How Do I Know If I Need to Update My Technology Solutions for My Senior Living Community?
Technology has become an intractable part of everyday life. It facilitates communication. It enables us to connect, collaborate, and handle different tasks with convenience and ease. Technology has increased the quality of life for all of us, and the productivity of businesses everywhere. Senior living communities are no exception; and yet, for senior living communities to truly benefit from cutting-edge technologies, it’s important to have a proactive and strategic approach. That’s where a professional IT solutions company can help.
Companies that specialize in providing technology solutions can ensure that you have the technological infrastructure in place to support tools and resources for improving communication, promoting resident safety, and ensuring quality of life throughout your community. Moreover, a managed services IT company (MSP) can help you determine the right applications that are the best suited for your environment, all while avoiding overspending on services and solutions that you don’t really need.
Is it time for your senior living community to enlist the services of a professional IT solutions company? Here are a few of the most common signs that it’s time to explore new solutions.
Signs Your Senior Living Community Needs to Consult with a Professional IT Solutions Company:
1) You’ve experienced issues with medication management
In senior living communities, most residents take a variety of daily medications to maintain their health. It is critical for residents to take their medication as directed, without missing doses, taking too many doses, or mixing medicines that aren’t supposed to be taken together. These concerns are anything but minor, and in some cases, can be matters of life and death.
The problem is that for seniors, medication management can be difficult, and innocent mistakes happen all the time. Even if your staff is responsible for medication management, there is still room for error, especially when multiple caregivers oversee the medication of a single resident.
As you assess your needs, ask yourself: Have residents in your community experienced problems due to the mismanagement of medication? Or have staff members found it time-consuming or challenging to keep medications in order?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, it may be time to consider consulting with a new provider. Managed Service Provider companies that specialize in senior living can help you implement an automated system to help monitor medication use, making the responsibility of medication management more efficient and organized for your team members.
The bottom line: Choosing the right technology to help your staff manage medication can eliminate the risk of errors being made, which in turn promotes the safety and wellbeing of your residents.
2) Your records are disorganized
In addition to medication management, one of the most important and time-consuming aspects of running a senior living community is maintaining residents’ medical records.
Due to their age, most residents experience frequent medical appointments and changes to their medical status. It’s important for your organization to have up-to-date records showing relevant diagnoses, treatments, medications, known allergies and reactions, and more. The problem is that maintaining paper records is time-consuming and doesn’t include any safeguards to prevent errors from being made. Even the most meticulous staff members may make an occasional error or misplace a resident’s file.
An electronic record-keeping system can help eliminate these mistakes and requires much less time and attention than maintaining paper files. It is much easier for staff members to access and update the records they need at any time, from anywhere in the community, using an electronic record-keeping system.
If you’ve noticed problems or inefficiencies while maintaining resident records, it is likely time to consult with an experienced IT provider to find the best EHR solution to suit your needs.
3) You’ve had ongoing problems with infections
When you manage a senior living community, your highest priority is keeping residents safe and healthy. In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, infection control has become a top priority and senior living communities have had to enhance their safety practices to detect and contain any viral breakouts amongst residents and staff.
If your residents or staff members have experienced high rates of infection or disease transmission, there could be a number of underlying causes. It may benefit you to review all of your internal infection prevention policies and make changes to your procedures as needed.
There is a high likelihood that some community infections are spread by phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Since these devices are passed back and forth from surface to surface and person to person, they provide the highest risk for transmitting bacteria and germs.
To slow this spread of germs, CareServ has developed a self-cleaning coating that when sprayed onto devices, kills bacteria on contact making them safer for staff to use. This coating provides protection for up to 12 months and can be used on technical devices as well as table surfaces, tv remotes, drapes and other items that might be a source of bacteria.
4) Your residents are limited in their communication options
If the primary goal of your senior living community is to support the health and wellness of residents, upholding their quality of life must also be a top priority.
As you think about ways to make life better for residents, ease of communication is an important aspect to consider. Residents need to be able to communicate their needs to staff members, especially those residents who are infirmed and may have a difficult time moving around or accessing staff members quickly. Additionally, residents need simple and convenient methods to stay connected with their children, grandchildren, and friends who live elsewhere.
Luckily, there are more communication tools available today than ever before. Think voice calls, video calls, instant messaging, social media, and more. The challenge with these tools is that using them may not come easily to older folks who are unaccustomed to digital technology. Furthermore, presenting a gamut of communication tools to these residents can prove to be daunting and overwhelming.
Managed Service Providers can help eliminate these challenges by providing easy-to-use, unified communication platforms that provide residents with simple ways to talk with the people they love. Enlisting the expertise of a professional IT services company like CareServ is the easiest way to identify which platforms might work best for your community and ensure safety and compliance.
5) There are concerns about the safety of your residents
Slip-and-fall accidents are very common among older people, and the consequences can be severe. Residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia are prone to wandering, a serious behavioral issue that can result in accident, injury, or simply becoming lost.
Have your staff members voiced concerns about the safety of residents? Do accidents like falls or wandering happen often in your community?
If so, then investing in the newest technology tools that are designed to promote resident safety may be a necessary next step. Integrated wireless technology that includes alerts for movement, falls, and wandering can provide peace of mind in dementia care centers. A completely wireless device can be installed that provides continual monitoring of each patient's respiration, heart rate, sleep cycles, movement and visitor presence without leads, cuffs or pressure-based sensors. A series of text messages, and/or email alerts can be set up to give immediate notification of certain situations if desired, or a dashboard can be a quick reference for all residents being monitored. Using this technology can be a great tool to prevent accidents from occuring and create a safer environment. Consulting the right technology provider can help you find the best safety solutions for your residents and community.
6) Your staff members are overburdened
New technology can help more than just your residents. By providing staff members with tools that allow them to work more efficiently, you can increase job satisfaction at your community and improve your employees’ overall quality of life.
Here are examples of technology solutions that can help staff members do their jobs more effectively:
- Medication management solutions eliminate the tediousness associated with maintaining physical medication logs, while also providing staff members with important safety check reminders.
- Integrated communication and conferencing tools also make it much easier for you to communicate directly with your staff and allow team members to collaborate more efficiently.
- New Wireless Technology solutions make it easier for staff members and caregivers to interact with residents, monitor them, and respond to their needs.
By monitoring the wellbeing and satisfaction of your employees, you can determine whether they could benefit from an MSP Solutions partner. If you notice your staff becoming burnt out or exhausted, you may be able to alleviate their burden with a smart investment. By supporting your staff, you can ultimately ensure a higher standard of care for residents as well.
7) Your senior living community has been violated by a cyber-attack
If you’ve been targeted by cybercriminals or experienced a security breach, your community could benefit from new IT solutions.
By their very nature, senior living communities must maintain delicate and confidential information. This includes personal health records, medical data, payment information, and more.
Without the right security measures in place, it’s all too easy for cybercriminals to access sensitive information and expose it. This often happens as the result of employees opening emails or links that they shouldn’t, or storing patient data on personal phones and sharing it accidentally, either of which can lead to a cyber hack or even a hefty HIPAA violation fine.
If your community experiences a data breach and confidential information is exposed, you could be assessed a HIPAA violation fine of up to $50,000 per violation. In addition, other entities could bring possible lawsuits that would only increase the financial damage. To safeguard your community from cyber-attacks, it’s vital to have the right security protocols in place. A Managed Services company with expertise in HIPAA laws and cybersecurity can help you find the best solution to fit both your needs and your budget.
Find new IT Solutions for Your Senior Living Community
Technology, when properly deployed, can make life more enjoyable for everyone. It can improve efficiency and boost morale among your staff members. It can promote safety and improve the quality of life among your residents. The right IT solutions can keep your community and its confidential information safe from potential online assailants and prevent regulatory fines.
As you consider implementing a new technological infrastructure in your community, it’s important to enlist the guidance of an expert Managed Services Provider. CareServ is unique: We’re experts in technology and also experts in the specific needs of senior living communities. Contact us to learn about the technologies and tools that we can offer your organization or schedule a FREE community evaluation today.