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BlogCCRCFrom Tech Woes to Tech Wows: Roland Park Place’s Iconic Journey

From Tech Woes to Tech Wows: Roland Park Place’s Iconic Journey

Not every senior living technology investment is a smash hit. That’s okay. What’s important is that you innovate and plan to improve. That’s precisely what Roland Park Place did.

Roland Park Place has been successful because leadership made the resident experience their greatest priority. That ethos comes from the personal and professional experiences of everyone from Roland Park Place’s associates to its President.

This experience and dedication is also what helped make Roland Park Place the #1 CCRC in Maryland and #11 CCRC in the nation.

To better understand how Icon’s technology expanded upon Roland Park Place’s mission to enhance the aging experience, we spoke with Roland Park Place’s VP of Operations, Kiril Apostolov.

The Problem: A Community Boxed in by Rigid Senior Living Technology

Prior to Icon, Roland Park Place used a different engagement solution. It was an industry standard, and leadership wanted a proven commodity. Unfortunately, residents found the platform confusing. And “there weren’t enough integrations with other tools that Roland Park Place used,” Kiril said.

So Roland Park Place cobbled together other solutions to address this integration issue. But the use of these disparate platforms meant that Roland Park Place couldn’t achieve full interoperability. The result: inadequate analytics. This made it harder to personalize life enrichment programs, wellness initiatives, and other aspects of the resident experience.

Another piece of context here is the expansiveness of Roland Park Place’s life enrichment program. “Residents go on 200-plus trips per year,” Kiril said. “Last year, we organized more than 160 concerts.” What’s more, these out-of-community events happen on top of the hundreds of activities hosted onsite. Without mature reporting capabilities, Roland Park Place staff couldn’t easily source data-driven insights from these events.

The organization of activity information on the portal also hurt resident engagement. Residents had to review multiple tabs to see which events were happening, when they took place, and where they would occur. It was a complicated process. And without built-in event reminders on the platform, interested residents would miss events they wanted to attend.

The bottom line: Roland Park Place needed a change. Staff knew it. Residents knew it. Leadership knew it. So, the community turned to Icon.

The Solution: Engagement Technology That Aligns with Resident Needs

The Icon adoption was a deliberate, multi-phase process.

It began when Kiril heard about Icon at a LeadingAge Maryland event several years ago. A presenter was recounting their positive experience moving to Icon. Kiril’s interest was piqued. So he sought out more information.

This kickstarted the pilot process. Notably, at Roland Park Place, residents always have a seat at the table. This meant that the resident tech committee continuously used Icon’s platform and shared feedback for two weeks. Because of Icon’s customizability, user testing informed pivotal changes to the platform. One big piece of feedback (that has since become a staple of Icon’s product): residents should get to any piece of info on the platform within three clicks.

The look, feel, and function of Icon’s engagement platform changed to fit the exact needs of Roland Park Place’s residents.

Once the testing process concluded, the full community implementation was set in motion. Things seemed promising, but the Roland Park Place staff knew that the hard work was far from over. Getting residents on board wouldn’t be easy. Fortunately, their concerns were completely alleviated. “The team didn’t know how it was going to go until Icon came on site and began the implementation presentation,” Kiril said. “Within five minutes of the presentation starting, we knew it would go well and be embraced by the residents.”

“The team didn’t know how it was going to go until Icon came on site and began the implementation presentation, within five minutes of the presentation starting, we knew it would go well and be embraced by the residents.”

Kiril Apostolov, VP of Operations, Roland Park Place

The Result: “If It’s Not on Icon, It Doesn’t Exist.”

Icon’s ability to listen and work with Roland Park Place – to know how certain features impact residents – has been incredibly important. “We were never told ‘No’ during the customization process,” Kiril said. “We’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”

The biggest benefit of Icon? “With the push of a button, you can do practically anything,” Kiril said. Staff can create a flyer and send it out in a matter of clicks. Residents can see all the activity information in one place. Everyone is on the same page.

After adopting Icon, Roland Park Place reduced phone calls to the front desk by 30 percent. Residents can now get answers independently. By replacing these types of old-school manual processes, Icon has freed up staff time, which gives RPP associates the chance to focus more on improving the resident experience. That resident experience has clearly improved with Icon, according to Kiril. “I’ve seen a pattern with residents. The more they use Icon, the more positively they feel about their experience at Roland Park Place.”

Of course, demystifying technology takes time. Initially, residents were hesitant about using Icon. It was a new platform. But now, Icon is the main interface for residents to receive information. “They know it. We know it,” Kiril said. “There’s a saying at Roland Park place: ‘If it’s not on Icon, it doesn’t exist.”’

This reality is supported by Roland Park Place’s engagement metrics. Leadership set a goal for 50 percent adoption community-wide after one year. The result: 60 percent adoption.

What’s Next for Roland Park Place: Rolling Out Smart Voice Technology

In the next year, Roland Park Place plans to deploy a fleet of smart voice devices. The tech is currently in the beta test stage of implementation, but leadership already sees the potential for it to improve lives. One compelling feature: the ability to call for help. Many residents have the “traditional setup,” where they have a personal wearable in case of an accident. But there can be a stigma with those devices. Icon’s Community Voice would let residents get help without wearing a device.

The future is flush with opportunity – even beyond the voice tech plans. “Icon is constantly introducing more features and API integration opportunities,” Kiril said. “This is a great partnership, and it’s awesome to see the progress being made.”Interested in seeing how Icon’s senior living tech can make a difference for your residents? Drop us a line or book a demo! We’re here to help.

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