Assisted living communities with a remote monitoring system had 27% fewer move-outs compared to communities without that technology, says an analysis studying the potential return on investment owners and operators can realize from implementing certain technology platforms.
Three assisted living communities with Healthsense, Inc.’s eNeighbor, a remote monitoring system of activities and behaviors, installed in their units were retrospectively studied for calendar year 2012 in comparison to three comparable communities without the system. The eNeighbor analysis was prepared for Healthsense by Halleland Habicht Consulting LLC and released in late August.
A “significant decrease” in move-outs combined with increased service package revenues and staff productivity compared to communities without the technology-enabled care system was considered evidence of return on investment for the owners and operators.
When analyzing the remote monitoring system’s impact on discharges, the study authors assumed that the impact of eNeighbor is “primarily on allowing residents to remain in their existing facility longer than would be the case without the technology.”
Out of 361 residents living in units with a remote monitoring system, 24% moved out in 2012, compared to 33% of the other communities’ 223 residents. Therefore, the communities with eNeighbor-equipped units achieved 27% fewer move-outs compared to units without eNeighbor.
“Early indicators suggest that there is a business case for housing owners and operators to leverage the outcomes of remote sensing and enhanced care in their buildings,” the analysis finds.
Offering remote monitoring in units can also allow for increased monthly revenues.
Service package revenues at assisted living communities with eNeighbor averaged monthly revenues of $1,198 per month in 2012, while the monthly revenues for communities without eNeighbor were “substantially lower” at $567.
“These differences were consistent even within facilities operated by the same owner,” the analysis notes.
Having eNeighbor installed in units also improves staff productivity, although the analysis only reports a conservative impact stemming from substituting the monitoring platform’s capability for staff time needed to perform daily room checks.
“We believe that a comprehensive prospective study would likely produce larger gains than we report here,” it says.
Based on a standard of checking in on each assisted living resident every two hours around the clock, eNeighbor fulfills much of this needed oversight without staff physically conducting the checks. Staffing experts estimated that each room check requires about five minutes, translating to 60 minutes a day for each eligible resident.
Assuming a community has 42 eligible residents, staff would need to commit 42 hours each day for room checks. Implementing a conservative estimate that eNeighbor could suitably substitute staff check-ins for 85% of residents, it’s possible that approximately one full-time equivalent staff person could be offset by eNeighbor services per day.
The study only assesses the economic impact of remote monitoring systems from the perspective of an assisted living community owner and operator, and acknowledges there are several other areas worth future analysis.
“While we identified positive economic impacts from the more limited perspective of facility owners and operators,” it concludes, “even larger impacts would likely be observed if the finance perspective included that of payers and the individuals and families.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace