Leveraging Technology to Boost Staff Efficiency in Senior Living
“We reduced nightly visits by staff with Caspar AI. This increased our operating efficiency AND improved resident care.” —Kelly Fieldhouse, United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen, Newton, NJ
We see this more and more where today’s technologies address decades-old pain points. While the pandemic illustrated senior living’s ability to pivot and adapt, an ongoing challenge steadfastly remains for the industry today.
Nearly 64% responding to a Senior Housing News survey placed staffing as their greatest non-Covid challenge, a significant increase from the 28% recorded in 2021.
The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care survey revealed one quarter of respondents have more than 20% of their positions unfilled. Twice that many are operating communities with 11% – 20% job vacancies.
While owners have implemented innovative pandemic practices and upped their marketing game to prospects, closing the gap created by staff shortages, operating inefficiencies, and low retention rates — without sacrificing quality care — is continuing to prove a daunting task.
The Partnership of Technology and Senior Living
Technology is no stranger in senior living today. Residents stay in touch digitally with family and friends and keep informed about their community’s activities, social events, and daily menus.
Health care teams and staff are supported by the role technology plays, whether through better medication management or tracking employee schedules.
Communities that rely on technology to perform data entry and analysis, complete paperwork or provide a reliable second set of eyes, recognize the cost benefits of freeing up time for the overworked or short-staffed team.
How Technology can Improve Staff Efficiencies and Retention Rates
Those who have only tapped the surface of technology’s capacity may be surprised at how well it can correspond to the priorities of senior living.
Top-of-the-line caregiving will always require compassionate human interaction. But without the aid of technology, the responsibility of eyes on residents 24/7 is impractical and impossible for any community to provide.
To better use staff talents and time, improve efficiency, retention rates and the bottom line, retirement communities should look at a few examples of senior living tasks that can be automated:
- Daily wellness check-ins
- Alerting staff when a resident incident is detected
- Documenting and scheduling
- Automatically sending wellness messages to families
- Analyzing data to assist in revising or implementing treatment and care plans
- Assisting in creating more efficient staffing patterns through real time insights
The right automation tools can also extend beyond the functional. Technology can support staff so they feel more empowered and effective in providing care, especially when technology allows them to connect with residents who may not be able to accurately communicate their needs.
The work of caregiving never ends. No matter what was accomplished today, more care will be needed tomorrow — a reality that often contributes to high turnover.
But when staff feel frustrated or helpless that they’re not making a difference, today’s technology can illustrate and complement the successful results they’ve achieved. Employees who experience positive feedback feel valued and are much less likely to leave.
Even with One Less FTE, Provide Better Care
If you’re struggling to manage a senior living community that is short staffed and needs a more cost-effective solution, Caspar.AI’s technology may be the answer.
Caspar.AI provides the needed technology to produce more than 30 analytics regarding sleep quality, health, and activity levels. It does so without the use of cameras, pull cords or pendants. The resulting benefit is early detection and intervention if needed — without hiring additional staff. In fact, automating certain staff functions can often reduce direct care staffing levels.
Using trend analysis, communities are provided valuable insight into:
- Unexpected resident activity at night
- Ho resident time is spent in an apartment
- When a resident leaves their apartment
- Sleep disruptions
- Number of bathroom visits
- Incident alerts
By minimizing physical nighttime visits, communities have discovered up to 7 hours of staff time saved, per resident. Caspar.AI’s system also provides reduced staff costs with automated communications sent directly to families and is a support tool for risk management.
Additional Benefits Caspar.AI Technology Brings to Senior Living
Consider the following examples of how Caspar.AI could support your community:
- If the system detects a resident who has become more restless at night or is increasing the number of bathroom visits, alerts will be generated. After reviewing the data, the medical team might decide a revised medication or treatment plan is needed. This pivot may also result in lowering the risk of a nighttime fall.
- If there is an incident or if inactivity is observed, the staff is notified immediately and will go to the apartment and check on the resident’s safety and welfare.
- While alleviating staff time for more hands-on tasks, families appreciate being kept up to date with daily messages automatically sent about the wellbeing of their loved ones.
Looking Toward the Future of Senior Living and Technology
“The ultimate use of technology in the long-term care setting is the ability to provide anticipatory care and planning” according to Caspar.AI client, Lee Ann Bailey-Clayton, director of health services at The Forest at Duke, in Durham, NC.
Citing the knowledge that Caspar.AI can provide with an example of a resident who begins waking up multiple times for toileting, Bailey-Clayton said physicians and care teams can take quicker action with the real-time data, especially critical for residents with cognitive impairment who may not be able to communicate symptoms.
“Artificial Intelligence observation has proven to be a plus in our community as a non-invasive, data driven and informative way of tracking movement and activity throughout the day and night,” said Bailey-Clayton. “Our organization intends to use this throughout our new Small House project.”
Forward thinking and innovative communities are utilizing technology across the spectrum — as an effective selling point to adult children or discovering ways to improve the overall quality of work experience for their staff and the quality of life for their residents.
Senior living will always be an industry focused on people. But communities who discover the value of leveraging human-centered technology, will not only elevate the level of care offered but can ensure an efficient and quality staff for its delivery.
Caspar.AI’s technology can support your community to improve daily operations while enhancing the quality of life for your residents and staff. If you would like more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.