By Dave Wessinger, president, PointClickCare
From a senior care perspective, we are starting to see many senior living communities shift their focus towards putting technology first. In fact, the shift over the last three years is exponentially more than all the progress from the last ten years combined.
As we continue to see an increase in the implementation of technology, we’ll also see residents’ quality of life improve because we are enabling them to age in place longer and remain in their preferred care setting.
In actuality, technological advancements and innovation are more likely to come to the senior living industry over any other care setting. Since these types of facilities are largely privately funded, senior living facilities are more likely to adopt these new innovations over those organizations that are funded by the government.
Overall, technology is starting to be more widely implemented to improve senior care by managing resident data more efficiently, all with a primary focus of helping our seniors to maintain the independence, health, and general wellness.
We have officially entered into a New Normal and technology overall will continue to play a larger role within the senior living space. Mobile technology will be even more critical and engaging family in care through the use of family engagement solutions will become foundational.
Leveraging an EHR as an underlying platform to improve overall care quality allows care providers to truly see resident needs and find creative ways to address them.
By taking a comprehensive approach to an EHR, providers in the senior living space can gain insight into the community’s key operating metrics, then adapt and adjust accordingly by regularly tracking clinical outcomes, staffing, and quality indicators.
From a data perspective, more and more senior living communities are recognizing the importance of interoperability. Data being collected shouldn’t just tell us where we are at, it should tell us where we are going by helping us predict potential issues before they happen.
Through the exchanging and driving of workflow, care providers have the ability to make decisions in real time, which ultimately improves the resident’s quality of life and care.
Regulatory changes will also be at the forefront of the senior care industry over the next few years. While, senior living providers will be taking on the brunt of the risk in the future, these upcoming standards will become necessary as we move towards integrated care coordination, to help us gain an even deeper understanding of the residents we serve.
Risk bearing entities will be partnering with senior living facilities to ensure their members are out of hospital and receiving services to prevent negative outcomes. This practice would result in lower cost to the payer, along with visibility into their performance, which could be a new revenue stream for facilities.
Additionally, artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to augment human capabilities in the healthcare field, by efficiently analyzing data and tracking patterns, but without replacing the empathetic human touch.
Predictive analytics will continue to play a significant role in the future, allowing us to predict resident complications, like falls, before they even happen.
The Internet of Things (IoT), the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects enabling them to send and receive data, will be used in everything from hearing aids to smart beds and toilets to in? home sensors.
Collecting 60,000 data points every minute, IoT will remove much of the human burden of recording data and doing paperwork.
By augmenting human capacity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT takes cost and waste out of the system and reduces human workload.
In 2020, we expect to see more organizations capitalize on artificial intelligence to monitor patient behavior, creating a safer environment and truly making a difference in empowered care.
Providing this actionable intelligence and automating data collection will drive effective and efficient care in the years ahead.