“At K4Connect, our belief is senior living has reached a crossroad with technology and innovation. Let’s be honest, this industry has not always rushed to embrace technology or change.“
By: Cindy Phillips | Managing Partner, K4Advisors
February 21, 2020
Last week, I announced K4Advisors and our mission to partner and help senior living operators leverage as much as they can from each step along the journey of digital transformation – we know it’s not an easy endeavor.
Late last year, F. Scott Moody, our CEO, Co-Founder and Chief Member Advocate, said “Innovation by nature is a journey with no destination — it’s constantly evolving.”
In this article, I will define that journey looks like from my perspective, how technology will both enhance and disrupt the longevity economy, and how the steps align with the practice areas of K4Advisors as we get started.
Digital transformation is not a new term, it has been floating around for at least 20 years, albeit with different meanings. This is one of the better definitions I’ve seen lately, courtesy of the Enterprisers Project, “digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.”
I like this one as it encompasses K4Advisor’s philosophy that technology alone will not make us better, it is how we introduce it, how we implement it, and how we use it to improve our business processes that will determine our return on innovation and investment.
At K4Connect, our belief is senior living has reached a crossroad with technology and innovation. Let’s be honest, this industry has not always rushed to embrace technology or change. Moving to Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems is probably the best example, “Organizations are slow to change,” says Tom McDermott, vice president at Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Yardi. “Most people would rather get a root canal than change software.”
But with the national trends showing higher expectations from residents, ongoing caregiver shortages, declining margins, and an increasingly competitive marketplace, community operators must turn toward technology for a part of the solution. In fact, it may even be a lever for new revenue streams as more services are aimed at those wanting to stay home and age in place a little longer.
The good news – digital transformation is not a one-size-fits-all journey. The bad news – it can be complex and overwhelming at times. While many communities have already begun, some have stalled, and others are still planning how to get started. K4Advisors can help. At K4Connect, we made that less daunting by the creation of our own roadmap to help assess and capture whatever phase you may be in. We are working with many client communities at each of the early steps of our model and have been successful in helping to sustain their journey. We know not every community has the time, knowledge or resources to figure it out alone.
K4Advisors was started to fill that gap. The above model has been a great tool to plan next steps and to guide the strategy to achieve them. It is now the foundation for our practice areas:
- Infrastructure Planning
- Building your Technology Plan
- WiFi Networks, VoIP or other Bundled Services
- Integration of other Systems (work order, point-of-sale)
- Communication and Engagement Strategies
- Engagement from Prospect to Resident
- Integrating Voice, Digital Signage & K4App Functionality
- Creating a “Virtual Front Desk”
- Extending to other Communities or Levels of Care
- Leveraging Smart Home/Smart Living
- Risk Management/Resident Morning Check-in
- Energy Savings and Building Analytics
- Data Analytics and Decision-Making
- Building a Custom Dashboard
- Advanced Analytics
No matter where you find your community along this continuum, rest assured becoming a Smart Senior Living Community is meant to be aspirational. Reaching that ultimate state of digital maturity is when an organization uses technology to support and re-invent its core business processes and is agile in adopting new features and functionality as they emerge. It may take 5-10 years to get there, and K4Advisors brings the experience to see that you do.
Look for a future article with examples of what it might look and feel like in a senior living community that is “transformed.” As always, you can reach me at Cindy.Phillips@K4Advisors.com, or (910)477-1556. Keep doing good work!