LCCA's Chief Information Officer Terry Leonard and VP of Information Technology Joy Abraham

Compelling stories of improved resident engagement is how some winners of the third annual McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards caught the eyes of our independent panel of judges. Also in focus were efforts to reduce antipsychotics use, creating a system to help residents attend their favorite activities, and tracking residents through care transitions. 

Archie Hendricks Sr. Skilled Nursing Facility, Cedar Creek Living Center, Jewish Home Lifecare, Life Care Centers of America and the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life were all Gold Award winners in the contest, which was exclusively sponsored by Tena. 

Life Care Centers wins Gold for care transitions technology

With the help of vendor eMids Technologies, Life Care Centers of America was able to show how electronic health records system SofCare2 allows Transition of Care documents from external providers in CCD, CCR and CCDA formats. 

SofCare2 helps the user to electronically import medications, allergies and diagnoses from the document into the EHR. Records in an XML format can be either sent on the patient portal, to the physician or to the hospital, according to Joy Abraham, LCCA vice president of information technology.

LCCA won a Silver in the Transitions category in 2013, and has boosted its use of the system to excel this year.

“More facility staff are using the system and its various features. CPOE, care plans, structured entry of allergies and immunizations, and progress reports are being used widely,” Abraham says.

Receiving Transition of Care documents helps through the ability to provide essential clinical and care information to the receiving care team, he says. “Without appropriate transfer of data during these transitions, gaps in treatment, deficiencies in care coordination, and poor communication may result,” he explains.

This year’s Silver Award went to BMA Management Ltd., and the Bronze went to Signature HealthCARE, both for their work with Caremerge.

BMA Management uses Caremerge’s clinical solution to better track falls and incidents, transitions in and out of communities and for critical notes. Staff members have been able to work more effectively and generate clear reports, the company says. Signature HealthCARE notes that Caremerge lets staff provide automated scripts, checklists and reminders for consistent care. 

“The simple, logical interface makes it easy to adjust and modify an individual’s care plan and ensures our staff never misses a step,” Signature’s Kara Plaks wrote. 

JHL uses monitoring system to win Innovator honors

Jewish Home Lifecare uses Panasonic Home Gateway to connect and utilize patient televisions for biometric monitoring, health self-assessment surveys and education videos. Patients receive a video prompt on their television, reminding them to take their vital signs. Weight and blood pressure readings are then transmitted via Bluetooth to Panasonic’s “Smartcare” portal. Patients also are asked disease-specific health questions, and they can respond via television remote control. A JHL telehealth nurse monitors vital signs and query responses, and follows up accordingly.

The six-month pilot targets high-risk underserved people in New York City. The average age is 77, and the majority of participants are female. The program helps reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits by 40%. It has achieved the highest patient satisfaction rate in JHL’s history of telehealth, says Senior Vice President of Business Development Regina Melly.

“Panasonic’s Home Gateway system was a huge hit with our patients. Almost all of them — 97% — reported being better able to manage their conditions, which led to an equally high percentage following their medication regimes,” Melly says.

StoneGate Senior Living in Texas took the Silver Award for its work with LG CNS. The provider has spent two years with the company developing a post-acute Electronic Health Records system. It was built to have “real-life, modern-day workflows,” StoneGate says, and it has increased staff engagement.

The Bronze Award went to Southminster in Charlotte, NC, for its use of Status Solutions’ CATIE system. It has allowed the community to improve the resident experience, including by enabling self-selection of certain services, the facility notes.

A Certificate of Merit went to Canterbury At Cedar Grove in New Jersey, for its use of videoconferencing with Double Robotics robots and Apple’s iPad. A robot places the iPad on a mobile base that can be controlled remotely. 

Archie Hendricks Sr. SNF wins Gold Award for Dignity

Archie Hendricks Sr. Skilled Nursing Facility, located on the Tohono O’odham Reservation in Arizona, created a television station to help residents “feel part of the nursing home community and their native community,” according to William Olivares, IT technician at Archie Hendricks. That won the facility a Gold Award in the Dignity category.

The facility broadcasts culturally relevant and tribal-specific events to all TV sets throughout the center. These broadcasts are recorded in the facility and also remotely. Staff researched and developed methods that have allowed the facility to live-stream community and cultural events in order to help residents feel connected. The facility also has used iPads to enable long-distance visits with another Native American skilled nursing facility.

The Silver Award went to Vetter Health Services for its work with It’s Never 2 Late. Vetter has 30 long-term care facilities, 22 of which are in Nebraska. The Vetter communities are equipped with 35 iN2L systems, ranging from portable tablets, to 23-inch touchscreens on adaptive carts, to a behemoth 70-inch system in the therapy gym. Collectively, this has allowed more than 40,000 hours of resident engagement in the first half of 2014, system officials said.

Park Ridge Care Center in Shoreline, WA, took the Bronze Award for its work with Cerner Corporation’s CareTracker. Park Ridge used the technology to boost resident satisfaction levels and increase regulatory compliance to around 98%.

Certificates of Merit were given to Signature HealthCARE for its use of Smart Bed Technology made through Goodmark Medical and BAM Labs, and Centers Health Care in New York, which used Point RF Solution’s NoWander management system. 

Signature reported that using the beds enabled an 85.4% decrease in new pressure ulcer development during a 12-week study at three facilities. 

Centers Health Care said NoWander has not only increased resident safety, but made it easier to locate staff and to find residents who need medications. 

Abramson Center creates Match-QI to capture Gold Award

The Polisher Research Institute of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life has developed a new tool called the Match-Quality Indicator in order to help residents maximize their activities based on preferences. The project won the center the Gold Award in the High Tech/High Touch category.

Match-QI “really reflects the collaborative research at its best,” says Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D., vice president of research and director at the institute. “It reflects everyone’s voice.” 

The system uses an Access database system to generate color-coded graphic reports of whether individual preferences are being met. The resident is asked to rank the level of importance of recreational activites in an assessment, and if he or she has participated in the desired activity more than twice a month, the display is green. The system helps staff create better care plans; it piloted Match-QI with 205 residents, Van Haitsma explained. The results showed that residents attended 30 activites on average per month, and 80% of them were ranked “important” or “somewhat important.”

The match tracker is a “dynamic tool that can measure residents’ interests and activity involvement so that we can continually make enhancements in their quality of life,” says President and Chief Executive Officer Carol Irvine. “It enables us to take our commitment to person-centered care to a new level.”

The Silver Award went to Signature HealthCARE for its use of Smart Bed Technology throughGoodmark Medical and BAM Labs. 

Residences at Wingate in Massachusetts won Bronze for its use of interactive digital signage.

Certificates of Merit were awarded to Kentwood Manor in Kentwood, LA, for its use of RosieConnect in taking vital signs and increasing staff time with residents, and to the Chelsea Retirement Community in Chelsea, MI, for starting an iPad class for residents, which has included teaching them to use FaceTime. 

Antipsychotic reduction leads to quality win for Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek Living Center in Norman, OK, used Cerner Corporation’s electronic point-of-care documentation tool to change medication management and care coordination. Physicians have received more accurate behavioral information, allowing the operator to decrease antipsychotics administration from 45% in August 2012 to 16% in July 2013.

The system “makes my job a lot easier,” says Kelly Bowers, director of nursing. “It makes taking care of residents easier, and gives us more time.”

Agapé Senior, a network of residential and health-related companies with services across South Carolina, took Silver for using Talyst’s automated medication dispensing system. Moving to the system has allowed the provider to eliminate waste, save money, improve patient safety, and free up time for nurses, leaders say.

Arcadia Retirement Residences in Hawaii won Bronze for integration of its electronic health records with clinical and financial elements that also allows for custom reporting. 

Certificates of Merit were awarded to Glenridge on Palmer Ranch in Florida and Princeton Place in Albuquerque, NM. Glenridge uses Novaerus filtration machines at its Carroll Center, among other new services. Princeton Place was recognized for using PointClickCare’s resident information system. In one case, it allowed a resident elopement to be handled effectively due to the quick availablity of resident history, diagnosis and medications.

Judges’ Panel:

Steve Ackerson

President/CEO, Iowa Health Care Association

Robin Arnicar, RN

President, NADONA

Andrew Carle

Executive in Residence, GMU

Scott Code

Manager, Center for Aging Services Technologies

James Gomez

President/CEO, CAHF

Michele M. Kent

President/CEO, LeadingAge New Jersey

Christopher Laxton

President/CEO, AMDA — The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

Clint Maun

Maun-Lemke Consulting

Douglas Olson, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Doug Pace

Executive Director, Advancing Excellence

Kathleen Collins Pagel

Executive Director, Arizona Health Care Association

Jeff Petty

President/CEO, Wesley Enhanced Living

Lori Porter

CEO, National Association of Health Care Assistants

Jacqueline Vance, RN

Director of Clinical Education, Sava Senior Care LLC

Gina Zimmermann

Executive Director, LTC, The Joint Commission