Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards winners will be announced every day this week. Senior Living track winners will be announced here by McKnight’s Senior Living (read about the winning entries already announced here). Skilled care track winners will be announced on the website of sister publication McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

Gold Award – Keep It Super Simple, Senior Living

When Alexander Grichuhin, BS, RRT-RCP, worked with patients and residents who had difficulty remembering certain methods and therapy procedures, he thought back to his days in college and came up with a simple solution: flash cards.

“The use of the flash cards has made a huge impact on the lives of our residents,” he said.

Grichuhin’s idea has led to a Gold Award in the Keep It Super Simple category in the Senior Living track of the 2018 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards.

McKnight’s 2018 Excellence in Technology Awards

At FutureCare Cherrywood, Reisterstown, MD, where he is director of pulmonary care, the wearable cards are used in the proprietary BreatheStrong Pulmonary Rehabilitation program to remind people of information such as how to wash their hands, breath while exercising, take respiratory medications and use exercise equipment.

“They work very well with patients with short-term memory complications and help orchestrate a successful pulmonary rehabilitation program,” Grichuhin said.

Residents also use the cards during physical therapy and occupational therapy as well as at bedside, he said.

“Each patient must pass a verbal test of knowing what to do during certain situations,” Grichuhin explained. “The flash cards hold the answers and procedures to be successful in the test in order to ‘graduate’ from pulmonary rehabilitation.”

The cards are not worn at night.

Other winners in the Keep It Super Simple category of the Senior Living track:

  • Silver Award: Affinity Living Group, Hickory, NC, for its use of MyCensus software to execute an electronic admissions agreement and track facility census, revenue and discharges. The software, which also generates clinical and financial internal reporting, “allows Affinity staff to keep it simple for ensuring all required paperwork is completed for residents from admission to discharge [and] also generates reports for all departments and is easily accessed from the company intranet,” according to the organization.
  • Bronze Award: Radiant Senior Living, Portland, OR, for its use of Eldermark software for billing, care assessments, electronic records and customer relations. “It is sometimes the best solution to have one product that can meet all of our needs rather than learning several different products and hoping that they work together in turn,” the organization said on its nomination form. Radiant transitioned to the software over the past year. “It is saving us time and in turn allowing us to spend that time with our residents instead of a pile of paperwork,” the company said.

Gold Award – High-Tech / High-Touch, Senior Living

Christian Village at Mason
A resident of Christian Village at Mason demonstrates Access Strength.

When Christian Village Communities Vice President of Health Services Lisa Cecil read about a new invention in January 2017, she invited the nearby company’s CEO to Christian Village at Mason, Mason, OH.

Ryan Eder of IncludeHealth came and demonstrated the invention, an accessible functional trainer called Access Strength. In March 2018, Christian Village at Mason because the first senior living community anywhere to offer the digital health and wellness platform.

And now the community has won the Gold Award in the High-Tech / High-Tech category of the Senior Living track of the 2018 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards.

“The Access Strength is a game-changer because it enhances the lives of our residents through increases in functional strength, balance and endurance because it is easy to access, adjust and use,” Cecil said. The equipment can be used by people of varying abilities and those who are standing or seated in a chair or wheelchair.

Residents were introduced to the technology through group fitness classes and individual instruction and on an ongoing basis are monitored by the wellness director. Access Strength, Cecil said, “has generated additional interest in the ability to exercise for those that didn’t have an ability to do so at other standard pieces of equipment.”

The Include platform provides outcomes-based data collection via cloud collaboration. “The data generated from residents’ individual workouts is easily accessible and utilized to help track progress and increase their capability for more weight or reps whenever possible,” Cecil said.

User satisfaction has been measured by monitoring the number of enrollments in the IncludeHealth platform as well as the positive comments that have been received about the equipment.

In the future, Christian Village hopes to acquire a second machine to keep up with expected demand. “It is the perfect addition to an already well-balanced fitness center that offers a variety of fitness equipment,” she said.

Other winners in the High-Tech / High-Touch category of the Senior Living track:

  • Silver Award: Lutheran SeniorLife, Mars, PA, for its SilverSmart Technology center, which showcases and tests with residents assistive technology devices and systems that support safety, wellness, engagement and connectedness. “The technology associate works with seniors to evaluate specific needs as well as his/her comfort levels with technology and then recommends the most appropriate solutions,” the organization said on its nomination form. In addition to improving residents’ quality of life, the center has served as a marketing tool, too, due to attention from local media.
  • Bronze Award: The Palace Group, Miami, for its proprietary PalSoft Customer Relationship Management system, which was developed after The Palace “found systems that did a good job tracking clinical data, [but] there was nothing available that also addressed social, dietary and administrative needs of The Palace communities for assisted living and memory care residents.” Authorized users update information in the system after daily interactions with residents, and all other staff members have read-only access to real-time data with the details they need to provide person-centered care.

Stanley Healthcare is the Platinum Sponsor of the 2018 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. Matrixcare is the Gold Sponsor of the senior living track, and Netsmart is the Gold Sponsor of the skilled care track.