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Five Tips for More Successful Tech Pilots in Senior Living

The twenty-first Century Senior Living Community is a chain brought to you by CDW, a provider of era solutions and offerings centered on serving the healthcare market. The series takes a clear-eyed look at how main vendors and their companions are developing the following era of senior living communities through raising the bar on offerings, layout, and generation.

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When senior living companies take a chance on the new generation, starting small is not unusual. A pilot can ensure that new tech is a good suit earlier than making large funding. However, too often, a promising innovation ends up in “pilot purgatory,” trapped in a checking out phase that turned into not well planned or well finished.

One tech corporation to emerge at the senior housing scene, K4Connect, has compiled a tune file of pilots that flew ahead and reaped scale. Founded via Scott Moody, one of Apple’s TouchID technology creators—K4Connect is a platform that integrates numerous “smart technologies” that senior residing residents and professionals can use to talk with every different and manipulate their environment. For example, it gives video messaging programs to speak with their own family contributors, domestic automation functions like thermostat control, and analytics associated with resident wellness and delight.

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“Right now, truly all our pilots have become orders,” Moody advised Senior Housing News.

In April, Blacksburg, Virginia-primarily based HHHunt announced it might be rolling out K4Connect at some stage in its Spring Arbor Senior Living communities in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. This month, Masonic Villages, a nonprofit provider based totally in Pennsylvania, introduced its far scaling K4 platform throughout its 5 campuses, which collectively serve more than 2 seven hundred citizens. This follows a successful pilot at Masonic Village at Elizabethtown in Pennsylvania, a persevering with care retirement network (CCRC) on a 1 four hundred-acre campus.

K4 also is operating with Carlsbad, California-based Kisco Senior Living and has about eleven different pilots underway, according to Moody.

He and Masonic Villages CEO Joseph E. Murphy recently spoke with Senior Housing News, offering a few insights into what makes for a tech pilot that consequences a bigger implementation. Here are five hints:

1. Identify the want.

Several new technologies charm senior residing providers, so chasing after the vibrant new penny can be tempting. To avoid this, an operator must first pick out its desires and then seek an era that can supply.

For Masonic Villages, identifying a want commenced with being attentive to its citizens. Over the direction of numerous years, they communicated pleasure approximately how a generation could enhance their lives, especially in better controlling their dwelling areas and communicating with family and cherished ones residing in remote locations, in addition to with fellow citizens and group of workers within the senior residing network, Murphy said.

After exploring various alternatives, Masonic Villages diagnosed K4 as an answer that potentially should meet these evolving resident expectancies.

2. Set a pilot timeline, pick diverse members.

Setting a tough closing date is one primary step in stopping a never-finishing check segment. In the case of Masonic Villages, the pilot came about April through June of 2016. Masonic Villages determined that one hundred days would be sufficient, and maximum K4Connect customers have opted for a similar 3-month timeline, Moody stated.

Another key to a successful pilot is inside the trying out the organization. The Masonic Villages pilot worried about 50 citizens; some were tech-savvy, and some had been on the other quit of the spectrum.

“We desired to have an ordinary spread of individuals,” Murphy said. “We had one or folks who were clearly laptop illiterate. They didn’t have a computer or want one, and we encouraged them to take in this possibility. For me, it became crucial due to the fact we’re going to peer that in the relaxation of our campuses.”

3. Look for an engaged tech partner.

K4Connect prides itself on being an engaged companion in each pilot and full deployment.

“We cross in and do the whole setup; we teach the residents and body of workers,” Moody said. “In most instances, operators do now not have IT body of workers on the network stage. Who’s going to manipulate [new tech], positioned it collectively? We do that.”

K4Connect is greater properly-resourced than many tech startups, having raised approximately $8 million in the capital and with a group of about 40 humans. But even though a tech dealer doesn’t have the firepower to tackle all the training and offer around-the-clock palms-on help, being responsive in the course of the pilot phase can make a large difference.

“What became desirable for me and inspired our residents was that two weeks into the test term, there had been a version update, in which some of their centers became already incorporated and functioned,” Murphy stated.

4. Use multiple methods to gain stakeholder buy-in.

It’s no secret that obtaining considerable support from all stakeholders—from C-suite leaders to community-stage workers to residents—is wanted to put into effect a new era correctly.

On the resident side, it is going again to picking a check institution wisely, Murphy stated.

“If I arise and tell citizens, you’ll love it, that’s a part of my task, however, if they have a peer resident who says I was hesitant, however, I did [the pilot], and those are the matters which can be neat, that [will excite] so many human beings to get on board,” he stated. “They’re hearing from their friends, and no longer just folks that are into all kinds of computer packages.”

As for garnering a team of workers’ help, thinking on stages might be effective—reveal how the brand new generation will make their unique jobs simpler or perform better, and explain how the new tech supports the organization’s subculture and project.

For example, upkeep teams at Masonic Villages favored that the brand new tech would permit them to discover and clear up troubles—say, with the HVAC system—earlier than residents noticed something awry, or earlier than the problems have become urgent at the most inconvenient time.

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