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How Technology Unifies Senior Living Owner-Operators, Enterprise Members, Regional Directors, and Community Leaders

With building costs and insurance premiums around record highs, many senior living owners are reevaluating plans to expand their portfolios with new developments. This refocus has everyone across the leadership chain (from owners to community leaders) looking for ways to optimize costs while delivering higher-quality care.

But it’s not easy to get everyone on the same page. An activities director may see the benefits of expanding a community’s life enrichment program, for instance, but not have a way of clearly communicating the ROI to the enterprise.

Without a shared vision – a shared vocabulary – across the leadership chain, communities risk losing their sense of direction. In real terms, this lack of direction could result in everything from inconsistent wellness initiatives to increased staff turnover. That hurts business and quality of care.

Fortunately technology can help bridge the gap between ownership, the enterprise, the onsite leaders, and others. Here are three ways it does just that.

1. Tracks and Aggregates Data Across Communities

Most senior living communities have some form of data collection, whether that comes in the form of running excel spreadsheets or physical sign-up forms for different events. But it’s possible – even common – that communities under the same owner-operator have different ways of tracking and reporting data. This inconsistency creates problems for each level of leadership. Here’s why – and how technology can help.

At the community level: Leaders don’t have a proven way to demonstrate value. They might anecdotally see that residents seem happier since the launch of a new cardio-fitness program. But without an unbiased way to measure engagement or satisfaction, these findings lose credibility. And the program could, potentially, get lost in a wave of budget cuts.

At the regional level: The lack of data standardization can prevent leadership from maximizing on a valuable offering – cardio-fitness programming. Without a clear way of tying this initiative to its impact, regional leaders risk missing out on what could be a competitive differentiator in their area.

At the enterprise / owner-operator level: Without reporting that aggregates costs, resident engagement, and other key metrics, owner-operators are forced back to the drawing board to find new profit-driving measures. This potentially squanders the benefits of an existing cardio-fitness program simply because there’s no clear way of defining its value.

Now here’s how the right senior living tech can help. Platforms that include enterprise dashboards

  1. Compile performance metrics in one place.
  2. Visualize data insights.
  3. Measure performance across communities and properties.
  4. Track trends over time.

This means that leaders in the region and beyond can easily see how communities are performing on the ground. And because this data largely comes from technology like digital calendars and engagement platforms – that community directors oversee – community directors know how their community is being measured.

2. Structures Life Enrichment and Wellness Programs

Paper-based systems are outdated. They’re often littered with inconsistencies and they’re not equipped for last-second changes. (If you want to update an event, you’d need to take down old sign-up sheets, print off new ones, and individually alert residents of the change.)

All this to say: paper-based systems aren’t keeping your life enrichment program on track. They’re not keeping everyone in leadership on the same page. And, crucially, they’re not what the new wave of residents want (or expect) from their senior living provider. This is where engagement technology comes in.

With a digital calendar and engagement platform, activity leaders can…

  • Track resident satisfaction, attendance, and NPS.
  • Plan and organize events by dimension of care (physical, spiritual, emotional, etc.).
  • Broadcast events via phone calls, texts, emails, mobile notifications, and Alexa-enabled alerts.

Housing all these insights and features on one platform certainly streamlines the activity planning (and execution) process. But it also gives every member across the leadership chain a shared place of understanding.

With a digital calendar, leaders can see, in real terms, how certain goals (promote wellness-centered living, for example) manifest in communities. If an owner-operator is toying around with, say, adding a fitness center to a property, a digital calendar can go a long way in (A) proving demand via resident feedback and participation and (B) imparting trust that community leaders are effectively planning life enrichment activities and would do so in the future.

3. Standardizes Messaging from the Brand

In senior living, communication is everything. Families need to know how their loved ones are doing. Residents need an easy way to engage with each other. Staff members need to regularly check in with both groups to ensure everyone is seen after and spoken with.

Zoomed out, this seems easy enough to accomplish. Just make community members feel valued and heard, right? While that’s a valuable starting point, the communication strategy for a senior living operator is more complex than that.

Let’s say you’re an owner-operator that runs a dozen or so communities in the same region. How do you communicate about inclement weather, or safety precautions, to your residents in a timely manner? How do you communicate rate increases? Or changes to billing systems? How do you communicate technology rollouts?

Sure, you can have individual staff members of communities relay the gist of these messages, but that invites the potential for inconsistency. And, without a way of overseeing these messages, you and the senior living enterprise are left out of the loop. You don’t know exactly what was said. And in cases that relate to safety or finances, that kind of ambiguity is a risk.

Technology like bi-directional communication tools help eliminate this risk. There are two key reasons for this. They let you…

  1. Draft, standardize, and send messages to multiple parties at same (or different) times. Think: a community director could share reminders for an upcoming Fourth of July barbecue to residents and family members. Or an enterprise leader could draft a rate increase message that goes out to residents from applicable communities.
  2. Access every sent message, reply, and draft from the platform. Everyone from operators to community directors can see (A) which messages they sent and (B) what replies they received. This creates a paper trail for every message sent in the platform and offers insights that leaders can use to fuel their comms strategy.

Want to see how smart solutions can also save time and enhance care for residents? Check out this blog for more: What Is Smart Aging™? An In-Depth Exploration from Icon

Cut Costs and Enhance Care with Multi-Site Senior Living Technology

It might seem counterintuitive to purchase technology when you’re attempting to cut costs. But the right forms of senior living tech can quickly save you money – and then some.

Still, not every senior living technology platform is right for your community. If you want to unify your leaders, you need a solution that’s built for that specific purpose.

You need Icon.Want to hear more about how our technology has driven an 80% reduction in time spent on resident life administrative tasks – or how it yields a 50% increase in family satisfaction within six months? Book a demo!

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