There’s a maxim in business: You spend a little now to save a lot later. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of technology. Investments made today often will show tangible returns in the future.
It isn’t always easy to connect the dots, though. New light bulbs lower electric costs, sure. But falls prevention? Wellness support? Senior housing operators don’t always make the connection between these technologies and business outcomes.
Here are just a few examples, to help make it more clear.
Technology: Falls prevention
Savings: Staff time
When a resident falls, senior housing staff must kick it into high gear. Caregivers will typically interact with the resident, delivering higher-than-usual intensity attention. They may engage extensively with outside medical personnel. They may also find themselves in the midst of frequent communications with family and others in the resident’s support network. All this takes time, pulling caregivers away from other tasks and sometimes necessitating costly overtime.
The technology fix here comes in the form of artificial intelligence software paired with pressure, motion, and depth sensors that monitor key functional health indicators and intelligently calculate fall risk with far more accuracy than any of the traditional manual tests commonly used today, such as TUG tests and others., With the AI software continuously calculating and updating a residents fall risk, if they enter an elevated risk for falling, both staff and family will be alerted, allowing them time to assess and intervene to avoid more falls altogether..
Technology: Health & wellness sensors
Savings: Medical support
For senior residences that offer any level of medical care, the ability to monitor a resident’s health and wellness 24/7 can lead to dramatic financial outcomes. Some systems for example offer passive, ongoing illness detection, notifying care providers of warning signs for many negative health events including stroke, heart disease, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and more.
Automated monitoring means fewer dispatch events for onsite medical teams, a significant potential savings over time.
Savings: Reduced resident management through improved wellness
Resident engagement, while a fundamental offering of the senior housing environment, also can be an expensive proposition. When seniors are depressed, for example, a housing operator may wind up carrying too heavy of a staff load, or bulking up on medical overhead, in order to give due attention where it is needed.
One way to stave off depression, and keep those costs in check, is to foster strong communications. It has been well-documented that seniors with strong social ties are more likely to remain healthy and independent. The technology investment here may take the form of a communications portal, one that makes it easy for seniors to stay connected with loved ones via social media, video chat and other tools. A single, user-friendly portal can do much to ensure seniors’ wellness – and to keep costs manageable in the long run.
The technology: IT consulting services
Savings: Technology overspending, misspending
Technology moves at an alarming rate and few of us are experts. It’s easy to make a misstep: To invest in the wrong tools, or fail to maximize the tools one has. Technology consultants know the landscape and can guide you through the myriad options, while also ensuring residents and staff know how to put the technology to best use. An up-front investment in professional consulting can yield big savings over time.
Have you connected the dots, looking for the ways in which today’s technology can help drive tomorrow’s business outcomes?