Management of a senior living community involves a lot of moving parts. Executive directors report wearing many hats throughout their day-to- day responsibilities, which means they seldom have time to spend the day at a computer or printer. This makes it difficult to focus on actually improving processes, best practices and communications with residents and their families—especially for multi-site providers.
That’s where technology comes into play, helping by providing a single platform for schedules, dining menus, training and more.
At The Berkeley Retirement Residences, a family-owned and operated provider of independent living and assisted living across four communities in Nova Scotia, Canada, technology has worked to smooth out such operational challenges and improve efficiencies across the board. In particular, The Berkeley struggled with a cumbersome training system based on content that wasn’t specific to its unique needs.
In order to better manage activity calendars and menus as well as to customize training materials and boost participation at its various properties, The Berkeley recently launched InTouchLink. InTouchLink is a cloud-based platform aimed at keeping senior living residents engaged, families up-to- date and staff trained.
Through this system, activity calendars are prepared in half the time, because their basic framework is already in place. Corporate menus are created and synced for all communities to access, allowing each property to copy and edit them as necessary. Administrative staff has the ability to then track and make changes in all residences.
With four different communities to coordinate, having one platform to address any issues that may arise for calendars, menus and more has proven to be particularly beneficial for The Berkeley.
“The aspect that I find the most helpful is that you can log in remotely and make changes or see what is happening in each building—you can even see the screen in real time—which means you do not have to be in any given building to help with a task or a problem,” says Catherine Campbell, Director of Communications at The Berkeley.
Menus and activity calendars can also be printed easily, if necessary, for residents or family members that request a copy, or to post online. On an individual community basis, this part of the technology saves an average of 18 hours per month of staff’s time from printing and posting events, menus and other information around the community, managing employee trainings or keeping up with multiple systems. With this time saved, workers are left with more time to focus on the important things like the resident experience.
“We still do put up paper notices, not necessarily about everything, but for the extra reminder,” Campbell says. “For receptionists, this is easily accomplished with a push of a button—no typing required unless there is a change—because the menu is in the system already rather than typed up daily.”
Further, The Berkeley is able to maintain information and comply with rules and regulations across the board. Tailored training programs and quizzes have been uploaded to meet the provider’s distinct standards and remain in compliance as an accredited member of the Ontario Retirement Communities Association.
“We have been able to customize the ORCA tutorials so that we maintain those standards, but in such a way that is relevant to us,” says Campbell.
The Berkeley saw a 10% improvement in the rate of completion of online training after implementing InTouchLink, and the platform allows for easy-to- run reports, which saves administrative time for human resources workers, Campbell says.
“Our staff finds the system easy to use, and our HR department finds the setup of new employees very simple and the ability to track and run reports quick and easy,” she says. “It is also nice to have the system produce a certificate of completion for each course offered rather than wait for all necessary courses to be completed.”
This article is sponsored by InTouchLink, the premier platform for resident engagement and family satisfaction in senior living, with custom community TV channels, a family portal and printable calendars/menus. InTouchLink keeps residents and families in the loop while simultaneously driving operational and staff efficiencies.
Written by Kourtney Liepelt