Thursday, September 20, 2007

Don't be a Technology Dinosaur

Let’s face it: most of us running companies providing care to seniors today didn’t grow up with a PDA or a mouse in our hands.

We probably don’t have Facebook or MySpace accounts, let alone thousands and thousands of “friends.”

If you’re like me, you may not even know how to load a video onto YouTube, although you have watched one or two.

But please don’t call us technology dinosaurs! We like to think we’ll adopt technology as soon as it’s tested and can be demonstrated to be of benefit – that very minute, we’ll be on board.

But just listen to what U.S. Senator Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said about us just recently at the Senate “idea exchange” sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Debbie Stabenow: “"the use of technology is worse in this industry [long term care] than any other industry except mining."[1]

Yikes! That’s not a flattering review of our profession.

Just to show you that I know how to do some cool things using technology, here’s a YouTube video of what one company, Ecumen, is doing to utilize technology:

Pretty cool stuff – and great press that gets the attention of seniors today whose number one concern is losing their mental functioning and consequently their independence.

But what about technology as it relates to training? What’s wrong with the old “stand-up-in-front-of-the-entire-staff-on-payday” approach?

Just a few things: using the same schpele for everyone, regardless if they are a week one or year 10 employee, missing those folks who are sick, sleeping or simply don’t show up, and checking how well your training worked by using a sign-in sheet for verification.

Why not dip your toes into the murky water of technology and check out online training? Like other aspects of technology, the cost is increasingly affordable, the implementation is quick and simple. And the results? One independent study found that game-based online learning was over 7 times more effective than traditional forms of training.

That’s something to think about when you’re ready to make the move away from the old way – the dinosaur way – to the new, modern way of providing senior care!
[1] As reported by Larry Minnix, AAHSA President and CEO in his message dated 9/13/07.

No comments:

Post a Comment