Better Data Provides Better Eldercare

March 17, 2022

Assisted living facilities lack data-driven tools to operate efficiently and give the best care to their residents. Legacy solutions only support a reactive care culture that leaves care managers and staff at a loss when it comes to providing care that is both proactive and preventative, especially when it comes to communicating the level of care a resident is receiving to their loved ones.

The eldercare market needs fully integrated, data-driven solutions to provide a robust view into day-to-day care, staffing, and resident needs. And Sage’s dashboards and analytics provide critical insight into changes in a resident’s health along with other crucial trends.

Why Is Data Important for Eldercare?

More data means more insights to inform eldercare plans. Collecting data from several key sources and centralizing it facilitates effective communication between care facility leaders and families of residents, improves overall care quality, and provides deeper insights into staffing needs.

Creating and using actionable data for eldercare enhances residents’ health and well-being and provides better communication to their loved ones. Care managers can use data analytics to better detect health disparities and address gaps in treatment by employing proactive care plans. For example, care managers can examine trends surrounding the data for alerts to determine where they can shift staff to serve residents’ needs better.

Data Can Help Evaluate and Decrease Alert Response Time

In most assisted living facilities using pull cord call lights, the average claim time can fluctuate, sometimes up to 30 minutes or more, depending on various factors: short staffing, shift change, or staff addressing other calls.

According to an observational study conducted by the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), the average time to claim and resolution time were affected by staff burnout from alert fatigue, confusion by multiple call lights going off at the same time, or being overwhelmed.

The data shown in the Alerts Dashboard are important because they present action that provide information to make important staffing and care decisions.

Care managers can use the data from the Alerts Dashboard, which provide an overview of all facility residents and break down alerts by Alert Count, Average Claim Time (in Minutes), and Average Resolution Time (in Minutes). They are able to look at the data in real time or look back 7 days, 30 days, a week, a month, or a year at any moment to compare changes over time in these metrics.

In this dashboard view, facility leaders and staff can easily review metrics that are most crucial to providing quality care. The resolution time is the time it takes them to triage an incident in the application. The Average Resolution Time is cumulative. For example, if the Average Resolution Time is 16 minutes, that means, based on the graph in the dashboard view, it took 13 minutes to claim the alert and 3 minutes to triage / resolve.

This data helps the care manager to identify any potential outliers. The outliers may be an increase in response time on specific days or periods of time, allowing them to identify what may have contributed to the delays.

Breaking down each alert by reason can help care managers identify the types of needs an individual resident may have. By identifying these patterns — days, times, and how many calls for each reason — they can assess the level of care a resident may need and when. Both staff and residents add the reason for the alert to help capture robust data.

Data-Driven Insights Enable Better Care Decisions

The data gleaned from Average Claim Time for an alert relates to the number of times a patient is requesting mobility assistance. This type of data may be used to paint a picture of what is happening day to day and within the care cycle of any individual resident. It can also help to address any issues or gaps in care.

Safety and Level-of-Care Insights

When it comes to addressing safety concerns, it helps to have actionable data to prevent critical emergency incidents. Residents with limited mobility may attempt to get out of their chair or bed because their call light went unanswered for too long. According to research reported by the CDC, “Falls among adults 65 and older caused over 34,000 deaths in 2019, making it the leading cause of injury death for that group.”

Critical incidents, such as falls, are preventable by using actionable data to break down average claim time and, even further, the types of calls citing patterns that may signify increased risks or changes in mobility.

Following the types of reported incidents provides a full picture of residents at higher safety risks, especially in emergencies. The level of care also helps to address how much care an individual resident may require. This type of data is useful in several ways:

  • Communication with family
  • Cost of care
  • Assigning the appropriate staff to their care plan
  • Identifying increasing health concerns

You can design better care plans by identifying trends, such as disorientation, loss of mobility, or even future changes in incontinence. The data collected from each alert incident are broken down into types of calls: Question or Minor Help, Toileting, Transfer Request, Not Feeling Well, Fall, etc.

The graph shows the total number of alerts for each resident; the color codes indicate the type of incidents and how many calls are attributed to that incident. When comparing the data to past occurrences (over days, weeks, or months), you can investigate any trends that pop up — like an increase in toileting, for example. The data provides information on when the increase began and the frequency, so care managers can investigate the cause. Highlighting trends helps care managers implement an intervention, assign specialized care, and determine preventative care measures that may be required to adjust a resident’s current care plan.

Data Helps You Provide Staffing When You Need It Most

Balancing resident needs with personnel levels and financial constraints is a crucial skill made easier with actionable data. The standard practice of scheduling staff is to assign people to individual standard shifts — day, evening, and overnight.

Staff are scheduled to cover each shift without insights into what times of day may require more staff than others. It creates a problem of either overstaffing or understaffing shifts, which can cause burnout and contribute to increased alert response times.

Implementing intuitive staffing schedules can be a big plus when it comes to contributing to staff retention and easing staffing frustrations. It helps to identify hiring opportunities to cover areas of increased activity or even specialists to contribute to individual resident care.

Beyond scheduling, using data can show which care team members excel within their role by providing exemplary care and claiming the most alerts. It’s important from a workforce management perspective because you want to reward and incentivize the people claiming 50 incidents in seven days and have an average claim time of under 20 minutes.

Sage Provides Actionable Data for Better Eldercare

Many elders have numerous chronic health issues and require additional assistance in managing these ailments to live a healthy life. The ability to collect data by using Sage allows care managers and staff to provide older adults with a better quality of life.

Although data management might seem difficult, the potential for using data to enhance healthcare is only beginning. As a result, there is a higher-level engagement, better resident care, and better outcomes overall. Schedule a demo today to see how data may help you and your staff improve eldercare.

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