Operating a long-term care community without updated, integrated technology can present major challenges for staff and residents alike. Inefficiencies with inaccurate, out-of-date data and devices that do not operate securely where and when you need it to not only has a negative impact on your bottom line, but can generate frustrations among staff and have dangerous consequences for residents.
If caregivers have better technology to work with, it streamlines processes, allowing them to provide better quality of care. When you implement the right technology with a solid technical support system, everyone impacted by your organization wins.
Knowing that most long-term care communities operate on tight budgets, we prioritized the top four technological upgrades you should focus on implementing for your organization. Your staff and residents will thank you.
1. EHR Software
Electronic Health Records, known as EHR software, will help better organize residents’ health records, providing access to caregivers where and when they need it. The right EHR software will eliminate redundancies and keep any changes in your residents’ records at your staff’s fingertips in real time.
Digitizing resident records allows medical professionals and caretakers to securely share information in order to provide safer, coordinated care. It greatly reduces the chance for healthcare errors, as all records are legible, complete, and up-to-date.
For staff, it will improve productivity and efficiency and decrease frustrations, allowing them to stop focusing on paperwork and spend more time with residents.
Your organization will also likely see reduced costs through the decreased amount of paperwork, time spent on said paperwork, and liability created by inaccurate resident records.
2. A Dedicated Business Circuit
Using dedicated internet access is an important technology your community can benefit from immensely. One option is leveraging an ethernet circuit, if available. Investing in a dedicated circuit means your community will have guaranteed bandwidth.
Without unpredictable fluctuations in connection speed from sharing with guest and resident internet use, your staff won’t have to worry about the quality of your internet connection when uploading, downloading, or load times in general, eliminating a huge headache and loss of productivity for the entire team.
3. Mobile Device Management
Mobile devices are likely already a big part of resident care in your community. To stay connected with staff on the go or to access patient records from different parts of the facility, using mobile technology is essential. While mobile devices are contributing greatly to time-saving health care administration, managing those devices can cause frustration for your staff.
The right service will provide a cost-effective, proactive solution to keeping your mobile devices HIPAA-compliant and secure. It will also provide features such as inventory and application management, software blacklisting, remote device locking and wiping, and regular reporting.
4. Office 365
Microsoft's products are still very important in helping organize business data. Microsoft’s cloud-based software, Office 365, allows staff to access and share documents remotely and across devices. When properly delivered, Office 365 meets HIPAA compliance requirements, along with local regulatory privacy requirements for healthcare organizations.
Because documents live in the cloud, collaboration between caregivers is more efficient. Being able to access Office on any device also means they can take their data with them, giving them the ability to make informed decisions on resident care from virtually anywhere.
Getting Staff Buy-In on New Technology
There will always be some staff members who may be against learning new technology, and getting their buy-in on newly implemented tools is always essential. We find that the key to getting buy-in starts with proper training, tailored to all members of the staff.
Continued reassurance as your staff adapts to new technology comes in the form of a helpful IT partner that is always there. Ensure your managed service provider is engaged in the training and implementation of new technologies at all stages.