conducted in the 19 nursing homes in the New York metropolitan area to discover how health care information technology (HIT) affects long-term care. This academic study seeks to examine the technology's impact on workforce retention and recruitment, clinical outcomes, and financial and operational impact to the facilities. Results from the study are due to be released in 2009.

"The large-scale deployment of electronic medical records in the Demonstration Project nursing homes provides a unique opportunity for the academic study to examine the business case for technology in long-term care and the impact on the facility's workforce and residents", stated Martin Scheinman, Chairman of the QCOC. "Evidence now suggests that the EMR implementation has created a more collaborative environment between labour and management at the facilities, and we believe that this dynamic has contributed to the high level of user adoption, which will positively impact resident care going forward."

Additional contracts outside the Demonstration Project to implement the SigmaCare EMR system have been secured during the fourth quarter of 2007. These contracts will expand the system's base in the New York region by more than 3300 beds, bringing the total to almost 7500 beds.

"Competition in long-term care requires continuous innovation", stated Cosmo LaCosta, Senior Vice President, Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Briarwood/Queens. "We selected SigmaCare because of the quality of their people and the excellence of their product."

SigmaCare provides point-of-care technology and professional services that enhance quality of resident care, administrative efficiency and staff satisfaction. The company's proprietary software intelligence and system interoperability advance state and federal efforts to create a standardized HIT infrastructure. With up-to-date clinical information available at the time and place of care, these standards aim to improve health care quality, reduce medical errors and lower health care costs.

Leslie Versweyveld

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