Breaking Down Silos in Senior Care IT
Senior care and post-acute organizations should realize by now that technology is not just an IT issue. It should be a discussion with the CEO, clinical staff, the head of operations and even maintenance staff. For example, from a maintenance standpoint, there are platforms that can keep track of requests in an office and replace sticky notes.
Within a campus, organizational collaboration is key, so conversations around technology must involve those representing resident engagement, sales and more. That way, new technology adoption will have stronger buy-in from stakeholders across departments.
Tips for Building Partnerships in Senior Care IT
Partnerships outside of a senior care or post-acute organization, such as with vendors, must be used to their full advantage. For example, one senior care organization wanted to buy a new HR tool, but then the team realized it already had a platform it was underutilizing because it hadn’t built a connection with the vendor to figure out the full scope of the solution.
Strong, long-term and vendor-agnostic partnerships with companies that have experts experienced specifically in the senior care and post-acute sectors are poised to help organizations find the best solutions for their enterprises, staff and residents and patients. They want to truly help organizations grow and take care of their residents and patients.
As senior care organizations face staff shortages and mergers and acquisitions, managed services provide much-needed relief in critical yet often underskilled areas. When a merger adds more end users and more devices, there may not be an increase in IT staff responsible for managing the larger workload. Managed services can help offset that extra work, taking on the time-consuming work of network and server patching. From an IT Infrastructure Library perspective, how great would it be to have that change or incident management support that is lacking?
Through a managed service provider, senior care or post-acute organizations can offload the busy work of configuring new gear, for instance, and become more strategic with the implementation of new resident engagement or upgrading electronic health records systems. An MSP for help desk support can also lighten the load on a small IT staff that can’t offer 24/7 coverage.
Cybersecurity can also move to the forefront for senior care and post-acute organizations that may not have CISO roles. Organizations can rely on partners to help them devise their security strategies, especially as cyberattacks threaten all areas of healthcare.
Moving Forward in Senior Care with Modern Networks
Interoperability is a growing necessity in this sector. Care staff should not have to go to three or four different sources to find or document information. Communication should be seamless, from hospital to a skilled nursing facility or a home caregiver, as a patient moves through that continuum of care.
Fall-prevention monitoring is also advancing to protect privacy and support care efficiency. The use of voice-activated tools, artificial intelligence, radar and lidar will offer less-intrusive fall monitoring. Alerts connected to a caregiver’s smartphone also may help improve responsiveness.
To deploy emerging technologies and future-proof their communities, senior care and post-acute organizations must update their network infrastructures as they support staff, residents and patients.
This article is part of HealthTech’s MonITor blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using #WellnessIT.