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.

Automating resident activity calendars garnered the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in the Bronx, NY, top honors in the category of Keep It Super Simple in the Skilled Care track of the 2019 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards. 

Implementing the system has yielded vital improvements, said David Finkelstein, CIO of the 735-bed skilled nursing facility, which has 17 different neighborhoods, or units.

“Historically, it has been a challenge to engage some residents, especially in the memory care neighborhoods in activities,” Finkelstein told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. “This system enables us to easily track attendance, and record photos and videos each day and share with residents and their families. This system has also saved hours of manual documentation by the staff, enabling them to spend more time with the residents.”

 To execute the new calendar system, the Hebrew Home turned to Sagely, which enabled the community to create as many calendars as it needed. Besides providing visually appealing calendars, the system offers robust reporting capabilities, program attendance and tracking, and it allows family members to access their loved ones’ calendars. Driving the project was Catherine Farrell, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, CDP, director of therapeutic arts for the Hebrew Home. 

One of the favorable aspects of the new technology is its ease of use and management, Finkelstein said.

“We simply upload the current census on a weekly basis, and the cloud-based system handles the rest, from high-availability, HIPAA-compliant communication, backup and data recovery, and an easy-to-use Amazon Fire stick application to extend the system to large screen monitors on each neighborhood.”

2019 Tech Awards

Other KISS award winners:

Silver Award: Avamere Rehabilitation of Eugene in Eugene, OR, for a staffing tool that allows nursing leadership to assign CNA workloads based on resident acuity. To create the tool, Excel software was used to record staff ratings of resident acuity and then a histogram was used to determine mean staff rating for each resident. The rating was compared to ADL scores recorded by the community’s PCC software. The final product allows nurses to make assignments quickly. Since it was implemented, grumbling about unfair assignments has ended, leaders said.

Bronze Award: AMFM Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Charleston, WV, for updating its point-of-care kiosks, med cart laptops and nurse station desktops with a consistent, manageable solution. The answer: Chrome OS-based devices, which has resulted in increased documentation, reduced IT problems and smoother operations overall. 

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.