There can be a lot of anxiety, sometimes fear, assigned to trying something for the first time.

A new job, a new school, a new way of doing a task that you might have been comfortable doing another way for years. That’s understandable.

Nervous tension can be good for the outcome of whatever is being attempted. This often drives excellent results for first-timers.

But then comes the second year. The “sophomore slump” as someone looking for rationale once put it. Sometimes a decline is a self-fulfilling prophecy: Worry about it and it will occur.

That’s why I’m not going to worry too much about the Second Annual McKnight’s Technology Awards program, which kicks off this month. The first one last year was a smashing success. I have no reason to believe there are any fewer proud and successful programs out there this year.

On the contrary.

If you entered last year but didn’t win, you owe it to you and your staff to re-enter this year.

The fact is, we were deluged with well over 100 entries. By the time the field was narrowed down to 15 winners among the five categories, that meant dozens of extremely qualified entrants could rightfully take up the battle cry, “Wait until next year!”

That time is here.

In the upcoming weeks, you will be asked to set humility aside and tell us about the tech systems and wrinkles you use to provide better resident care. Once again, this is aimed at you, the provider. What makes your facility run better? What has your hard-working team devised recently that deserves wider recognition?

This goes for both high-tech and low-tech applications. Winners can be for simple solutions or complex computerization.

Actually, what seemed to stand out from last year’s winners was the fact that they used technology to come up with a solution and then fortified their outcomes with loving care and personal touches. Staff dedication and individual efforts made a big difference for the people they were serving.

And that’s what it’s all about, folks.

We look forward to seeing your entries, and hopefully listing your name among the winners and honorable mentions. You can be sure  we will splash the names wide and far. You and the profession deserve no less.