There is no question that automating key operational aspects of your skilled nursing community will yield an almost immediate positive impact. We are seeing automated solutions flowing into every corner of senior care – from back end EHR systems to sensor technologies to medications dispensaries.
The operational impact these solutions make is, in many ways, obvious. As an example, solutions such as the InSite® System from Talyst have helped create a medications management environment that greatly reduces manual workflow. By doing so, nurses and other skilled support staff can concentrate on providing a higher quality of care without setting aside their precious time to conduct this tedious, error prone task.
Operational efficiencies aside, there is a growing marketing advantage to those owners and operators who are able to demonstrate technology innovation within their facilities. Here are three ways senior care operators can use technology to compete:
- Higher level of care: Technology that frees up staff enables them to spend more time with residents. It also sends a message to the team that you value their time enough to take tedious, error prone tasks off their backs. The result is a team that is making use of their skills and able to provide higher quality of care. Mobile technology, medications management, electronic health records (EHR) are good examples of using automation to help provide better, more focused care.
- Safer, more secure environment: For adult children making the decision to admit a loved one to an assisted or skilled nursing community, safety is one of the top differentiators. The families of residents will undoubtedly check your published surveys and reviews to determine how safe your environment is. When memory care is needed, safety issues become even more important. Sensor technologies have become highly sophisticated, some now using a GPS location infrastructure to enable freedom of movement for seniors with the assurance that staff will know where they are, at all times. Being able to demonstrate this to prospective residents and their families provides that peace of mind and assurance that the staff will be looking after their loved ones.
- Improved communications: Today’s residents and their families have an expectation that they will be able to continue to use tools they are familiar with to communicate with staff and with their loved ones. Today, many seniors are using iPads, notebooks and smart phones to communicate. So, WiFi, of course, is a must. Technologies that enable seamless communications between staff, residents and family are being used to differentiate communities and give them a “leg up” over the competition.
What are you doing in your building to utilize technology to give your community a competitive edge? How are you using technology to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in a world with a shrinking workforce? Technology must be taken into serious consideration, not only for operations efficiency, but by your marketers and sales people as they work to increase occupancy in your organization.