Thanks to COVID-19, more skilled nursing leaders are finding that engagement technology has become a necessity. In fact, the number of nursing home executives who view the technology as having a clear return on investment for their communities has more than doubled since the pandemic began, jumping from 24% to 48%, according to a September report released by senior living technology firm iN2L.

The report, which compares responses from more than 100 assisted living and skilled nursing leaders collected in March of 2019 and then again in June, also found that 88% of respondents now believe engagement technology differentiates their communities from the competition. That’s compared to 73% last year.

“The data validates what we’ve heard from community leaders throughout the pandemic,” said Lisa Taylor, iN2L’s CEO. “COVID-19 has hit senior living hard — not only with the daily struggle to keep residents safe while staying connected, but also sparking long-term questions of how communities will need to adapt operationally to better meet a new normal moving forward.”

USA Healthcare is just one example of an operator whose residents and staff have benefitted from iN2L’s technologies. The operator had just a few devices from iN2L before the pandemic began, but thanks to a grant program through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, it was able to secure an additional eight tablets each for its seven Alabama facilities. 

“The tablets’ large screens and easily accessible video chat buttons make them really easy for our staff to train the residents in how to use them,” said Shiela Johnson, BSN, RN, director of clinical & education services at USA Healthcare.