Digital Transformation's Growing Impact on Senior Care

May 25, 2021 Lynne Jackson


Senior Care Under Pressure

Healthcare providers are experiencing unprecedented levels of disruption. In fact, 63% of providers have faced severe disruptions due to various reasons, including internal organization changes, cost pressures, regulation and compliance, funding, or shifting consumer demands.  With all the changes in the healthcare industry writ large, only technologically it” organizations are positioned to thrive. According to Gartner, only 22% of healthcare organizations are considered “fit” —nearly double that number— 41% are considered “fragile,” or vulnerable to market shifts or technology disruption.

CIOs and IT leaders should adopt a “digital-health-first” mindset.  The best healthcare companies are responding to disruption with digital and innovation initiatives that enable new business models,  address the challenges of increasing demand, and escalating costs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the revenue and business operations of healthcare and life science organizations. The volatility brought in by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is challenging the current operating and business models across the healthcare industry.

Senior Care is Ripe for Digital Transformation

Managing a senior care facility presents a combination of challenges for all levels of staff. These challenges will only escalate in the coming years. Not only are lifespans getting longer in many cases, but also the United States is now facing the surging demands of the 1945-1961 baby boomers, a time when the greatest number of children were born in US history. 

With those individuals born during this time ranging in age from 59-75, there are approximately 67 million people over the age of 60 who currently need or will need care. This care ranges from community or assisted living to post-acute and in-home care. Another 65 million Americans will turn 65 in the next two decades. In fact, 10,000 baby boomers in the US turn 65 every day. Baby Boomers are reaching senior citizen status in record numbers with, the number of senior Americans projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060. Sadly, 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia.

This record-high percentage of seniors represents a massive opportunity for long-term operators to care for them. But it also means there will also be an immense strain and pressure to keep up with demand.

In the assisted living model, seniors must  make enormous life changes as they embrace a new concept of “home.”  A formidable challenge confronting this social model is the need to synchronize care, where certain aspects of daily life, such as meals, activities, and transportation, must run on a more-or-less fixed schedule.

Synchronized care requires the synchronized scheduling and orchestration of highly qualified staff into a caring and dedicated, yet efficient workforce.

Digital Transformation for the Long-Term Care Industry

The fundamental purpose of using modern technology in long-term care is improving patient care. One of the biggest ongoing stories in the business world over the past several years has been the transformative effect digital technology has had on a wide range for dramatic change resulting from digital transformation. As history has always taught us, innovation never ceases. Those organizations that are adapting now and implementing new technologies will be much better prepared for whatever comes next.

Learn how digital transformation can help you contain costs amid unprecedented challenges. Download the free eBook Managing Overtime in a Pandemic.

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