Kimberly Marselas

After years spent dragging their feet, many tech-reluctant providers have finally embraced software, security upgrades and more for the potential game-changers that they are.

If you’ve recently gone the extra mile to incorporate technology, inspired by COVID or just a desire to be a more efficient and effective caregiving organization, I have not one but two ways to reward you this week.

First up, it’s time to tout your own success by entering the 2022 McKnight’s Tech Awards. This program recognizes providers who have embraced technology in simple or innovative ways, putting the available tools to work for staff or residents, or designing a new solution to serve residents.

It might be a software solution, the roll-out of a new device or something that changed workflows or how you deliver care. We offer plenty of pathways to recognition, with four categories across our skilled nursing, senior living and home care tracks. That’s 12 opportunities to place.

While vendors aren’t eligible to enter, providers can certainly enter technology approaches for which they leaned on technology partners. But we want to hear from you — on-site leaders and frontline users — about why you chose the approach you did and the difference it made.

More details and instructions on how to enter can be found at

Entries are due by June 30. Winners will be selected by a judging panel later this summer, announced as part of our virtual 2022 Tech Summit in October, and celebrated in person, too.

Of course, McKnight’s isn’t the only organization honoring smart technology users. And you shouldn’t do it just for the accolades.

Increasingly, skilled nursing providers are adding technology because they truly see the value. A variety of tech-enabled or tech-enhanced tools are finally starting to become standard in the sector — almost a generation after acute-care providers and others made computers de rigueur.

But it still can be hard to know who’s doing what and what really matters.

That’s where the Digital Health Most Wired program comes in.

Like the McKnight’s Tech Awards + Summit, this program honors those who perform well with technology, specifically as demonstrated across key metrics. Those who attest to certain capabilities through a survey process can claim to be among the “most wired” in the nation, and they can share that designation with would-be referral partners, patients and even workers who are drawn to technology-equipped workplaces.

“It’s these types of awards that the IT leaders are really all about, and that’s one thing,” says Lorren Pettit, vice president of digital health analytics at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, or CHIME. “But it really is more about the strategic guidance that the survey does. It gives organizations a chance to say ‘Here’s what we are, but what do we look like in context with other organizations?’”

While many providers may think of DHMW as a hospital program, Pettit told me that it was retooled in 2020 to include long-term care and post-acute organizations. The survey asks questions to measure capabilities in eight key categories. They are:

  • Infrastructure
  • Security
  • Administration and supply chain
  • Analytics and data management
  • Interoperability and population health
  • Patient and family engagement
  • Clinical quality and safety
  • Innovation

Everyone who completes the survey will get a free profile report, allowing them access to a portal where they can see how they stack up against others in their sector, state or region using de-identified information. The work that happens from there is what really excites Pettit, who has seen the results help share future years’ technology investments as well as exercises that detect systemic strengths and weaknesses.

“I think this is really valuable for the post-acute, SNF marketplace, especially in a post-COVID world, where we know the nursing homes took a real big hit,” he said. “To be able to capture the information, surveillance and sharing the information through interoperability, those are the types of things that are going to be really significant in making sure SNFs are really the place to be in terms of competing for new staff.” 

While you have until June 30 to tell McKnight’s your technology story (and we offer a quick and easy entry form) Digital Health’s “most-wired” program will require a little more time and effort from those who fill out a nomination form. Those surveys are due by June 13.

You’re not dragging those feet on tech investments anymore, so don’t sleep on the chance for free, public recognition. You’ve earned it!

Kimberly Marselas is senior editor of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

Opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News columns are not necessarily those of McKnight’s.