By Steve Moran

It mostly goes like this:

Early on, there was a great deal of debate about whether or not to test every resident and every team member. Some early thinking went along the lines of Yep, I want to know, but . . . ” The buts included not wanting to be singled out in the media for positive tests, not wanting to alarm residents and family, and not wanting the extra intrusion of licensing officials. These questions have been a regular part of the senior living news cycle.

We have largely moved beyond that question. It is clear that it is in the best interest of everyone to test as broadly as possible even with lots of continuing concerns about access to tests, the cost of testing, and the amount of time it takes to get results.

Not Talked About

Even if you have access to testing, making sure you get the results on a timely basis and that the results get to all the right people is just one more complexity in the new reality we are living. I was recently chatting with Craig Patnode, the CEO of Simply Connect (A Senior Living Foresight Partner), about how technology can make this process more efficient. Saving team member’s time and making sure everyone has the right information.

Mostly . . .

Mostly today, processing, recording, and disseminating test results is a very manual, time-consuming process. More often than seems possible the data comes via fax. This then means the information needs to be copied or scanned and entered manually into the EHR. And that does not really address making sure the people who need it get the results.

It also leaves lots of room for error.


Craig and his companies are crazy focused on automating all things related to data and communication, allowing staff to be more efficient, residents and families to have a better experience, and reducing errors.

Here is how they approach the process through their Eldermark Platform:

  1. Orders are received from the physician by the community and the lab.
  2. The sample is taken and sent to the lab.
  3. The lab results are sent directly from the lab to the EHR making them instantly accessible to the clinician and care team.
  4. Residents  and their responsible parties also have access using the Simply Connect Personal Health Record app.

    This is a huge advantage giving families the information they need without lots of frustrating back and forth communication.
  5. For the senior living organizations using the lab integration, the list of patient medications is available for cross-referencing in order to analyze for possible interactions or impacts on laboratory values. Ensuring that medications are up to date and appropriate.

A Huge Need

 Craig added this:

“I’ve been operating in senior housing for nearly two decades and there’s always been an enormous need for automated lab test results. The current process utilized by many can be a slow and inefficient slog through manual data entry and then waiting and waiting for receipt of results. We’re excited to offer this solution for automated, rapid, seamless testing and test results communication.”

This too often gets missed: Even though lab results represent just a small percentage of overall medical costs, those very tests drive 60 to 70 percent of all critical healthcare decisions. It turns out they are a big deal – all the more reason to make sure that your testing and results communication are efficient, fast, and accurate.

To learn more about Simply Connect and their Eldermark platform, please visit their website.