What Every Senior Housing Operator Should Know About Health Monitoring Technology

Senior living executives can’t afford to ignore ambient, environmentally embedded health monitoring technology. Nearly every article from senior living thought leaders on trends in the space largely focus on the impact that new senior housing technologies, like remote health monitoring, will have on the industry. For example The Senior List and A Place for Mom both recently highlighted how health monitoring technology will help to transform senior living.

Health Monitoring Reduces Adverse Health Incidents

The core purpose of health monitoring technologies is to proactively alert providers to potential health incidents among the resident population. These technologies can perform fall risk assessments, alert staff about conditions that lead to pressure ulcers, and provide early illness detection through vital sign monitoring. Should an incident such as a fall occur despite these precautions, health monitoring technologies provide instantaneous alerts to staff who can intervene without a resident needing to activate any alert system such as a pull cord or a pendant.

Health Monitoring Technology is Discrete and Unobtrusive

Top-of-the-line sensor based monitoring technologies are environmentally embedded, ambient, and passive: meaning, they are placed in the resident’s living space but do not require the residents to wear clumsy equipment. To the untrained eye, there is no way to tell the difference between an assisted living apartment outfitted with sensor based monitoring technology and an apartment that lacks this key safety feature.

Health Monitoring Technologies Empower Caregiving Staff

Health monitoring technologies do not necessarily replace caregiving staff, but they empower them to focus on their core duties. Rather than spending their time performing repeated, redundant checks on residents’ basic welfare, they can focus on one-on-one hands-on care that residents count on.

Health Monitoring Technologies Mitigate the Chance of a Serious Lawsuit

Senior living always carries an element of risk in the area of litigation. One national provider was recently the subject of a $23 million judgement due to a ruling of improper care. Advanced sensor-based monitoring can help prevent the circumstances that lead to lawsuits such as falls, pressure ulcers, or, at memory care facilities, resident elopement due to unchecked wandering.

Providers Not Using Health Monitoring Technologies Will Be Left in the Dust

As more and more providers adopt health monitoring technologies and reap their benefits, providers not using these systems will be left in the dust. For example, providers with modern health monitoring technologies in place see increased occupancy rates, both through increased length of stay, and by generating more leads by offering consumers a highly desirable amenity.

Health Monitoring Technologies Have Grown Up a Lot in the Last Decade

Just as cell phones and other computing technologies have advanced exponentially in the last decade, so have health monitoring technologies for senior living communities. Health monitoring technology in 2015 is leagues ahead of its technological predecessors of the years past – both in terms of capability and quality. Providers that may have initiated an RFI for health monitoring technologies five or ten years ago and decided the investment was not worth it may be surprised at how much the market has changed, and how much more emerging technologies have to offer today.

Do your communities currently use any kind of health monitoring technologies? Let us know below.

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