Editor’s Note: The 2019 winners of the McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards are being announced today and every day next week. Skilled Care track winners are being released here by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. Senior Living track winners are being announced on the website of our sister publication McKnight’s Senior Living.

Lorien Health Services has been awarded the blue ribbon in the Quality category of the Skilled Care track of the 2019 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards program.

Its robust TeleMedicine program and other innovative technologies help to provide the best care to every resident, says Lou Grimmel, CEO of Maryland-based Lorien Health Services. 

“Every Lorien employee sees our residents as somebody’s mom, somebody’s dad — somebody’s prized possession, and we had better take care of them,” Grimmel told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

The emphasis on quality care is the reason Lorien won the Gold in the skilled care division of the annual competition. Entries were collected earlier this year and judged by an independent panel of long-term care and senior living experts.

Thanks in large part to the telemedicine program, this year the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ranked Lorien’s Bel Air, MD, facility in the first tier for value. The program, which first got underway in 2015 as a pilot project between the facility and the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Center, allows a resident, accompanied by a certified nurse practitioner, to see and talk to attending physicians at the hospital or emergency department.

It has resulted in a 34% reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions. Because of the program’s success, Lorien has expanded it to other facilities. 

Among the company’s other advancements: It is rolling out a telehealth program for people outside its facilities through the Lorien at home health division. This program incorporates Lorien Link, which uses a tablet and connected peripherals, such as a blood pressure cuff, to gather patient data. Also, in 2018, Lorien rolled out Real Time Medical Systems, which manages and monitors clinical alerts, to all its facilities. And in January, Lorien launched CareConnection, which provides immediate and automated vitals, and reduces or eliminates errors that come with manual entries, at its Mt. Airy, MD, facility. Other technological enhancements are in the works.

“Providers adopting similar technologies will find they can approach care more predicatively, decreasing hospital admissions and readmissions rates, while increasing quality of care for their patients,” Grimmel said. 

2019 McKnight's Excellence in Technology awards logo

Other winners in the Quality category:

Silver Award: Banecare Management of Braintree, MA, for its data analysis on residents who are admitted to the hospital after being discharged from a skilled nursing facility. Using PatientPing technology, the organization can monitor patients when they are admitted to the hospital, work with the hospital in real time and direct patients back to skilled nursing facilities when appropriate. 

Bronze Award: Westminster Skilled Nursing Facility in Muncie, IN, for care coordination. 

After implementing Olio, a collaboration platform that connects acute- and post-acute facilities, it can communicate in real time on a resident’s condition and also connect leadership, nursing, social services and therapy to provide feedback to physicians and hospital teams. 

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.