By Susan Saldibar

Back in the ’80s I had a job as a receptionist. So “meet and greet” was my official job description, in addition to some light typing and filing. Ha! Nothing was further from the truth.

Half the time I wasn’t even at the front desk. I was running errands, getting the bosses coffee, fixing the Xerox machine, you name it. So the meet and greet part went something like, “Hi. I’ll be with you in a minute.”

Sometimes they’d wait, but more often they’d just go past me into the recesses of the building. I assumed they knew where they were supposed to go.

But we were just a software company. We didn’t have a building full of vulnerable, older adults.

You do. Which is why you don’t want your front desk people running around doing non-front-desk stuff.

Neither does Sonida Senior Living.

I had the pleasure of speaking recently with Donna Brown and Maribeth Neelis from Sonida. Their 72 communities cover independent living, assisted living, and memory care, with most of their campuses located throughout Texas and the Midwest.

They recently completed a pilot program with Accushield (a Foresight partner). Accushield, for those who aren’t familiar with them, has created this really cool front desk kiosk-based management solution that not only keeps track of everyone who enters and leaves the building, but uses the data to manage shift workers and vendors more effectively.

Sonida may be a new user of Accushield, but they’re already getting their money’s worth. 

Here are eight things they like so far:

  1. The Accushield front desk kiosk has replaced their old sign-in binder and pen.
  2. It gives a great first impression for visitors, especially prospective residents and families.
  3. It automatically prints name badges for those admitted.
  4. They now have the security of knowing that nobody gets in/out without signing in/out.
  5. Electronic records are created of every visitor.
  6. A list can be printed at any time of everyone who is in the building. So if there is an emergency, they know who’s there and who’s already left.
  7. Visitors use the kiosk to answer security/health questions before they are admitted.
  8. Any questionable responses to security questions trigger an alert to management.

What they really like is that all this takes the heat off the front desk folks so that they can meet and greet and walk around more freely. They are no longer security guards. The system is the “bad guy” if one is needed.

Those are pretty amazing benefits to get right out of the gate. But there’s more in store for Sonida.

Here’s what they’re excited about doing in the next phase of implementation:

  • Getting more reviews. So imagine if you have someone who loves your community signing out electronically. While they’re doing that, they can get a quick link to leave a Google review. Much better than trying to track them down days or weeks later. And negative reviews will trigger an alert to management so that they can respond quickly.
  • Keeping better track of shift workers and third-party service providers. They will now need to log in and log out on Accushield. Sonida management can use the data to catch billing errors and avoid hassles downstream.
  • Using reports to gain visibility. All the data that’s collected can be dropped into reports that senior management will use to manage visitors and personnel.

Sonida is already feeling the benefits. This is icing on the cake. 

Sonida’s mission is to “enrich the lives of seniors and create engaging, comfortable spaces to gather.” That’s a great way to look at senior living.

It will be interesting to see in the months ahead how their use of Accushield makes it even easier to fulfill that mission.

I’m guessing it will.

You can learn more about Accushield HERE.