woman using check-in technology

Arrow’s technology in use. (Photo courtesy of Arrow Senior Living)

Getting in and out of buildings: In normal years, this isn’t a task to which most anyone would give a second thought once regulatory issues have been addressed. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Arrow Senior Living put some extra planning into helping people safely enter its communities.

With the help of Director of Technology Brian Nikodim, Arrow created a face recognition terminal through which temperatures can be checked, face masks can be assessed and symptoms can be screened. Employees at the front desk were alerted if someone was attempting to enter a building without a face mark or with an incorrectly worn face mask, or if they had symptoms.

“Our CEO, Stephanie Harris, has talked about some kind of digital check-in for at least the last two-and-a-half years,” Nikodim said. “It’s kind of a double-check electronically to make sure that everyone is symptom-free and has their shots. It’s a safety measure.”

The new check-in system led Arrow to win the Gold Award in the Quality category in the Senior Living track of the 2021 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. The annual awards were presented Wednesday as part of the first McKnight’s Tech Awards + Summit, which also featured four webinars.

The new check-in system allows employees to spend more time focusing on residents. Without a paper check-in, and with no need to manually record temperatures, staff members are spending less time making sure sick people don’t enter the buildings. Instead, a front desk employee receives an email and immediately can stop anyone from coming in who shouldn’t.

The digital trail also means that communities can go back to see when someone entered the building if they learn later that the person is sick. The company can come close to figuring out who the sick individual may have come in contact with by looking at that person’s entrance time and date.

Nikodim said that although there was minor pushback from people who weren’t used to the change in entrances, the overwhelming response to the technology was good.

“It was positive,” he said. “They actually really liked the extra care we were taking to make sure everyone was safe and we were screening properly. I think they really started to like that it’s a much quicker process than what it was before.”

Other Quality award winners in the Senior Living track include:

  • Silver: Brush, CO-based Ebenezer Senior Living, for its use of television streaming to combat feelings of loneliness and helplessness.
  • Bronze: Cincinnati-based Maple Knoll Communities, for using virtual care to digitize healthcare at its communities.

Read about the Quality category winners in the Skilled Nursing track on the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News website and in the Home Care track on the McKnight’s Home Care website.

See a list of all 2021 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Senior Living track finalists here. Articles about the Building Bridges category winners were published yesterday (see the one about the Senior Living track winner here). Articles about winners in the Keep It Super Simple and Innovator of the Year categories will be published over the coming days.

Sponsors of the 2021 McKnight’s Technology Awards + Summit program are Consensus, iN2L, Medline and SimplyConnect. To view the awards presentation and recordings of the webinars, visit mcknights.com/techawards2021.