Insights on the “New Normal” in Senior Care from Mike and Dave Wessinger
Approximately 2,000 PointClickCare customers, partners, and employees came together last week to hear PointClickCare Founder and CEO Mike Wessinger, and Co‐founder and President Dave Wessinger, kick off the ninth annual PointClickCare SUMMIT. Mike and Dave engaged the audience with their insights on the “new normal” in senior care, expressing how important it is that both LTPAC providers and vendors quickly adapt to the changes necessitated by today’s changing demographics.
Innovation Supported by Technology Will Close the Gap
Mike acknowledged that while the industry has always been very adaptable, the enormous demand for LTPAC services as a result of the “silver tsunami” creates an unprecedented challenge. There will be a major gap between required care and the expenditures necessary to provide that care. Mike proposed that the only way to meet that challenge is to leverage technology and innovation to care for our aging population.
The first order of business: increasing the ratio of caregivers to seniors. In order to attract enough workers to the LTPAC industry, Mike asserted that we need to realign the work environment. Humans shouldn’t do jobs that computers and other technologies do best (collecting, processing and storing data, and removing bias), and computers and machines shouldn’t take over work needing human characteristics like curiosity, innovation, invention, empathy, critical thinking and judgment.
He suggested that three kinds of technologies will most effectively transform healthcare, and in particular, senior care:
- Internet of Things (IoT), specifically the Internet of Medical Things
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
- Self‐Care/Remote Care Technology
IoT – the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects enabling them to send and receive data – will be used in everything from hearing aids to smart beds and toilets to in‐home sensors. Collecting 60,000 data points every minute, IoT will remove much of the human burden of recording data and doing paperwork.
By augmenting human capacity, AI takes cost and waste out of the system, and reduces human workload. Mike gave the example of how AI could supplement nursing capabilities, predicting falls, aggressive behavior and other patient scenarios before they occur, and suggesting possible preventative actions.
Self‐care and remote care technologies, from applications to medical devices, take logistical waste out of the system. Mike cited how remote care could allow a wound care specialist to provide care to dozens of patients from a central location, eliminating travel and off‐site reporting.
It Takes a Community to Care for an Aging Population
To care for individuals across the continuum, Mike concluded that the more data we get and use to create real‐world evidence and solutions, the smarter caregivers will become. He recognized PointClickCare’s Marketplace, which opens up our platform to developers of associated applications so users have access to a menu of plug‐in products and services. With 300+ developers participating, innovation is being unleashed every day thanks to the largest ecosystem of companies and solutions in senior care.
Three Major Goals, Three Important Themes
Mike passed the baton to Dave, who told the audience that PointClickCare plans to impact the lives of 50 million people by 2025, with three specific objectives:
- Improve the patient experience
- Improve the health of populations
- Reduce healthcare costs
While helping providers thrive under PDPM was last year’s primary goal, Dave confirmed that the company has adopted three themes to address the “new normal” in the coming year:
- Empowered care
- Actionable intelligence
- Integrated care coordination
He pointed out that after employees, two of the most precious resources in senior care are time and attention. Empowered care, actionable intelligence and integrated care coordination focus attention on the right things at the right times.
New PointClickCare Solutions Meet the “New Normal” Needs
During the keynote SUMMIT attendees saw a demo and overview of Nursing Advantage, our new clinical content solution giving LTPAC providers the ability to standardize care delivery processes with evidence‐based clinical content templates. This innovative approach to care delivery creates assessments that drive better resident outcomes.
Allowing staff to do their jobs with greater speed and accuracy is the driving force behind Companion, our new mobile app. Dave showed how it enables caregivers to use iPhones to easily capture and document the medications and services they deliver. By improving their workflow and time management, it allows caregivers to more thoroughly engage with the people who need them.
Dave also noted that the barriers between acute care and post‐acute care providers must come down under the “new normal.” Now, it’s all about doing the right thing for the people needing care. PointClickCare’s Harmony Insights gives post‐acute providers the performance metrics they need to build relationships with acute care partners–and better manage the patient journey.
He concluded by revealing that PointClickCare is giving its customers unprecedented access to Carequality, an industry-trusted exchange framework that enables interoperable data exchange between health data sharing networks. With connections to 1,400 hospitals, providers can request and receive meaningful, real‐time data about an individual regardless of where they are in the care continuum – driving better outcomes for both seniors and providers.
What Do You Consider the “New Normal”?
If you attended SUMMIT, or even if you couldn’t make it this year, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the “new normal.” As Dave noted, “There’s no going back. We need to come together to accelerate research and make a meaningful impact.”
November 11, 2019