Editor’s Note: The 2019 winners of the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards are being announced Oct. 4-11. Skilled Care track winners are being announced here by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. Senior Living track winners are being announced on the website of sister publication McKnight’s Senior Living.

The research and development arm of Illuminate HC this year earned the Gold Award in the Innovator of the Year category in the Skilled Care track of the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards competition for its Illuminate Patient Response System. 

The company, which is dedicated to creating technological solutions for healthcare, previously also won a Gold in 2017.

Regulations imposed on healthcare providers can seem like a roadblock to executing new processes and technologies, acknowledged Nathan Robeson, Illuminate HC’s software architect and technology solution engineer.

“If there’s one thing we hope others learn from us, it is to invest the time and resources necessary for executing new innovations that will enhance healthcare. That will make it a better industry for all of us,” Robeson told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. 

In creating the Patient Response System, the research and development lab was responding to the persistent problem of communication between residents and their family members, and skilled nursing facilities. Families often feel frustrated that the facilities are not properly addressing their requests or questions, and may feel stymied in their repeated efforts to participate in the care of their loved ones.

To address this issue, Illuminate HC developed a solutions suite that includes a communication app, known as “CATE” (short for “advocate”), through which families can make and track requests. The app is currently undergoing Amazon Echo, or Alexa, skills configuration to make the process even easier for the user. The suite also includes a Solution Center, a call center, and “get-right-through,” appointment facilitators.

The award winners in the Innovator of the Year category:

Silver Award: Fellowship Community, of Whitehall, PA, for developing a comprehensive chronic heart failure (CHF) disease management program for its continuing care retirement community residents. It uses MatrixCare EHR technology to track residents through the program, document vital signs, enter data into user-defined forms, track daily weights, document a walking program and run reports to assess readmission rates. The program has resulted in decreased hospital admission rates for CHF and fewer disease exacerbations. 

Bronze Award: RiverWoods Exeter, Exeter, NH, for technology that makes checking on residents at night less intrusive. Using the Sensara ProCare solution, it can set personalized alarms based on the individual needs of residents. The technology sends an alarm to nurses if a resident needs support. This eliminates the need to open residents’ doors to see if they are safe.

Entries for the competition were collected earlier this year and judged by an independent panel of long-term care and senior living experts.

Stanley Healthcare is the Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. MatrixCare is the Gold Sponsor of the Senior Living track.