I’m convinced that to really appreciate the value of technology, you have to see it in action — see how it saves time, and how it connects people.
By Susan Saldibar
I’m convinced that to really appreciate the value of technology, you have to see it in action — see how it saves time, and how it connects people. Only then do the lightbulbs go on. After talking with Rebecca Wolf, Executive Director for Welcov Healthcare, I’m more convinced of that than ever.
The Liberating Effect of Mobile Technology
I wanted to get some insight from Rebecca, in her role as executive director, as to how technology was making a positive difference for the Welcov communities. And, having heard from other communities about the liberating effect of mobile technology, I kicked off my Q&A by asking Rebecca about their use of mobile technology. Her response said a lot.
“The best way to answer your question on mobile technology is to relate a recent situation in which one of our residents had a fall. The nurse, using her notebook, immediately notified the doctor, informed family members, and recorded the vitals of the resident. All online. She instantly accessed the necessary documents and had them ready to print out. All before the ambulance arrived!” And, she went on to add, “When doctors see this level of efficiency in action, they are impressed. And they are more likely to recommend Welcov, based on what they see.”
Talk about light bulbs going on…
I then asked Rebecca to weigh in on a few more questions about their use of technology. I should mention that Welcov uses the PointClickCare (a Senior Housing Forum partner) Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology platform. So her responses below reflect her user experience.
Utilizing Technology to Trouble Shoot Problems
How are you using technology to trouble shoot situations that might arise with a staff member or resident at a remote location?
“Basically, we are proactive instead of reactive. We are able to keep the entire workforce on the same page. We can monitor residents and incorporate doctors’ changes, all 24/7. As a result, we now are reporting fewer medication errors. All Medical Administration Records (MARs) and Treatment Authorization Records (TARs) are up to date.” That’s no small feat.
Utilizing Technology To Bridge the Gaps
Turnover continues to be a challenge for senior living communities. How are you using technology to bridge the gap when you have an employee who is suddenly “not there”?
“Turnover used to be a huge issue. In the past we had to go through sticky notes and those “this is how I do it” notes scribbled in the margins of files. And they can be hard to decipher. Or, worse yet, sometimes people leave and take their binders home with them. So it’s gone forever. Since automating through PointClickCare, nothing needs to stand still, even when someone leaves without notice. Not one scrap of information is lost. That’s because we’ve been able to document every task and activity performed. So if someone leaves with no notice, no big deal. No more figuring out their system. No more guess work. The way we’re set up now, anyone can walk in and perform basic tasks. The technology allows us to bridge any gaps with minimal interruption.”
Utilizing Technology to Create the Paperless Office
Has technology brought Welcov any closer to a paperless office?
“Yes! No more rooms full of binders and manuals! Everything is now available electronically. So, instead of sorting through piles of binders to get to the right one, we’re clicking a button. Everything can be saved right to the platform; deposits, delinquencies and so on. And, we really notice the difference when we have to search for information on a former resident. We used to have to dig through old State and Medicaid boxes. Now, when people call us at tax time, we can pull up virtually any record online. And we can run a report every day if we want.”
Utilizing Technology to Improve Efficiencies
Finally, I asked Rebecca what advice she might have for communities who want to improve efficiencies, but don’t know where to start in terms of bringing in technology. “They really need to see it in motion,” Rebecca tells me.
In fact, Welcov recently had another community tour theirs to see how they were using the PointClickCare platform. And the staff members, especially the younger ones, enjoyed showing them off.
“By experiencing it first hand, you can immediately see the difference it makes. In our case, it has been significant – a major improvement in medication management and decreasing falls.”
That should cause some light bulbs to go on.
Interested in learning more about the success Welcov has experienced since implementing PointClickCare?
Rebecca Wolf will be joining PointClickCare at the 2017 Argentum Conference. Come speak with her at Booth #423.
Free On Demand Webinar | Success through Technology – The Welcov Healthcare Story
Since implementing PointClickCare’s technology platform, Welcov Healthcare has achieved a 12% increase in revenue, improved their levels of customer service, and lowered employee turnover.
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