Cornell University

Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution

456 ILR Research Building, 607-255-9298

Nursing Homes Research

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In April 2007 the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution received a two-year grant from the Worker Participation Fund of 1199SEIU to conduct research on the effect of the introduction of health information technologies on employment and labor relations in 20 nursing homes in the New York City region.

The Institute and the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA) have jointly conducted the evaluation of this state-funded demonstration project.  As part of the evaluation, the Scheinman Institute team and the CITRA team measured the effects of the new technology on both staff and residents in the participating facilities.  Also participating in the project are researchers at the Wharton School and NYU, who are studying the business and financial effects of introducing the new technology.

Specifically, the Institute examined the manner in which implementation of digital record-keeping technology in the participating homes influenced key workplace outcomes, such as labor-management relations, employee satisfaction, and organizational culture. In addition, the Institute examined the effects of preexisting nursing home conditions and characteristics on the success of technology implementation.

CITRA has examined the implementation of digital record- keeping technology on key clinical outcomes, including measures of the quality of life. No previous study has assessed the implications of technological change on both workplace conditions and the quality of residents' life.

The lead researchers at the Scheinman Institute are David Lipsky and Ariel Avgar; at CITRA the lead researchers are Karl Pillemer, Professor of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology and Director of CITRA and Rhoda Meador, Associate Director of CITRA.

Pillemer and Meador also received a grant from the Commonwealth Fund to conduct research on the effect of the new technologies on so-called "residence-centered care" in a sample of the homes.  Nearly $800,000 was awarded to the Institute and CITRA to conduct their research.

In November 2009 Lipsky and Avgar completed a final report based on the first two years of the demonstration project, called “Caregivers and Computers:  The Effect of Electronic Medical Records on Employment and Labor Relations in Nursing Homes.”  An executive summary of their report is available at this link. (pdf)

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