By Steve Moran
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it is crazy clear that COVID-19 tilted the planet on its axis. And that senior living has taken an oversized hit.
We’ve had to adjust in so many ways, from tweaking visitation policies to figuring out optimal staffing models, to enhancing safety protocols. I could go on, but surely you know the drill by now.
Tracking Is Critical
One of the more interesting things that I’ve observed is that, even though senior communities have overall done an amazing job of responding to the pandemic, they haven’t all found a great system for actually tracking those who get the virus.
No joke: I’ve seen communities trying to document cases on yellow legal pads, in rickety three-ring binders, in clumsy Excel spreadsheets. Everyone’s doing the best they can, but weak systems create weak responses.
A Better Way
A few days ago the folks at Eldermark (a Senior Living Foresight Partner) sent me a press release about their COVID Tracker, which is now a part of their award-winning Electronic Health Record technology.
This is great news. It means you can toss out your legal pads and three-ring binders. This software is likely to be the gold-standard in disease management for years to come.
Knowing that everyone is already overwhelmed in the wake of COVID-19, Eldermark has made it super easy to track and maintain your documented efforts in resident screening, testing, and overall COVID-19 management practices.
How It Works
Their COVID Tracker provides a historical timeline of your response to each resident’s COVID management status. You can enter data directly into the resident health record and run real-time data reports. All from one central place.
I talked to Eldermark Senior Vice President Mark Anderson about the tracker:
“I know this has been a challenging time for our industry. And we’ve been really proactive about providing customers with real, actionable solutions to help navigate this new environment that we’re all operating in. We’re big believers in fostering a ‘partnership culture’ with our clients that serves and supports them through technology solutions.”
Not only does it simply document who has the virus, it also:
- Supports your all-important regulatory reporting requirements
- Provides a strong defense against liability claims
- Demonstrates your infection control compliance efforts
- Strongly informs and bolsters any staffing models based on resident acuity
And – even when COVID-19 disappears one day (we hope ) – Eldermark’s software will prove invaluable for managing additional infectious diseases such as C. diff or the “normal” annual flu outbreak.
During these uncertain times, I do think it’s important to stop once in a while and applaud ourselves and pat our own backs when we see success stories within our industry. Eldermark’s COVID Tracker is the best tool I’ve seen to date that seamlessly tackles the ongoing issue of tracking COVID infections in a centralized, organized place that gives caregivers a quick, up-to-date overview of where things stand in their community.