By Steve Moran

I remember talking to Notify Communications CEO Craig Patnode a year ago, hearing him talk excitedly about his then-secret work on a video, voice, and text communications app that he and his team of thought leaders and tech experts were working on.

“Steve, there are all of these challenging and frustrating walls that prevent proper health care delivery. No one is communicating with each other in a way that is both seamless and effective. This frustrates me and it frustrates everyone in senior care communities. I want to change that.”

Then . . .

When COVID-19 hit – and the industry began talking about caregiver distancing and health delivery from behind a glass window – my mind instantly drifted back to that conversation with Patnode and I rang him up to get an update . . . and boy did he have one.

Crazy Cool

Although his new video, voice, and text communications app – named Notify Communications – wasn’t set to hit the market until later this year, Patnode knew that now was the time when residents, families, communities, and caregivers needed his technology more than ever. Craig is a well-known senior care industry technology innovator with his Eldermark Senior Living Software (a Senior Living Foresight partner) and Simply Connect offerings.

He and his team have been working feverishly alongside Notify Senior Vice President Greg Robertson to get this crucial technology into the right hands at senior living communities as everyone struggles with how to create the very best communication channels in the wake of coronavirus.

“We’ve been working overtime to get this out,” Craig told me in a recent phone call. “We couldn’t be more excited about being able to help people out during this unsettling, challenging time.”

What It Does

I asked Craig to talk about what it does and it was impressive and the perfect tool for where we are as an industry sector. Its potential to break down communication barriers is so so powerful.

  1. Community-wide messaging: I hear all the time about senior communities’ difficulty with mass communications – the ability to alert all residents and all caregivers about information, from the important (weather, security alerts) to the mundane (what’s for lunch on Wednesday, a reminder about bingo night). Notify Communications makes these types of communications super easy and actionable.
  2. SOS: The app features a central, easy-to-find SOS button that will allow residents to summon emergency assistance – from anywhere.
  3. Everyone is engaged, inside the community and out: 24/7 connectivity wherever you are, either through WiFi or 4G connection.
  4. Family & resident communications: You might be thinking: “Why can’t families and residents just use Facetime?” Use Notify Communications for one moment and you’ll quickly understand why. Facetime (or any other competitor) can’t do mass communications, isn’t secure and HIPAA-compliant, doesn’t come with Notify’s industry-leading customer service, isn’t connected to a secure care team, can’t integrate with a full technology bundle . . . do I need to keep going?
  5. Caregiver to caregiver communications: Everyone always talks about the importance of caregiver-to-resident communication, but clear lines of communication between and amongst caregivers are an essential part of health care delivery. Too often, they’re overwhelmed by pagers, walkie talkies, faxes, and phones. Notify Communications lets you get rid of all of that and puts everything in a centralized, seamless app. The backend user interface also gives caregivers real, transparent accountability into their services.
  6. Leadership insights: The app’s data leads to a powerful dashboard that provides critical insights for, say, executive directors. You can see who’s responding to resident communications, monitor which caregivers are in touch with which resident – and for how long – and see how quickly alerts are being responded to.

The Real Wow Moments

My real “WOW” moment was when I finally got my hands on the app, which is set for release on both Android and iOS devices in early May.

For all of its power and capabilities, this app is so elegant and easy to use. Whether you’re 8 or 80, the core functionalities of Notify Communications are clear, simple and obvious. If this was the first app you – or your elder loved one – ever downloaded, it is just instantly self-evident how to use it. If there ever was a clean user interface, Notify Communications is it.

Craig has good reason to be proud, particularly in these unsettling times.

“I feel the same way that everyone does, COVID-19 has really been a difficult, challenging and most importantly – heartbreaking – interruption of our lives. I’m looking forward to the day when this is behind us, but if there’s any silver lining at all, I’m proud that we’re going to be able to help people out with a piece of technology that is going to help us weather this storm – or any other storms that may lay on the horizon.”

To learn more about Notify or to request more information, please visit their website.