As SVP and General Manager for Senior Care at PointClickCare, Travis Palmquist applies his experience in working directly with senior living providers for more than 25 years. In healthcare tech, this means working to help health care organizations including senior care providers leverage their data to provide better outcomes and higher-quality care.
In this Hot Seat interview, Palmquist sheds light on some of his lessons learned in the industry, as well as some personal insight into his favorite things to do on the weekend and a recap of his first job in senior living.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person for sure…. there are times that demand night owl effort, but I prefer mornings and know my brain works better in the morning than it does burning the midnight oil!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Take really complex things and make them simple. If you look closely this is what many of the most impactful leaders do naturally that truly drives meaningful progress and change.
It’s 7 am on a Saturday. Where are you right now?
[If] it is summer, I am probably having a cup of coffee with my wife on the deck or dock…that is if we are not in transit to whatever sporting event our kids have going that day.
What is your favorite weekend activity?
Enjoying the lake, a hockey or lacrosse game.
What was your first music concert? When was it?
What was your first job in senior living and what was your biggest on-the-job lesson from that
My passion for senior care started well before my first job. I spent a lot of time as a kid at facilities, given that my dad was in maintenance and grandmother worked in the laundry department. I officially started my career managing a senior care community, and the most important lesson I learned was the importance of humanizing care – and never losing that personal touch that means so much to residents.
If you could change one thing about senior living as we know it, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about this industry, I’d give Senior Living operators the opportunity to fully pursue and realize their rightful place in the greater health care ecosystem. There are many providers well down this path already but there is opportunity for so many more. This opportunity represents real and meaningful change, which includes embracing prevention and wellness models that keep residents at their optimal health in addition to hospitality differentiation. Senior Living is uniquely positioned to play a major role in driving down health care costs in this country while improving health outcomes and be a major player in the value-based care world. Senior Living providers already provide many of the needed services. They just need to up their game and leverage the value they are providing with not only their customers but also risk bearing entities. Perhaps the margin erosion the market experienced through the pandemic can be made up here making the wonderful services more affordable for more people who would benefit from these services.
While we’ve made great strides as an industry, we still need better technology adoption. Telehealth and computer-generated assistance are no longer futuristic concepts in senior care. Digitization and standardization are needed for Senior Living providers to demonstrate their value and lead to valuable insights and predictability. We must find a more efficient way to provide care. Adopting the right technology can help empower both residents and providers, strengthening that relationship while improving overall care outcomes.
What is your most important people management principle?
Be empathetic. It is important to recognize the unique needs, challenges, and aspirations of your team members. In my experience, showing empathy fosters a positive and supportive work environment.
Complete the sentence: In 2050, I hope senior living is __.