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How Insights Technology Can Help Address Senior Living’s Largest Issues

By Danielle Myers

In senior living, facilities use countless systems to run their communities—mass notification, resident engagement, nurse call, access control, and more. Though each tool improves a senior living community, most technologies are not being used to their full potential.

These systems all collect and store different data—how often a resident partakes in activities, residents’ mood, visitor traffic, or employee response times. These data points offer unique insight for what’s happening within a community, but when they’re all working separately, it can be difficult to pull trends. However, when all of these systems are tied onto one platform, their data can be pulled together and simply displayed on an analytics dashboard which can reveal patterns, insights, and help inform decisions.

An analytics dashboard breaks down of all of the information your systems provide. For instance, the aggregated data may reveal a pattern of increased alerts and decreased nurse response times each Monday. With this information, you can work to improve that situation, whether it be staffing an additional nurse or getting to the bottom of why alerts spike on Mondays.

By automating the aggregation and presentation of this data, you eliminate the tedious task of doing it manually. Not only does this save you valuable time, but it provides a quick and easy way to view and interpret your data based on customized time metrics. For instance, if you want to view nurse response rates over the course of a short period, such as a week or a month, you are able to do that, but you can also view the same data from a longer timeframe, like the course of a year, which can reveal different patterns and insights.

An analytics dashboard also helps to organize your data for specific end users. Staff members, facility managers, and residents’ family members will likely have an interest in different data points. A staff member, such as a nurse, will be more interested in having access to and being able to review information about a specific resident before arriving to their door, while facility administrators and operators will be more interested in information about the entire facility, and family members will be more interested in the resident’s mood, the activities they’re attending, and their schedule. By providing each of these end users with customized data, senior living communities are able to improve residents’ quality of care, facility operations, and family engagement.

Staff members can also use data to improve their workflow and interactions with residents. For example, before entering a resident’s room, a nurse can check the resident’s data, such as their average morning check in, recent mood, how much they’ve been attending activities and events, etc. This can help steer their interaction and ensure they are both on the same page. Recording data after the visit can also help other staff members better understand the resident’s current situation. By analyzing a resident’s mood, staff can also help to improve their quality of life. Consider a resident being recorded as being upset almost every Wednesday over time.  More than likely, there is likely a reason behind that, which means there is likely also a way to improve their situation, but without the data this resident’s distress may go unnoticed.

Facility administrators require a more broad view of their communities’ operations. By pulling data from all of the facilities under their corporate umbrella and pushing it to an analytics dashboard, facility administrators have the ability to analyze the climate of their entire organization, one community in particular, and even a specific staff member or resident. From tracking overall response time to how many tasks individuals complete, aggregated data provides a means for leadership to see employee performance first-hand, keeping employees motivated to perform at their highest levels. With that being said, the data can be leveraged to boost employee retention while increasing operational efficiencies.

Even residents’ family members can benefit from an analytics dashboard. Many family members live long distances from their loved ones residing in senior living communities and may not be able to visit them as often as they’d like. The dashboard provides family members with a platform to gain basic insights into their loved one’s activities and overall health based on engagement, emergency alerting, and other data factors displayed through dashboards. This enables family members to stay up to date with their loved one’s overall well-being without disrupting staff or overwhelming their loved one. The use of an analytic dashboard allows seniors’ health and safety to be better managed by family and staff, while allowing them to maintain a sense of independence.

Whether it’s as minute as a single resident’s mood or as broad as a whole facility’s average amount of daily alerts, by leveraging this data and information, facilities can deliver proactive care and early intervention to avoid crises across the continuum of care – from acute care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, to senior living communities.

CREDIT: Danielle Myers is the general manager of Status Solutions, a risk management and situational awareness technology company.