The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has partnered with Exponent Inc. and MatrixCare on a new effort that will enable comprehensive tracking of COVID-19 and future public health threats facing nursing homes.

The Long Term Care Data Cooperative, funded by the National Institute on Aging, will use nursing home residents’ electronic medical records and associated data to create comprehensive resident electronic health records to help providers monitor their residents’ needs and outcomes. Additionally, the health records system will support public health reporting as well as allow researchers to generate real-world evidence on different treatments and care practices for the elderly and individuals with disabilities in nursing homes.

“We are thrilled to have these partners join us for this important new initiative,” said Mark Parkinson, AHCA president and chief executive officer (CEO). “While we know more about COVID than a year ago, there is still so much more we need to learn. This innovative system will help improve and save lives now and in the future.”

Together with Brown University, a pioneer of research studies using integrated data on residents that have helped the long term care community, Exponent, an interdisciplinary and scientific consulting company, and electronic health records (EHR) software firm MatrixCare, the AHCA-led effort will assemble the largest and most comprehensive health records database from geographically and structurally diverse nursing homes and residents.

“Thirty-years ago, the minimum data set made it possible to characterize the needs of nursing home residents and to document the impact of new treatments and policies,” said Vincent Mor, PhD, professor of health services, policy, and practice at Brown University’s School of Public Health. “This initiative transforms this effort by linking ‘real-time’ clinical data, including lab results and orders, in ways that can transform the delivery of care to the increasingly vulnerable population of nursing home residents.”

In addition to curating and normalizing diverse data sources and maintaining the health records system, Exponent will leverage its expertise to develop insights from the data to support providers’ delivery of care.
“This project brings more than curated electronic health records to the long term care industry as they navigate the continuously evolving pandemic,” said David Dore, PharmD, PhD, a principal scientist at Exponent. “This public-private partnership brings together a holistic, multidisciplinary team of experts who can translate the data and deliver tailored information to stakeholders to advance delivery of care in skilled nursing facilities.”

“We are proud to be one of the first EHRs to join the Long Term Care Data Cooperative to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and pave the way for innovation and improvement in a post-pandemic world,” said MatrixCare President and CEO Steve Pacicco. “At MatrixCare, we are deeply committed to using data to improve the quality of patient and resident care, while optimizing organizational efficiencies. This collaboration underscores the power of data-driven intelligence and interoperability to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of seniors and empower those who care for them.”

This multi-year initiative will continue to characterize and monitor the immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19 and its vaccines among residents and to be better prepared for future public health threats.

Over time, the cooperative will serve three broad functions:
• Assist providers with health care operations, including care coordination for residents who transfer between skilled nursing facilities.
• Provide public health monitoring for medical conditions and infections, including COVID-19, to be securely shared with relevant health authorities.
• Identify research opportunities for National Institute of Health-funded academic institutions and commercial companies.