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Making Healthy Decisions for Senior Living Operations Begins with Healthy Business Intelligence and Effective Data Management

May 8, 2020

How purpose-driven data and forward thinking can catapult success using innovative business intelligence solutions for healthier decision making and organization well-being.

Now more than ever, each of us are paying closer attention to our health and well-being as a result of the current health crisis. Such an unprecedented situation has affected every individual not only physically, but also mentally and financially, both within our personal and professional lives. Particularly for the senior living industry, the current emergency has certainly represented an immense toll due to the priority of needing to keep residents, one of the most vulnerable populations, safe from harm while still attempting to remain financially stable. However, senior living professionals should take note that out of every crisis comes an opportunity to enact positive change that leads to more efficient operations and an ability to better address the needs of residents, stakeholders and staff.

While clearly two distinct situations, the ability to preserve one’s physical health and the financial health of a senior living business share the common feature of being able to reduce risk by limiting exposure to unforeseen anomalies and being able to act decisively should any sudden anomaly arise. This white paper serves to demonstrate how senior living professionals are able to leverage their organizational data to not only preserve financial balance during times of uncertainty and stress, but also how the ability to seamlessly and instantly rely on such information can ensure that the well-being and happiness of residents is always achieved no matter the current environment. By working to implement such business intelligence strategies, senior living organizations can ensure that they are able to fully address short term financial and resident demands during a time of crisis, while also setting themselves up for consistent business success into the long term future.

Maintaining Organizational, Professional and Personal Well-being by Using Data as Your Guide

All senior living operators recognize that their residents rely on them to receive quality care, security and a sense of fulfillment out of daily life. They further understand that to achieve these goals, a community must be financially stable and able to pass on such feelings of stability to their residents. Yet for each of these factors to take place, operators require a reliable source of information that they can lean on in order to identify operational obstacles, discrepancies or necessary changes needed for meeting business objectives and resident needs. Each community possesses a wealth of statistical data that can be obtained from performance-generating systems for accounting, labor, clinical and occupancy analytics. By integrating disparate systems used across all departments, operators can gain a full grasp of the current business environment at either one location, a specific set of locations or across an entire portfolio.

With performance metrics readily available, senior living professionals can significantly identify what initiatives are working, which ones require re-strategizing and which ones should be eliminated in order to obtain optimal results in maintaining the well-being of both their business and of individual residents. For example, by analyzing statistical labor data, operators can determine if specific departments or communities are staffed appropriately and can reorganize their labor resources accordingly to ensure that the current needs of all residents are met. Perhaps a community is suddenly in urgent need of supplies or repairs but is unsure of where to obtain the necessary expense funds without potentially jeopardizing another area of business. With access to up-to-date accounting data, operators can immediately identify unnecessary expenditures that can be eliminated, and instead can repurpose such revenue towards financing operations where it is needed most. Importantly, making effective use of such analytical abilities ensures that revenue or resources are not inadvertently withdrawn from community service areas that are essential to maintaining a successful community operation and the satisfaction of residents.

During times of organizational stress, these kinds of errors can be routinely made due to the need to act quickly, yet by remembering to effectively analyze their performance data, senior living professionals can remain confident in being able to make decisions that continue to ensure the full health and safety of both their businesses and residents at all times.

Ensuring healthier Decisions with Faster Decision-Making Abilities

The senior living industry has entered into an era of rapid market growth, competitiveness and change where the ability to make informed, yet swift business decisions has become essential to organizational survival and the ability to meet shifting resident needs. The mass of data that exists at the individual community level and throughout an operator’s portfolio has proven critical to successfully navigating such challenges by providing the means to measure, analyze and report on the effectiveness of business initiatives. However, just as important to being able to evaluate such metrics to ensure that a business is on the right path, is the ability to gain immediate access to performance data that accurately represents a business’ real-time environment. With senior living business needs and objectives able to evolve rapidly from one moment to the next, analyzing outdated information can do little to ensure that business plans are created that take current performance and demands into account, and can even prove damaging in maintaining financial stability as well as resident comfort and satisfaction. At the same time, with each community typically using between five to nine software programs to gather analytics from a multitude of performance-generating systems, obtaining real-time and accurate analytics can prove to be a daunting and time-consuming task for even just one community, let alone for an entire portfolio of communities.

With time being a limited resource especially during a time of urgency, the senior living industry’s forward thinkers are, however, discovering that by integrating such systems into a single database, performance analytics can be automatically compiled and readily available the very moment it is needed. Sudden shifts in company performance, market outlook or resident needs can frequently come with a rapidly expiring timeframe in which to successfully adapt, with countless hours spent on manually compiling and confirming the accuracy of data often resulting in missed growth opportunities or abilities to strengthen businesses against an arising challenge. By instead bringing all data systems together into one seamless and fully integrated database, senior living operators can optimize business intelligence results via the ability to fully circumvent the manual data compilation process and allowing an advanced data management infrastructure to present information in a way that is instantly accessible, thoroughly accurate and always able to depict performance and operational conditions in real-time. Such advantages not only grant community leaders with much needed time to instead identify and focus on implementing an effective course of immediate action, but also afford additional valuable time in taking care of the daily needs of residents and staff.

Designing a Data Management Infrastructure that Works on Your Terms

Ensuring the ability to make proactive and timely decisions within today’s senior living industry requires instant access to real-time analytics, but it also demands the ability to gain swift access to such metrics in a way that is relevant to the specific needs of each individual, department, community or grouping of communities. Yet within this area as well, newer business intelligence abilities are providing business leadership and staff members from across a community or portfolio with the tools needed to ensure instant access to the analytics that matter most to their respective responsibilities. While leveraging the same single database that automatically pulls in real-time data from all disparate systems, senior living professionals are able to create fully customized dashboards that present only the information that is needed by a particular individual or during a specific timeframe. This maximizes a community’s ability to identify and respond to the precise needs of their business and residents by further eliminating the need to unnecessarily waste time in locating appropriate statistical information.

With a business’ priorities and outlook frequently subject to altering courses with little if any notice, modern business intelligence tools can further provide operators with the ability to pre-schedule the automated delivery of reports that ensure the capability to consistently stay up-to-date. Both dashboards and reports are now also fully compatible with mobile devices, allowing senior living professionals to gain instant insight and make quick, yet informed decisions regardless of their physical location or time of day. Operators can further make and share any notes or update with their colleagues across an organization in real-time, drastically reducing the time needed to bring leadership and employees up to speed on current events and instead ensuring an ultimate ability to focus on carrying out initiatives that ensure healthy business operations as well as financial and resident well-being.

Yet despite the time efficient and better-informed advantages that such above-mentioned abilities can provide, senior living operators recognize there are moments of extreme fast-paced change or a need to focus attention on a specific objective that can lead to important shifts in business performance being overlooked. With human attention spans subject to becoming severely limited when stretched beyond capacity, operators must therefore be able to rely on a more efficient alternative that prevents the risk of potential business opportunities or threats from falling through the cracks. Fortunately, emerging advances in artificial intelligence-based technologies are providing operators with the means to resolve this long-standing challenge once and for all. Such tools are capable of utilizing automated machine-learning abilities to identify data patterns over time through the continuous refreshing of information automatically and instantly received from a community’s operational data generating systems. By constantly analyzing a community’s key performance indicators such as occupancy or NOI, an artificial intelligence-backed data management system can immediately identify any fluctuations that appear above or below average ranges. The system can then automatically issue an alert through push notifications to appropriate personnel to inform them of a suddenly arising anomaly and ensuring that their attention is immediately diverted to swiftly address the issue. With the additional ability to customize what the system analyzes or set parameters on performance levels requiring the issuing of an alert, senior living operators can always ensure their ability to stay informed on any deviations that matter most to the well-being of their business, residents and staff.

Stepping into a Healthier Future for your Senior Living Business

Today, more than ever, senior living operators understand the need to be able to swiftly adapt and respond to the increasingly ever-shifting landscape of their industry. The ongoing health crisis is but one example of how unexpected circumstances can instantly materialize and cause a profound shift in priorities, with implications felt throughout all areas of a business and by residents and staff within each community. However, as with seeking to maximize and preserve one’s physical health by following planned regimens and limiting exposure to unexpected risk scenarios, maintaining and preserving the financial and operational well-being of a senior living business is best achieved by having intelligence-backed initiatives in place and by being able to identify suddenly arising threats before they have the opportunity to cause irreparable harm. As with virtually any aspect of our lives, the sole method of achieving this goal is by being able to rely on accurate information that allows us to better understand current circumstances and plan ahead.

In terms of ensuring a senior living business’ ability of being able to identify and implement initiatives that are in the best interests of their organization and residents alike, this means obtaining the ability to gain fully informed insight by leveraging all available performance data to at once determine where their business stands, where it is headed and what needs to be done to ensure the highest possible level of success. This not only represents the potential to quickly enact initiatives that take into account factors that are currently influencing the immediate operational environment, but also can lead to a maximized potential to plan ahead for the continued success of a business into the long-term future.

By serving as a detailed roadmap for both urgent and eventual operational needs, the implementation of a responsive and comprehensive business intelligence infrastructure capable of instantly providing relevant performance data can ensure that the needs of your business, residents and staff are always known throughout any period of time and can always be fully met. In achieving such abilities, senior living operators can rest assured that their financial health and well-being of residents is consistently safeguarded no matter what circumstances may arise at any moment.

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