Editor’s Note: The 2019 winners of the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards are being announced Oct. 4 to 11. Senior Living track winners are being announced here by McKnight’s Senior Living. Skilled Care track winners are being announced on the website and newsletter of sister publication McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

Replacing paper flyers with digital display screens for staff and resident communications earned Three Pillars Senior Living Communities top honors in the category of Keep It Super Simple in the Senior Living track of the 2019 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards.

“We’re really proud of the honor but mostly proud we are using technology in an industry where people may have a perception there is not as much technology as other places,” Customer Experience Manager Kelsey Pangborn told McKnight’s Senior Living. “We are right there with them and teaching while we are at it.”

Employees at the 60-acre campus in Dousman, WI, noticed that the community was buried in paper flyers because that was the primary method used to communicate with workers and residents. Not only was the organization spending time printing, posting and then removing flyers, but it was doing a number on the planet. Three Pillars wanted a better solution.

The result? Wall-mounted, 48-inch TV screens that are powered by Mviv Xhibit digital signage boxes and have a content management system. After rolling it out first for staff and then for residents, Three Pillars now has three different locations where employees can view key messages, and two locations for resident communications, one in independent living and one in assisted living.

“It’s an important part of our residents’ day — to come to the main area, to check it,” Pangborn said. “It has become a smoothly integrated part of our residents’ day as well as our staff. It’s not scary, and it’s helping them.”

Some of the benefits: attractive, attention-grabbing screens and content; information that is readily available in a clear, consistent format across the campus; and less money spent on creating paper flyers.

“Aesthetically, it looks nice and kind of sleek, and it feels like we are saving our resources, which is important for us as a nonprofit and for the planet,” Pangborn noted.

Other KISS category award winners in the Senior Living track:

2019 McKnight's Tech Awards logo
  • Silver: Avesta Housing of Portland, ME, for converting to a paperless care delivery model and for updating its flip phones. Working with their PointClickCare electronic medical records system, the organization purchased iPhones and color-coded the phone cases so each color corresponds with a specific staff role. As part of the new program, caregivers simply open an app on their phones and check off each task completed. Implementing point-of-care documentation and incorporating the iPhones has increased staff efficiency and accuracy of documentation as well as improved HIPAA compliance, according to Avesta.
  • Bronze: Wildwood Senior Living in Joplin, MO, for using technology that monitors residents’ well-being. Foresite Technology can monitor residents for the following: walking speed and stride length, restlessness at night, number of trips to the bathroom, pulse rate and breathing changes. The technology has assisted the facility in catching gait changes early which allows the facility to start physical therapy early, according to Wildwood. The number of monthly falls has dropped “significantly,” thanks to the new solution.

Entries for the competition were submitted by providers earlier this year and judged by an independent panel of senior living and skilled care experts.

Stanley Healthcare is the Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. MatrixCare is the Gold Sponsor of the Senior Living track.