Best Practice Guidance
Human Interaction with Technology in Dementia


Practical, cognitive & social factors to improve usability of technology for people with dementia

Technologies are increasingly vital in today’s activities in homes and communities. Nevertheless, little attention has been given to the consequences of the increasing complexity and reliance on them, for example, at home, in shops, traffic situations, meaningful activities and health care services. The users’ ability to manage products and services has been largely neglected or taken for granted. People with dementia often do not use the available technology because it does not match their needs and capacities. This section provides recommendations to improve the usability of technology used in daily life, for meaningful activities, in healthcare and in the context of promoting the Social Health of people with dementia.
Health care technologies

Applications promoting the effective use of electronic records are required


Applications that should be incorporated into EPR systems used in nursing homes providing care for people with dementia include a spell-check, a copy and paste function and a keyword search function. Log-in processes should be rapid and secure.

Explanation and Examples

The presence of a spell-check has been described as saving time on proofreading, as well as increasing legibility and comprehension of documentation. This allows for more time to be spent with residents with dementia in direct care, and for correct care to be provided. A copy and paste function also saves time by allowing staff to easily transfer information across sections of the EPR where information is often required to be replicated. A keyword function allows staff to enter a keyword and jump to the relevant section in a resident’s notes, allowing for more efficient retrieval of information, important in situations when a resident is unable to recall personal information. Rapid log-in processes should reduce barriers to using the EPR, as slow log-in processes have been found to prevent staff from accessing information about residents before delivering care, and have meant staff have been forced to pass on information about residents verbally instead of entering it into the EPR. This may mean important information regarding any sudden changes in an individual’s condition might be missed.

Type of evidence

Kate Shiells (INDUCT ESR 13)

Integrative literature review
Qualitative study


Shiells, K., Holmerova, I., Steffl, M., Stepankova, O. (2018). Electronic patient records as a tool to facilitate care provision in nursing homes: an integrative review. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 44(3), 262-277.

Shiells, K., Diaz Baquero, A. A., Stepankova, O., & Holmerova, I. (2020). Staff perspectives on the usability of electronic patient records for planning and delivering dementia care in nursing homes: a multiple case study. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 20, 159.