Increasing Census in Senior Care: 4 Customer Experience Strategies

Doug Wilcox

Doug Wilcox, CEO, SafeKeeping

With occupancy rates in senior care down significantly since the coronavirus outbreak, many care providers are starting to figure out how to climb back their census. At the same time, family expectations have changed dramatically in reaction to the limitations that the pandemic has placed on their ability to check on and support their loved one’s well being in person.

“The tolerance for a bad customer experience is declining dramatically,” says SafeKeeping CEO Doug Wilcox. SafeKeeping provides senior care centers its “How’s Mom” family connections platform that enables facilities to share care data with residents’ families. “Communications are moving at an unprecedented pace,” Wilcox explains, “and senior care providers are faced with the challenge of serving care staff and families at the same time. With the focus on COVID, it’s tough for facilities to keep up.”

There is a growing realization that the successful senior care providers of the future will be the ones who provide a superior experience for both residents and families. Industry leaders are deploying these strategies to help their facilities provide standout experiences and drive census, in turn.

Provide a Self-Serve Solution

Integrating and automating family interactions can create a more cohesive and satisfying experience for family members, but this type of responsiveness can be a strain on staff time and resources. Communication tools that integrate directly into your EHR make it easy to connect and share with residents’ families with minimal staff effort.

Implementing innovative technology solutions can let staff better focus on residents while ensuring families interact and get the information that they want and need. Families trust the facility more when they receive the information and updates they need, when they want them, and in the most convenient way. Giving families some control reduces the stress and concerns prevalent during this time.

Share the Important Information

There are some tools that allow the sharing of photos and activity schedules, which can help the anxiety of separation from loved ones. But families increasingly want more relevant care information to ensure their loved ones are safe and secure.

Sharing real-time info like vitals, medication updates, changes in condition, gives family members much more concrete updates about their loved one and the care they are receiving. Receiving these types of updates gives family members true peace of mind and builds trust in the fact that their loved one is safe.

Provide Real-Time Feedback Channels

Families are important health advocates for their residents and they want to be heard. Giving them the chance to directly provide “anytime feedback” is not only an effective Service Recovery tool, but can give facilities a mountain of customer experience data to identify problems before they become part of scheduled surveys or complaints on more public forums.

Providing a continual feedback channel that gives families an easy, convenient way to share with your care staff enables you to develop a real-time NPS score for your facilities and more timely feedback than traditional annual surveys or post-discharge questionnaires.

Use the Family Experience as a Recruiting Tool

Delivering an excellent family experience can contribute to the satisfaction and approval of current residents and families, but it also plays an important role in recruiting and driving new facility admissions. To leverage these benefits, use an app or a portal that you can share with families at your point of contact, whether that’s at a hospital, through an association, during an initial marketing visit, or when a family signs up for a virtual tour of your facility.

This technology serves as a connection point that can facilitate future conversations and ensures that potential leads aren’t lost. It can also give families insight into the experience that they would share were their loved one under your care.

Perhaps the most lasting effect of COVID-19 on senior care will be the shifting focus on the customer experience as being a key to census growth. The right technology is essential in creating this unique and memorable customer experience, especially when it comes to streamlining communication and providing updates on demand.

Platforms like How’s Mom by SafeKeeping establish vital family connections, allowing family members to access information on medications, vitals, conditions, and more. Families can provide feedback and schedule meetings and visits right through the app for better connections with your facility that don’t require additional staff resources. Facilities can use this type of technology to establish positive family experiences and successfully drive census while managing contacts and compliance reporting through its EHR integration.

Topics: Activities , Executive Leadership , Facility management , Featured Articles , Information Technology , Leadership , Technology & IT