Technology is a major trend in senior living right now. For this reason, it can be tempting for providers to jump at technology opportunities without considering all the factors — just ask former National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care (NIC) CEO Robert Kramer.
“If you’re doing this for the sake of being hip with technology, you’re probably not doing it for the right reasons and you’re likely to fail,” Kramer explained in a Leadership Series interview.
For most senior living providers, technology is a major investment that’s intended to change the entire business plan. Consequently, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and finding the right technology partner can help ensure your organization gets the most from its investment.
Here are four questions you should ask when choosing a technology partner:
1. What training do they offer?
It doesn’t matter how great a senior care technology solution is if the caregiving staff or end-users don’t understand how to use it. You might think you’ve identified a technology solution that fits all of your long-term business needs, but before you take the plunge and invest in it, be sure to check whether or not the technology vendor will help guide you through implementation and training. Otherwise, you and your frontline staff might be in for a rude awakening post-implementation, and it could involve several months of figuring out how the solution works on your own.
2. What support do they provide?
A technology partner should be just that: a partner. They shouldn’t disappear after implementation takes place, nor should they only correspond with a senior living provider when it’s time to pay the bills. Providing care to seniors is a round-the-clock effort, and the right technology partner should be available to help you, and their other senior living provider clients, whenever they’re needed.
3. Do they have a disaster recovery plan?
Providing care, as we’ve mentioned before, is an around-the-clock effort. So, in an ideal world, a senior living technology solution would be operational, 24/7. However, this isn’t always in the technology partner’s control. Whether it’s a natural disaster, human error, or issue with the technology, there may come a time when the technology goes “offline”. However, great tech partners will have a recovery plan in place to keep senior living communities running smoothly in the event of any disaster.
4. Do their customers refer them?
One of the best ways to determine the integrity of a technology vendor is to see whether their current customers have recommended them. In other words, just as the most valuable type of senior living referral is the resident (or customer) referral — the notion that other senior living providers are so happy with a technology solution that they’d say so in a testimonial speaks volumes.
Remember, integrating technology solutions into your community is a big undertaking. Once you’ve identified the right technology partner, it’s time to begin implementation. Get started by checking out The Ultimate Guide to Implementing New Technologies in Senior Living.Tags: assisted livingbenefits of an EHRsenior techtechnology