For senior housing operators looking to maximize their investment, assisted living software and other technologies already have proven their worth. These tools can drive efficiencies, support resident health and increase satisfaction overall.
Less, recognized, though, is the role of assisted living software in helping to cut costs. Many senior housing executives may fail to realize that the operational advantages driven by assisted living software also have a direct impact on the bottom line.
Take for instance the cost of staff turnover. When we consider that staffing makes up 50- to 75 percent of operating costs in senior housing, it is easy to understand how any technologies that lead to a better-managed staff also will be a cost-saver in the long run. Since initial training can run as high as $5,000 per employee, according to OnShift, housing leaders should be eager to see those figures tamed.
Software can help, by helping to boost staff satisfaction. Take for instance automated fall prevention. Because these intelligent passive systems can help to put staff in the right place at the right time, the likelihood of burnout is reduced. Communications portals that manage complex schedules and ensure clear lines of communication among the staff also are likely boost morale and keep daily frustrations to a minimum.
Value of health.
While every senior housing operator is eager to ensure health, today’s evolving health care system has boosted resident health into the spotlight as a cost center to be carefully managed.
When residents fall, when they get sick or when they suffer from chronic illnesses, the bottom line suffers. Residents may leave in search of higher-care facilities, leaving vacancies that equate to lost revenues. For housing executives, technology can help to support health, thus helping to control the costs of resident turnover, as well as the expense that comes with delivering more intensive levels of care.
Software may be used to enable communications with doctors, clinics and hospitals. This coordinated care is a growing part of the healthcare landscape, as well as a valuable tool in supporting health. Here, too, emerging sensor technologies can help to monitor patient health without staff intervention, thus making best use of staff resources and keeping expenditures in check.
The long term view.
Finally, assisted living software makes up an integral part of the overall IT infrastructure, which may include hardware, databases, telecommunications networks and other tools. While some may view these elements as an item to go in the expense column, a solid infrastructure is in fact an investment that will help to reduce operating costs in the long term.
A well-planned IT infrastructure can drive efficiencies, leverage staff capabilities and save upgrade costs as it integrates newly released technologies with minimal disruption. Taken together, these elements can drive down operating costs and generate more positive results over time.
While senior housing may face a number of challenges in this changing care environment, housing leaders also have an ally in their efforts to reduce operating costs. From staffing to health to underlying infrastructure, assisted living software and related tools can do much to bolster the enterprise’s bottom line.