Golden LivingCenter-Indianapolis uses AlixaRx system to reduce antipsychotics, earning the SNF a top McKnight's tech award

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Golden LivingCenter - Indianapolis
Golden LivingCenter - Indianapolis

From reducing off-label use of antipsychotics to better antibiotic stewardship, medication management is at the forefront of today's long-term care challenges. And Golden LivingCenter-Indianapolis is in the vanguard of facilities tackling this challenge in innovative ways. For this, the skilled nursing facility received top honors in the McKnight's Excellence in Technology awards.

Golden LivingCenter-Indianapolis, which has an average daily census of 90 residents, was the first LivingCenter in Indiana to use the AlixaRx pharmacy system. Its strong implementation achieved impressive results, including a 15% reduction in antipsychotic use this year. Independent judges honored the facility with the Gold award for Innovator of the Year.  

Developed in partnership with Golden Living, the AlixaRx system offers 24/7, on-site access to more than 300 medications via automated dispensing units and electronic medication cabinets. The results in Indianapolis are representative of how the innovative system is improving medication management company-wide: In June 2013, across all facilities using AlixaRx, Golden saw about a 13% cost reduction on oral solid medications, according to the company. Quality of care also improved, staff members said.

“This technology cuts a minimum of an hour in the morning when we are delivering medicine to our patients,” says Donna Jenkinson, RN, a nurse at the Indianapolis LivingCenter. “We now use this hour to spend with our patients.”

The Silver award went to Cantata Adult Life Services. The Illinois-based nonprofit showed what can happen when new technology inspires and supports a fundamental reevaluation of how care is delivered. Using AOD's AnswersTM EHR technology, Cantata turned around its skilled nursing services, which was seeing increased costs, lower customer satisfaction and stalled growth.

The transformation to a hard-wired EHR was achieved in tandem with changing 75% of the SNF leadership, and a commitment to maximizing the technology's value by eliminating workarounds and adopting a point-of-care program, according to the company's entry form. Cantata now has 95%-plus customer satisfaction and consistent revenue growth, the company says, and it has created a consulting service to aid other providers looking for similar success.

AristaCare Health Services walked away with the Bronze award for its telemedicine initiative. The provider, which offers post-acute and long-term care at six locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, implemented a solution created by eSNF LLC. The eSNF service includes state-of-the-art equipment that allows physicians to see and evaluate residents after hours. AristaCare says it has seen about a 40% decline in hospitalizations.

The two certificate of merit honorees in this category deserve special congratulations: Each of them also earned a certificate of merit in the High Tech/High Touch category.

Canterbury Care & Rehabilitation Center, a Windsor Healthcare Communities facility, won for an innovative media project. The Canterbury News Network broadcasts via YouTube and on a local channel in Cedar Grove, NJ. Residents serve as anchors and reporters on this “CNN,” which involves the use of green screens, iPads, editing programs and other technology.

Three Links Care Center in Northfield, MN, implemented SpeechGear's Interact-AS technology to improve communication with residents who have hearing difficulties or need translation services, and partnered with SpeechGear to develop dementia-specific features. The nonprofit says it undertook this project to better serve its current residents and to prepare for a future when an increasing number of seniors will not speak English as a first language.

McKesson is this year's sponsor of the competition. This week, the McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards is recognizing winners in the following categories:

Monday — Quality in care (Gold: Life Care Centers of America)

Tuesday – Dignity Through Technology (Gold: The Terraces of Los Gatos)

Wednesday – High Tech/High Touch (Gold: Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing)

Thursday – Innovator of the Year

Friday – Transitions