Upgrade resident satisfaction with these cool technologies

If only we had more time to spend with residents, we could make them happier. But with increasing paperwork, regulations, and reporting requirements, LTC providers find themselves spending less time with residents and more time pushing paper or handling other administrative tasks. Fortunately, there are some cool new tech products that can help facilities streamline processes so staff can spend less time on non-value-added work and more time with residents.

The Nokia Digital Pen SU-1B

Take for example the digital pen that uploads prescriptions you write and transmits them to a pharmacy. The nursing home in Canada that’s using it says it has increased the reliability and efficiency of their medication administration process. It could also mean that since orders and patient records are updated faster, physicians are able to spend more time with residents.

Meanwhile, a nursing home in California uses another digital pen and paper technology to improve routine documentation by certified nursing assistants. In that case, the facility has not only saved time and money, but also reduced pressure ulcers by 30% by identifying at-risk patients sooner. In both cases, time saved means more time spent building relationships and improving resident satisfaction.

Other technologies that could help support resident satisfaction efforts include smartphone applications that allow patient documentation on a mobile device like a BlackBerry. The maker of one such application estimates it can save physicians up to 60 minutes per week. That’s a lot of time that could be spent with residents.

And if your facility has an electronic medical record, HP has a new technology for uploading your documents. The Document Capture for Admissions and Electronic Medical Records Solution lets staff capture and process documents like medical records through multifunction printers. Staff can scan and route medical records into a selected medical record system at the touch of button.

These are just a few examples of technology that can help you spend more time with residents. They may or may not be the solution for your facility and there are many more on the market to consider.

If you decide to invest in new technology, make sure you implement it carefully and thoughtfully. Technology is rarely a one-step solution to broken processes. Adding expensive equipment to an unnecessary process is not a wise investment, so before you invest in any technology, consider these questions:

  • Is the process essential?
  • Does it add value to the resident?
  • Is this the most effective way to complete the task at hand?

If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then you might consider adding technology to further improve the process. Otherwise, you’re simply adding an expensive band-aid to a broken leg. Barbara O’Connell is Co-founder and partner of WhereToFindCare.com, LLC, which provides free healthcare quality and satisfaction information to consumers and low-cost marketing and patient satisfaction solutions to healthcare providers including nursing homes, assisted living communities, and more.

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