Population Health Insights

Innovation: What is it and How Can Your Community Embrace it?

When it comes to long-term care, innovation begins with a mindset. Innovation can look like a new memory care program, green building design, a clever marketing program, or powerful digital tools that promise greater efficiency. No matter what shapes your idea of innovation, leadership is required to cultivate a culture of innovation that embraces change, and promotes new ways of doing business.

To encourage, reward, and examine what innovation means in Long-Term Care (LTC), industry groups such as Senior Living Link* are recognizing communities using innovative ways to increase quality of life for their residents. Innovation is more than a buzzword, it’s a way of doing business. And it’s increasingly recognized as a powerful way to streamline operations, gain a competitive advantage, reduce costs, and provide better services. Here are several communities that received the 2013 Long-Term Care Senior Living Spirit of Innovation Award¹.

Innovation begins at home

Front Porch* realized they had everything they needed to become an innovation lab: residents eager to try new approaches to staying well, staff to supervise programs, and technology companies with new products in their pipelines. To capitalize on their situation, Front Porch turned their senior living community into a Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. As new products are tested, Front Porch is well positioned to deploy the most effective innovations to improve quality of care for their residents.

A new use for a proven technology

Instead of time consuming, invasive, and expensive once-a-week third party blood draws, Vaughan Centre at Leisure World* (Ontario) used portable INR meters to measure blood’s anti-coagulation level with a simple "finger stick." The innovative use of existing technology in a new clinical setting helped speed up the testing cycle, increased primary physician interaction, decreased stress for residents and reduced costs.

Motivation for rehab patients

To increase the rates of completion for physical therapy, Presbyterian Communities* of South Carolina used a software program called RightTrack* to motivate residents as they work toward their rehab goals. Thanks to automatic updates, residents get full progress reports and as a result, "more rehab patients are completing their full course of physical therapy," reports the Presbyterian Communities’ website.

Data collection on the fly

Mather Lifeways* developed a specially designed app for the iPod®* touch mobile digital device that enable their staff to perform quick data collection. According to a report at LeadingAge*, practitioners used a simple touch screen to capture data to develop reports that could "test out the effectiveness of new activities, and match participants with new activities as their dementia symptoms change over time."

Read about how you can implement cutting-edge technology to help seniors maintain their independence: "Five Ways to Embrace Innovation".

Looking to attract more residents and increase length of stay? Consider innovating with Intel-GE Care Innovations™ QuietCare®. Contact a senior living specialist today at (800) 450-0970 or send us an email..