Elizabeth Newman

Here’s how you know a program is successful: When people keep asking you when it’s coming back.

That’s why I’m so pleased to announce that indeed, the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology awards program is back for its fourth year. We’ve reached what I would call a critical mass, where providers know the categories of Quality, Dignity, High Tech/High Touch, Innovator and Transitions will give their facility a boost. You can enter here.

Our program this year is made possible through the exclusive sponsorship of TheWorxHub by Dude Solutions.

Gold, Silver and Bronze winners are recognized in each category. Gold winners last year were Life Care Centers of America, Archie Hendricks Sr. Skilled Nursing Facility, Cedar Creek Living Center, Jewish Home Lifecare, and the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life. Staff members from last, the winner for High Tech/High Touch, was invited to the McKnight’s Online Expo this spring to expand on how they used an Access database to generate color-coded graphic reports of whether individual preferences in activities are being met.

If you’re reading this, you know that the cache of McKnight’s goes a long way if your facility wins. But too often we hear comments such as, “Oh, I meant to enter, but I ran out of time,” or, “I didn’t know what information I needed,” or, “I’m not sure what kind of new technology we have.”

Here are some ways we’ve made that easier, along with some tips: 

1) We’re giving you oodles of time — the deadline is July 11. 

2) This blog, our news and our entry kit need to be shared with the members of your marketing team and administrator. That’s not to say the judges don’t want to see technical or specific data culled from clinical or IT employees, but at the end of the day, someone has to take a few minutes to put words to paper and send it to us.

3) Remember that the technology does not need to be homegrown at your community. Judges are looking for HOW you used the technology to improve efficiency and resident care for residents. While vendors cannot enter, if your facility is using a service or product from a specific source, use it as a starting point to examine your results. But be sure to elaborate beyond, “We bought it and used it.”

As a coda to that, don’t become stymied by the word “technology.” Instead, think about performance improvement or quality initiatives that have made a difference at your facility and how technology played a role, no matter what type. 

Last year, it was my pleasure to go to Life Care Centers in Tennessee to present the Gold award in the transitions category, and warmly congratulate the hard-working folks there on their work in improving the lives of seniors. Will McKnight’s be at your facility next?

Elizabeth Leis Newman is Senior Editor at McKnight’s. Follow her @TigerELN.