Innovative medical records software developed by geriatricians and informaticians from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research will provide more personalized health care for older adult patients, a population at significant risk for mental health decline and disorders.
A new study published in eGEMs, a peer-reviewed online publication recently launched by the Electronic Data Methods Forum, unveils the enhanced Electronic Medical Record Aging Brain Care Software, an automated decision-support system that enables care coordinators to track the health of the aging brain and help meet the complex biopsychosocial needs of patients and their informal caregivers.
The eMR-ABC captures and monitors the cognitive, functional, behavioral and psychological symptoms of older adults suffering from dementia or depression. It also collects information on the burden placed on patients' family caregivers.
Utilizing this information, the software application provides decision support to care coordinators, who, working with physicians, social workers and other members of the health care team, create a personalized care plan that includes evidence-based non-pharmacological protocols, self-management handouts and alerts of medications with potentially adverse cognitive effects. The software's built-in engine tracks patient visits and can be used to generate population reports for specified indicators such as cognitive decline or caregiver burnout.
"The number of older adults is growing rapidly. Delivering personalized care to this population is difficult and requires the ability to track a large number of mental and physical indicators," said Regenstrief Institute investigator Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, associate director of the IU Center for Aging Research and associate professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine. He is senior author of the new study. "The software we have developed will help care coordinators measure the many needs of patients and their loved ones and monitor the effectiveness of individualized care plans."