“Without the proper tools, these operators are either under communicating or wasting critical staff time getting the message out the old-fashioned way.”
By: Cindy Phillips | Managing Partner, K4Advisors
May 13, 2020
In a previous article, I talked about the mass notification tools that have become critical during COVID-19, moving from nice-to-have to must-have. For every community that is using these effectively, there is another that is struggling to keep their residents, families, and staff informed and updated. K4Connect’s K4Community Hotline service is the fastest way to improvement.
Without the proper tools, these operators are either under communicating or wasting critical staff time getting the message out the old-fashioned way (photocopies, emails, letters, elevator posters.) Even worse, as documented in a recent McKnight’s survey, fielding hundreds of phone calls from residents, family, or even staff, wanting to know the same information.
The K4Community Hotline is just what it sounds like – a recorded message line that keeps callers informed on the latest information and frees up staff from repetitive phone calls. The Hotline accomplishes two things that are critically important right now; first, informing residents and families about the latest COVID-19 information and second, offsetting the time staff is spending fielding those calls.
This need for a process and a tool for timely mass communication in senior living is certainly not limited to COVID-19. If you look back just the last few years, there are many other scenarios that a tool like this would be critical for communications, especially to external audiences:
- Regulatory compliance (including COVID-19)
- Severe weather alerts/evacuations
- Active shooter or bomb threats
- Radiation leaks/incidents at Nuclear facilities
- Abuse or negligence charges
- Theft or significant drug diversions
- Records breach (HIPAA)
If you are lucky enough not to be facing some of these, there are many other internal uses for mass communication tools. Some of those are as follows:
- Road closures
- Restaurant closures
- Event cancellations
- Power outage information
- Temporary suspension of shuttle service
- Last minute changes to services such as trash pick-up
Bolstering your communication tools is a must right now, and there is an opportunity to implement the simplest of these tools – a K4Community Hotline. It is not the complete engagement solution, but it works for you 24 hours/day, can be set up in a few hours, and immediately improves the quality, timeliness, and transparency of communications.
Additionally, our current hotline clients have routed thousands of calls to these numbers in just the past 30 days, saving hundreds of labor hours that are better directed to resident care.
If your residents would benefit from voice-enabled access, we have many communities providing access to hotlines, not through a telephone only, but through our Amazon Alexa integration. They simply ask, “Alexa, call the Hotline.”
Here is how simple it is to get started:
- Contact K4Connect – Call at Support at
(855) 876-9673 or CovidInfo@K4Connect.com for setup and pricing.
- Select the # of Hotlines – We recommend two to start, one for residents/staff, and an additional one for external stakeholders such as families, volunteers, and vendors. If you are a multi-site operator, we do recommend each community has its own hotline, and suggest a single hotline be set up for centralized messaging.
- Determine your Hotline Usage Plan – Who will record the messages; what is the intended message stream; and how often will you be updating it. K4Advisors will be publishing best practices around this in another article.
- Develop your Strategy for Publishing Hotline Telephone #’s – Getting the hotline numbers and the update intervals out to residents and staff should follow your normal communication channels, including elevators and bulletin boards initially. For external audiences – using existing email lists, donor lists, Facebook and Linked-In pages, or any other social media platforms seem to work best.
- Record your First Hotline Message – We recommend writing it out, practicing it, and then recording it. The whole process takes about 10 minutes, and you are ready to go!
It really is this simple. A mass notification tool like K4Connect’s Hotline can mean the difference between a crisis or incident that is controlled and one that threatens your community reputation, resident or staff morale, regulatory compliance, and your marketing and sales efforts. Why wait to take advantage of this simple solution?
As always, contact me with questions or ideas at Cindy.Phillips@K4Advisors.com, or to learn about technology that supports the safety, well-being and engagement of older adults, go to www.k4connect.com.