3 problems with the long-term & senior care technology revolution & how to solve them
Updated: Jan 12, 2022
The last twelve months have forced a shift in how post-acute and senior living leadership teams approach operational strategy, and technology has become a big part. The new normal requires that providers be able to do more with fewer resources. Operators are spending more and working with less making automation essential.
We've seen an industry-wide increase in the adoption of new technology and systems to address everything from labor and staffing to reimbursement optimization and spending controls. The explosive growth of technology in our industry, while necessary, has led to a set of new problems to solve.
Subscribing to, and paying for, systems that address pieces of operational issues
No single source of truth: multiple solutions – multiple logins – multiples data sources
Staff members are not fully utilizing systems
The investment has been made; the software rolled out … How can you be sure you're getting the most out of what you purchased?
Evaluate Your Existing Technology.
You've taken the proper steps and implemented technology solutions to create efficiencies but are they working? Are they solving problems for your staff and making their lives easier? Talk to your team on the ground. The employees that use the systems every day. Find out what they think and give input to your vendors. Feedback from your staff will not only let you know if you have the right solution in place or if you need to rethink the solution, but you may also learn that the right solution is there and not being used to its full potential.
Identify Operational Gaps.
Evaluating a day in the life of [fill in the blank] staff members can be a powerful tool to identify inefficiencies. What takes time away from resident care? Are teams spending hours keeping up with administrative demands like pulling information from multiple systems and compiling manual reports on paper or spreadsheets? Identify what can be automated and implement technology to close those gaps. American Senior said in an article that for every report they can automate, they estimate a one-hundred-thousand-dollar saving in opportunity costs that can be allocated elsewhere. Beyond dollars, giving teams the tools to work more efficiently will save countless hours and loads of frustration.
Focus on Training and User Adoption.
Arguably, one of the most crucial factors to a successful software implementation is onboarding and user training. Work with your vendor and spend the time upfront to ensure that your employees use, learn, and become comfortable with the solution you purchased. Give your team members a direct path to learning and support from your chosen vendor and ensure that frequent check-ins happen to foster user adoption.
Tie Your Systems Together.
Operators that are solving problems with technology are subscribing to multiple systems and, while this is necessary, it can become cumbersome for facility and regional leaders to manage. Each system has its own set of tasks, data, and analytics. Department heads and facility leaders must log in to each system separately, pull the data they need for reporting and strategic management, manually collate and calculate that data, and complete system-related tasks in multiple steps. Through integration, providers can give team members access to tasks, workflow, and analytics that includes data from multiple software systems in one place so they can spend less time at their computer and more time with residents, families, and staff.
Use Data to Measure Success.
Most software solutions today offer reporting on user activity that can include how often users log into the system, the time of day they log in, and which areas of the system are visited the most. Work with your vendor to get regular reports to identify gaps in utilization by facility, title, and down to the specific employee. Give particular focus to training and have discussions with these staff members to determine the reason behind the underutilization. You might find that you get valuable information that can lead to conversations around improvement and innovation within your organization and with your current vendors.
The technological revolution in the post-acute and senior living industry is happening now. While we might be a little behind other industries, we can all look forward to the positive impact today's innovation will bring staff, residents, and the industry as a whole. Working together, we can make the transition a success!
How do we help? CareWork helps make the most of the systems you're already using. We integrate your systems to tie your data together. Through a single login, organizations have access to descriptive analytics using data from all systems to give teams a single source of truth. Automated and assignable tasks, communication, and workflow in one place streamline the way long-term and senior care companies operate. We make care work easier.
Ready to make the most out of your systems? If so, contact us today.