Technology Use Jumps in Nonprofit Senior Living

As an industry, senior living has been notoriously slow when it comes to technology. In 2015, however, some senior living technologies emerged as more popular than others, according to the 2016 LeadingAge Ziegler 150 report (LZ 150).

The LZ 150, published annually, ranks the largest nonprofit senior living organizations in the United States by their total owned market-rate units. The report features a section on technology, which measures the level of technology adopted by the biggest not-for-profit senior living providers.

In many ways, technology use is on the rise among not-for-profit senior living organizations, the LZ 150 shows.

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For example, among the providers in the LZ 150, a greater proportion of communities and operations—80%, on average—have adopted electronic medical records (EMRs) or electronic health records (EHRs) in 2015, compared with 75.3% in 2014, the technology section of the report says. One-third of the LZ 150 providers now have a CIO or CTO, as well.

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Medication management technology is gaining in popularity in nonprofit senior living, too: almost 45% of LZ 150 providers in 2015 reported that they use medication monitoring technologies, jumping from 39% in 2014. The use of medication management technologies has continued to rise over the last three years, Ziegler noted in the report.

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Ziegler has also seen a “substantial increase” in the adoption of telehealth/remote patient monitoring and telecare/telemonitoring/behavioral monitoring technologies, as more providers bring their services into the home and community, as well as expand their strategic partnerships with hospitals, accountable care organizations (ACOs) and managed care plans, the report says.

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Approximately 36% of LZ 150 providers are also using automatic fall detector technologies, which is up from last year’s 24%.

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Still, not all technology is gaining momentum among the nonprofit senior living crowd.

About 76% of LZ 150 providers—less than last year’s 77.3%—are currently using electronic point of care/point of service documentation systems. Also down was the number of providers using some form of personal emergency-response systems (PERS), which landed at 72.7%, compared to 2014’s 77.9%.

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Over 77% of providers, however, are using access control/wander management systems—that’s up from last year’s 70.5%. Additionally, about 55% of the largest multi-site providers have adopted care/case management and coordination software.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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