Trends Affecting Technology Adoption In Post-Acute And Senior Care

The post-acute and senior care technology landscape is changing as Baby Boomers, who are much more technologically savvy than previous generations, begin to age into senior care services. In response to the pandemic, healthcare organizations are increasing their use of digital health.

As post-acute and senior care organizations compete for residents with the home environment (90 percent of seniors intend to stay in their current homes for the next five to ten years), it’s critical for them to be aware of technology trends among older adults and how to support those technologies.

Clinician shortages are complicating care delivery in the post-acute setting. Technology, on the other hand, has the potential to improve nurse workflows and make care delivery more efficient.

Resident Engagement Requirements Are Changing Due to Growing Tech Adoption

The workforce shortage, combined with Baby Boomers’ increased use of technology compared to the Silent Generation, is creating a need for independent living communities to provide or support technology.

Many organizations had to prohibit visitors in the early stages of the pandemic in order to protect senior residents and patients. To stay in touch with family and friends, older adults used video calls via tablets or smartphones. According to the AARP’s “2022 Tech Trends and the 50-Plus” report, in 2021, 84% of adults 50 and older owned a smartphone, while 59% owned a tablet.

Skilled Nursing Shortage Leads to Tech Adoption in Post-Acute Care

Due to skilled nursing shortages, post-acute organizations are looking for ways to use technology to improve workflow efficiencies. Nurses will not only be able to better manage their workloads, but they will also have more time to spend with patients.

Technology can help post-acute care organizations hire clinical staff who have previously left the workforce. If a clinician wants to return to the medical field, virtual care technologies such as remote patient monitoring and telehealth can give them more options.

Tablets and smartphones are also making an impression on clinicians. Many post-acute organizations are providing all clinicians with their own devices as adoption grows.

Overcoming Barriers to Technology Adoption in Post-Acute and Senior Care

Several obstacles can stymie technology adoption among older adults, as well as in post-acute and senior care settings.

Organizations may implement technology for their employees, but that does not imply that the technology is being used by clinicians. If the rollout process does not include clinician feedback, test groups, and proper training, clinicians may revert to the inefficient old way of doing things rather than using the more efficient new technology. Caregiver staff must be educated on the new technology and given the opportunity to ask questions. Pilots can help ensure that when the official rollout occurs, the organization already has clinician buy-in and support.

Final Thoughts

To encourage residents to use technology, independent living organizations should form an innovation committee to facilitate technology discussions and pilots with health IT partners such as CDW Healthcare. Such partners can assist organizations in implementing new technology solutions one step at a time, starting with the most critical component and gradually adding in subsequent levels of functionality.

Finally, organizations should follow up to ensure that all staff, patients, and residents understand and use the technology. In order to keep everyone up to date, they should also have a plan for training new employees.

Leave a Comment

OnZine Articles 2022 - All Rights Reserved | Disclaimer