Many senior living organizations are in the midst of making unprecedented investments in information technology. Many of the improvements would replace paper records and improve billings in an effort to boost the bottom line.

But as operators increasingly compete for hospital referrals, they may be overlooking an important goal: making care delivery more effective or less expensive. So claims a study published in the current Harvard Business Review.

To be more clinically competitive, organizations will need to prioritize quality improvement, note the article’s three authors.

By targeting better clinical practices, operators stand a better chance of improving both the care they deliver and their financial performance.

The researchers also call on operators to use simpler methods to gather information and to make the findings actionable via applied analytics.

The authors add that many organizations will need to forge new business and operating models, expand their IT staffs, revamp how their clinical staffs work and create new payment structures.