The Role and Impacts of Digital Innovations in Nursing Homes

Evaluation of the managerial impact of the introduction of electronic health records in nursing homes.

Project name: The Role and Impacts of Digital Innovations in Nursing Homes 

Sottotitolo: the project aims to evaluate the managerial impact of the introduction of electronic health records in nursing homes. 

Principal investigator: Andrea Rotolo 

Team UB/Cergas: Andrea Rotolo, Elisabetta Notarnicola, Eleonora Perobelli (CeRGAS) 

Sponsor: Advenias (now become Zucchetti Healthcare)  

Duration: February 2021-January 2022 


The project aimed to detect the managerial perspective on the benefits and drawbacks resulting from the introduction of HIT in LTC facilities. To answer this question, we developed an online survey based on the main results observed in the literature on (Health Information Technologies) HIT in LTC and submitted it to the top management of over 100 nursing homes in Italy between May and June 2021. The Italian context can provide interesting insights in that there is no normative requirement to introduce the EHR (as there is in the US): hence, nursing homes adopted it for reasons other than legislative pressure and/or incentive that require further clarification. Moreover, the Italian LTC sector is still far from being digitalized and is expected to face great pressure due to its increasing aging population. The project counted on a unique dataset resulting from nursing homes that all adopted the same software (called “ePersonam”) and that allowed us to focus on organizations in a mature stage of EHR introduction. 

The analysis confirmed that the introduction of software such as ePersonam leads to a perceived positive impact on the three key dimensions identified by the literature: care processes, perceived satisfaction; and internal processes. In terms of care processes, there is a significant reduction in the time spent filling out documents by health and/or care staff, as well as a reduction in the time spent by administrative operators filling out documents. There is also a decrease in clinical errors.  In terms of the impact on satisfaction and quality perceived by stakeholders, the most marked effect is recorded in the improvement of the quality of collaboration between the different professionals working in nursing homes. The impact on staff workloads is less clear, with respondents not agreeing on either a sharp increase or a sharp decrease in staff workloads. 

Internal processes are the aspect on which the strongest impacts are transversally recorded. A sharp decrease in the duplication of data entry and clinical errors is acknowledged, as well as a conspicuous increase in the data available to support decisions. Respondents report increased efficiency in operations management and increased staff productivity. 

Presentations (slides): Presentation at Forum Non Autosufficienza in Bologna, 22nd of November 2022.