Information technology can bolster efficiency, drive profit margins and enhance staff satisfaction in an industry rampant with issues of employee turnover.
Senior living executives want the best for their residents, and that means keeping them out of the hospital. Falls are responsible for sending nearly a million seniors to the hospital each year, leading to a lower quality of life, at best, and death at worst. That’s why preventing falls has always been a key priority for senior living homes.
Senior housing communities may have numerous differences from each other, from geographical location to resident numbers, but the most robust operations tend to have the same key to success: healthcare IT consultants.
Most seniors today were of prime movie-going age in 1968 when Stanley Kubrick’s landmark 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered. They will remember vividly how the ship’s computer HAL overrode its human masters to take control of the mission.
Small wonder that the phrase “artificial intelligence,” or AI, comes with some negative connotations. For many, the notion of AI is fraught with peril – a vision of a future in which machines dominate humans.
In recent years, healthcare companies have been moving their services into the cloud at a rapid rate. By 2020, the healthcare cloud computing market is expected to grow at a 20.5% compound annual growth rate to reach about $9.48 billion. However, this expedited growth does not come without security concerns. Recent studies have shown that of the hundreds of applications used within hospitals, 93% of the cloud services are a security threat to hospitals.
It only makes sense. When someone is happy, they tend to want that happiness to last. In the same way, seniors who are happy with the quality of care and quality of life afforded them through their senior care community are likely to stay put.
Financial and clinical concerns aside, senior care executives are in the business of caring for people. Residents rely on the safety and quality of life that a senior care community offers, and family members are often a key component when it comes to senior living decisions for loved ones. Executives and clinical teams are not just caring for the senior, they are also caring for the family. Beyond resident care, senior care community teams must focus on building and establishing trust with the loved ones of residents. Not only is this relationship building crucial to closing the sale, but actively maintaining and earning the trust of residents’ loved ones is key to quality of life and satisfaction scores. While communities may highlight activity calendars and dining menus, marketing teams would be wise to highlight a behind the scenes aspect of senior care – remote monitoring technology.
Health network security and compliance is a serious concern these days. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) reports that as of Sept. 30, 2015, it has received more than 121,576 HIPAA complaints with case settlements totaling more than $22 million. To make matters worse, last year, the FBI warned that hackers are targeting healthcare networks.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, promises to revolutionize the way we interact with our environment. So far the revolution has been pretty mundane. Check into a hotel via smartphone. Use a tablet to control mood lighting. Wear a shirt that uploads your exercise data to the cloud.
Technology can give senior living and senior care communities the leg up on competitors and the opportunity to serve residents in an even safer environment. Between remote monitoring and fall prevention techniques, artificial intelligence and IT systems are freeing up staff time and noticing fall and illness risks before a crisis emerges. But with every positive gain, savvy senior care executives and IT professionals know that risks lurk behind even the most secure firewall.