The senior living industry is known to not be the earliest adopters of technology. However, COVID-19 forced industry professionals to be creative in how they leverage technology within communities. One thing has become very apparent over the past year: senior living technology can be very valuable for these communities.
Matt Reiners, Co-Founder of Eversound, recently interviewed
Mandy Hampton, Chief Operating Officer for The Ridge Senior Living, on the impact technology has on senior living communities. Mandy provided input on the impact technology can have on the success of a business. During this interview, she shared three valuable tips on what to think about before implementing technology in order to see the best results.
Tip #1: Use senior living technology to streamline information
Matt: “What is the greatest impact technology can have for a business, specifically in the senior living industry?”
Mandy: “I think it just helps streamlines. It gets information out faster because that’s the world we live in. Last year, everyone’s just been stuck at home, glued to their tablets or phones or streaming news. Things are happening in real time and people expect timely communication.”
This is an important point to understand. With easier access to information through tablets, phones, and computers, people expect timely communication especially when it involves the health and wellness of their elderly family members.
Mandy: “They are not going to wait a week for a weekly update. It’s just not going to be acceptable anymore.”
Tip #2 Don’t be the guinea pig
Matt: “What challenges do companies typically face when they’re integrating new technology into their communities?”
Mandy: “Is the software tried and true or are you going to be the guinea pigs? I tend to not want to be the guinea pig… Know where they really are with their development… Know what the deliverables are and what the deadlines are.”
The last thing a company wants is to invest in technology that is new and most likely will break. Taking the extra time to understand who your company is can make a difference in the long-run.
Tip #3 Ask for the good, bad, and the ugly
Matt: “How do you vet technology companies or providers in order to find the right one for your community?”
Mandy: “I do a lot of reference checks. I call the communities directly that are using it, and say ‘give me the good, bad, and the ugly. Tell me how many people are actually using it. Is it saving your time? Is it beneficial to the residents and the staff?’ And if they say ‘no’… I’m going to pass.”
Use your resources. Other communities have already been through the vetting process and may have good advice on what to do or what not to do. You want to know as much information as you can about the potential technology provider because they will have an effect on your residents, their families, and the staff. There is nothing wrong with being thorough. Your residents deserve the best care and service and that will come with the help of the right technology provider.
Tip #4 Choose like-minded vendors
Matt: “Do you have any tried and true practices when it comes to picking the right technology company?”
Mandy: “I just flat out ask the question, ‘What is your firm and what’s your long term goal?’ And do the sniff test to see if they really don’t know or maybe they do know what the plan is. If they are going to sell out to another larger organization that intends to use that company long term, that’s probably a win for us. But, if they’re going to sell it out to someone else and then they’re going to strip the technology, then obviously that’s not the best.”
Understanding the goals and the future of the company you plan on working with will allow you to choose a vendor that aligns with your needs and will be there for you in the long-term.
Once you’ve thought through these elements and understood what your community’s needs are, it’s time to take that next step of investing in technology that increases the efficiency and safety of the community.
Mandy: “I can’t tell you how many staff members have pulled me aside and residents pulled me aside and said, ‘Thank you so much for this investment.’”
At the end of the day, the goal is to make residents of senior living community happy. Streamlining information to residents, their families, and staff with the help of technology makes all parties involved happy. Learn more about Eversound at www.eversoundhq.com.