3 lessons of technological integration for the elderly in 2018

The 21st Century Senior Living Community is a series brought to you by CDW, a provider of technology solutions and services focused exclusively on serving the healthcare market. The series takes a lucid look at how leading vendors and their partners are creating the next generation of seniors communities by raising the bar for service, design and technology.

As elderly care providers continue to embrace technology to provide the most modern care techniques, five areas of technology will be booming in 2018: wearable devices, the Internet of Things, telemedicine, voice activation and security. More important than any technology, however, is how they work together.

This is because while the technology in senior residences is created to meet the specific needs of residents, senior housing providers who do not integrate their systems are not maximizing the value of their investment. Residents, staff, family and the bottom line suffer.

A senior housing provider, technology provider and industry thought leader recently spoke to Senior Housing News, highlighting three of the most important facts about integrating technology into senior housing. elderly.

1. Integrated technology is more powerful than the sum of its parts

Seniors’ care providers who take a siled approach to technology are not getting the full value of technology, in part because the data value of one technology increases when combined with another.

Take wearables, for example. Yes, the data extracted from an activity tracker is valuable in itself. But when paired with data pulled from another source, such as room sensors that monitor movements to the bathroom, a provider gets a more complete perspective on a resident’s health.

“A person’s health isn’t just their blood pressure, weight or blood sugar, it’s all combined,” says Michael Skaff, chief information officer for the San Francisco-based senior housing provider. , Jewish Senior Living Group. Skaff recently sat down with SHN for a white paper on the top tech trends in senior living in 2018.

Operational efficiencies also give providers a 360-degree view of residents. A resident’s portable telehealth devices produce a constant stream of biometric data, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Integrated technology allows this data to connect directly to a facility’s electronic health records.

“Your clinical staff examine trends in biometrics daily or even hourly,” says Majd Alwan, senior vice president of technology and executive director of the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technology (CAST). “And at the same time, they have the context and the information that is stored in the electronic health record being part of the full picture.”

2. When technology is integrated, the benefits flow to operations, staff, residents and even your bottom line.

The more a community is able to integrate its technological devices and systems, the better the experience will be for its residents and staff. A better experience means higher occupancy rates and less staff turnover. And when providers can track the data, they can be more accurate with the information they provide to families about residents.

All of these factors combine to create a more prosperous experience for everyone involved.

For Alwan, the most important technological integration in retirement homes and the closest to reality is full voice activation. Residents will use voice-activated technology to manage everything from their TVs to telehealth displays that provide information to doctors.

This will be crucial for residents and staff. Picture this: A resident with a voice-activated telehealth system is greeted daily by the device and asks her questions about her condition – questions that the resident’s doctor writes down to provide an up-to-date report on the health of the patient. resident. These questions may relate to the resident’s recent medication, diet, sleep and exercise habits.

The screen will collect all of the resident’s oral responses and broadcast the responses to the system backend. Based on the responses, the system will then generate a specific alert that will recommend a course of action from the telehealth nurse, who will receive the information, and then call the resident to check and discuss next steps.

The nurse in this scenario is not only given the opportunity to provide better care based on better information about the resident. He also gets better work experience overall.

“The value of technology and automation technology… comes from the ability to enter data once and make it available wherever it is relevant, regardless of the system, making it accessible to other members of the organization. team, regardless of the software system they are currently using. using, ”says Alwan. “So basically they would lose efficiency. “

3. The obstacles to technological integration are real, but manageable

In 2018, the integration of technology in retirement homes is not only a differentiator. It becomes table stakes.

“Make sure whatever decision you make aligns with your technology strategy,” says Steve Elder, communications director for STANLEY Healthcare, which provides a range of technology services to communities of seniors. “And at this point every senior community needs to have a technology strategy.”

Communities whose technology is not integrated face two main risks, Elder says. First, they lose the aforementioned operational efficiencies. Second, they don’t have a complete view of the data they need to make the best care decisions.

Elder sees several challenges for these communities on their path to integration:

* Technology designed for the consumer space does not necessarily work for the elderly or for lifestyles with a multitude of users

* An understanding of the complexity of integration

* Have the internal resources or external partners necessary for integration

* Cost

“My first tip is to do a check on what you have and figure out what you can do,” Elder says. This means that a vendor doesn’t have to spend any money on integration until they know the potential for integration with existing technology.

Once the vendor understands this, they need to create a roadmap of what they want to achieve with their integrated system. Are they primarily focused on collecting data to paint a bigger picture of residents’ health? Do they want to create a comprehensive telehealth system that will limit travel and travel for residents?

Elder recommends that vendors interested in a technology integration perform an audit, talk to professionals, develop a comprehensive technology strategy, and create a functional roadmap.

“We think it’s very important that in every engagement with the customer, they take a broad view,” says Elder.

Written by Jack silverstein

About Shirley L. Kreger

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