The number of people requiring long-term care is expected to almost double, from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050.¹ However, 83 percent of long-term care facilities indicated that they have underinvested in technology and they will be acquired by a more technologically advanced enterprise or face bankruptcy.²
Long-term care facilities have historically been slow to adopt advanced technology for several reasons. First, they tend to be medical and service experts, rather than technical experts. A lack of skills and knowledge throughout the healthcare industry has led to slower adoption rates simply because providers are less aware of their options. Second, limited resources tend to be diverted to the most urgent needs for immediate resident services, rather than used for a long-term technological investment.
However, the continued use of outdated, legacy systems may be costing long-term care facilities more than they realize.
Legacy systems make it difficult to automate processes, resulting in more errors that require employee time and effort to research and resolve.
Legacy systems often have clunky, difficult-to-use interfaces that cause inefficient use of time, lowering staff productivity. Additionally, a difficult-to-use system inspires staff to create workarounds so even if the technology is available, it is underutilized.
An outdated system may not be compliant with the constantly changing regulatory environment that long-term care facilities are subject to. This means staff is required to manage information and create compliance reports manually, reducing the amount of time dedicated to resident care and increasing inefficiencies, along with the potential for costly compliance errors.
A legacy system is more likely to process data using outdated models, such as statistical algorithms, rather than applying artificial intelligence and predictive modeling to resident care. Sophisticated, state-of-the-art EHR systems use data analytics to create smart alerts to improve resident care and responsiveness to individual needs.
Outdated, hard-to-use technology can negatively affect the daily life of your employees, resulting in low job satisfaction and high turnover. One study found that the turnover rates for nurses and aides in long-term care facilities can range from 55 to 75 percent, and the costs associated with turnover can reach 20 percent of employee annual total compensation.³
Keeping your employees happy by providing a technology solution that increases productivity, lowers stress, and allows them to focus on resident care can have a direct, positive effect on your bottom line.
While the number of technology solutions available to a long-term care facility may seem overwhelming, and the upfront costs are intimidating, making the investment in a technology upgrade can provide many long-term benefits. Many solutions, such as EHR software, can even be affordable and easy to implement.
And by investing in the right solution, your facility can streamlining processes, improve care, refine compliance activities, and improve the overall job satisfaction of employees. That can result in a significant, positive financial impact on a long-term care facility.