Can (and should) Elder Care Communities focus on Resident “Outcomes?”

There are numerous priorities when it comes to running a successful elder care communities. Providers must be conscious of cost efficiency, retention strategies, health regulations, staffing levels and many other factors. But is it advisable to put resident outcomes at the top of that list?

It would seem that outcomes are derived as a result of other strategies, rather than a focus in itself. But that may be looking at the issue from less-effective perspective. Instead, having outcomes as the driving force at elder care communities can resonate throughout an organization. Here are some reasons that you may want to put more attention on resident outcomes:

Shift Toward Value-Based Healthcare

The U.S. healthcare market is speeding toward a value-based model, driven by telehealth and health IT for data gathering. In that model, outcomes are tracked and assessed, especially for Medicare and other government programs. Elder care communities with better outcomes will likely get more referrals by local hospitals and be rated higher by health insurance companies.

Health reform measures are likely to deepen the emphasis on value in the years ahead, especially around increased efficiency, higher quality of care, and preventative care for seniors. Communities that can prove their involvement through resident outcomes will find themselves ahead of the curve when it comes to value-based mandates, instead of scrambling to keep up.

Resident Retention Effects

As more Baby Boomers retire, the competition among elder care communities is expected to increase. What these new residents will seek out are operations that not only have amenities, but also proven outcomes like lower accident rates, more robust health tactics like fall prevention, and higher quality of life. Being able to show actionable data through the use of health IT can assist an operation in showing their outcomes through numbers instead of anecdotal evidence.

According to recent statistics, the median annual resident turnover across all assisted living residences stands at nearly 50 percent. Operations that focus on resident outcomes may be able to buck this trend.

Geared Toward the Future

Implementing programs and services that are focused on resident outcomes can show residents, their loved ones, and staff that an organization is proactive and forward-thinking, rather than reactive.

In particular, remote health monitoring technology is an innovation already in place at some elder care communities, and it’s providing strong results through lower incidents of falls, wandering, and illness prevention. When these are addressed, the outcome for many residents is more independence, as well as higher quality of life.

In general, elder care communities would be wise to put resident outcomes as a top priority, since the effects can resonate throughout an operation. Not only will residents be happier and more engaged with better outcomes, they’ll also have higher quality of life. Toward that aim, technology that assists with that focus can help an organization to hit those outcome goals and stand apart from competitors.

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