The LeadingAge Survey that provides no valuable information and what I hope they ask next time.

I hate writing articles like this, because I love LeadingAge and I know Ziegler is a fine fine organization, but I don’t get the point of their technology survey

  Here are the listed highlights:

  • Most organizations (91.7%) provide residents with access to Internet, community portal and social-connectedness sites.
  • Safety technologies: These organizations have high adoption rates for wander management technologies (88%) and emergency response systems (82.6%).
  • Four out of 10 are implementing automatic fall detectors.
  • Three-quarters have adopted and are using electronic medical records and electronic health records.
  • 83% have point-of-care technologies in at least some of their communities.

“LZ 100 providers we surveyed show strong commitment to safety, social connectedness and electronic documentation technologies” said Majd Alwan, senior vice president of technology at LeadingAge and executive director of CAST. “We hope and expect to see higher utilization of health information exchange with other providers to facilitate care coordination across settings, and higher adoption rates for telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and telecare in the future.”

Slicing and Dicing

I am a huge fan of technology.  I own, computers, fax machines, printers, smart phones, GPS’s, digital cameras, walkie talkies and more than half a dozen Android Tablets.  I have even been hugely tempted to pony up $1,500 for my own Google Glass device.  I applaud what Majd Alwan at CAST is doing to advance technology innovation and adoption in senior care.  I think taking a hard look at the level of technology adoption in senior living is a great idea.

 I just don’t get the point of this survey.

 It was sent to the Zielger LeadingAge 100 list, which is made up of the 100 largest not-for-profit senior living providers in the United States.  Here is why I don’t get it:

  • The survey shows widespread adoption of EHR/EMR, which sounds terrific except that if an organization has a single skilled nursing facility (where the technology is mandated) it implies that the technology adoption is widespread through the organization and this is likely untrue.
  • If a single community in these large multi-property organizations has one building with a single maglock delayed access door it is considered to have wander management technology for the whole organization.
  • If a single community has one dial-up access point in one common area it counts the same as having pervasive WiFi in all their communities.
  • According to the study there is a high adoption rate for emergency response and yet this can be anything from a primitive 1940s/50/60’s light and buzzer system to a state-of-the-art computer-based wired and wireless system.

I wish Leading Age and Ziegler had done a better job of detailing on a building-by-building basis what facilities and communities are using.  Perhaps even better for the industry would be a survey that takes a hard look at what kinds of technology is actually working in these communities to improve operations, resident safety and the lives of seniors.

What I Wish They Had Asked

For what it is worth, here are a few questions/issues I would love to see addressed:

  • What kinds of technologies and techniques are communities using to deal with elopement?
  • What do you like about your existing call system and what do you wish it would do better?
  • How well does your staff like your point of care technologies and how did you get staff on board?
  • What process did you use for selecting the technologies you are using?
  • What technologies did you reject and why?

What questions would you like to see asked?

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