SOUTH BEND, IND. (PRWEB) April 20, 2016
Spring Hills Senior Communities’ enthusiasm for SmileTM, CarexTech’s integrated communication and engagement platform, seems boundless.
SmileTM is a resident-centric solution that integrates internal and external messaging, activities, calendar and lead management capabilities and transforms traditional communication methods into dynamic, real time experiences that lead to greater resident and family satisfaction, staff engagement and improved quality of life for each resident.
Rachel Helfand, Spring Hills Senior Communities’ Director of Program Development and Training became aware of SmileTM approximately two months prior to her company making a decision about a new activity tracking and family engagement system.
“We were looking at a few companies that did this kind of activity tracking and family engagement and then brought SmileTM into the mix,” Helfand says. “It best matched what we were looking for, so I was excited that we actually got to use it and roll it out after learning about it just a couple months previously.”
Before SmileTM, activity attendance was tracked on Excel spreadsheets at all of Spring Hills Senior Communities’ facilities and involved activity leaders maintaining multiple spreadsheets every week and then Directors of Recreational Services manually compiling all of the data. The hours spent on manually tracking and compiling the information were substantial.
Helfand says that creating efficiency for Spring Hills Senior Communities’ staff was one of the key things they were looking for in a new system so they’d have more time to spend on program development and with residents.
“The family engagement component of SmileTM was a bonus,” she says. “We’ve always had proactive outreach via our Resident Concierges, but having that incorporated in SmileTM efficiently expands that engagement to Directors of Recreational Services and staff.”
Spring Hills’ Lake Mary, Fla., facility offers assisted living and memory care services to its residents. Robin Wolfe, Director of Recreational Services at Spring Hills Lake Mary, was quick to recognize the value of SmileTM.
“I would spend probably four or five hours every Monday manually compiling activity attendance. And that was just my time. That doesn’t include my staff’s time,” Wolfe says. “The time savings was why I promoted SmileTM so heavily. One of the big jobs I have is program development; SmileTM gives me the time I need to do that.
“And accuracy,” she adds. “A lot of times I would look at the attendance sheets and think, ‘Now, wait a minute, who was on that day?’ I’d have to spend time looking up which assistant was on that day. In SmileTM, all that data is in one place.”
Spring Hills Senior Communities rolled out SmileTM in January of this year, starting with recreational services. Helfand says that training has gone smoothly.
“It really is a user-friendly system,” she says. “Just by playing around, hands on, staff learned quickly. It didn’t take very long to catch on to where things are. Once they get used to that, then it’s really easy.”
The next phase of Spring Hills Senior Communities’ roll out is the family engagement piece, with families gradually being introduced to the platform.
Wolfe says residents’ families are already enjoying the added connection through SmileTM.
“A lot of our residents’ families don’t live locally, so SmileTM gives them the opportunity to see their mom or dad or sister or brother participating in programs. That gives them a sense that they’re happy and they’re being taken care of.”
Once her residents’ families become adept at using SmileTM, Wolfe expects the increased interaction will benefit both families and residents.
“Spring Hills Senior Communities has a Facebook page and everyone enjoys that, but SmileTM is so much more focused and personalized.”
Since Spring Hills Senior Communities’ experience with SmileTM is in its early stages, they haven’t utilized the data gathering and analytics that the platform provides, but Helfand says those attributes definitely attracted them when they were in the selection phase.
“The types of graphs SmileTM provides appealed to us,” she says. “The pie charts, the line charts that show trends over time. The data’s ease of use compared to an Excel worksheet where you may be getting similar data but it’s not as clearly apparent is something we’re excited about.”
Helfand was also impressed with SmileTM developer Sarv Devaraj, PhD, and his team at CarexTech.
“They were really open to customizing elements to our needs,” she says. “I don’t know if we would have been able to move forward if they weren’t so willing to match what we needed to come out of this. Electronic participation tracking wasn’t enough for us. SmileTM actually built in a whole population analysis tool, which allows us to customize forms. Their willingness to work with us on customization really made a difference for us as we decided on a vendor.”
Wolfe is also a fan of the customization CarexTech provided.
“We need to know some very specific things about our residents in order to ensure we’re providing the services and activities they need. Average age, religious preference, voting behavior, etc. This is data that is important to us as Spring Hills Senior Communities grows. Our residents’ needs change over time, especially those with dementia. Every bit of information we can compile is important and SmileTM allows us to grab that information.
“SmileTM has made my life simpler. It allows me more time to develop programs for my residents or to actually be on the floor. I’m so looking forward to working with Sarv and his team in the future because I have lots of ideas I’d like to bring to my residents. Sarv and I are even looking at computer programs the residents can use, that will help them with cognitive abilities - games designed for residents who may be experiencing a little cognitive decline.”
Wolfe says SmileTM is senior living communities’ future.
“I can’t even fathom manually tracking attendance again. It’s just like going back to caveman days.”
Helfand also foresees a bright future ahead. “Working with Sarv and his team has been great and I’m sure it will continue to be, because they’re so receptive to our feedback. They’re also constantly updating and adding more features to SmileTM. I just love that aspect of it: that it will continue to get even better.”
CarexTech Inc. is the premier provider of cloud-based solutions that integrate life enrichment activities with family engagement for all types of senior living communities. CarexTech’s flagship product, Smile™, provides extensive tools to manage activity and wellness programs, track resident participation, create calendars while generating reports and analytics that help in managing branded activities programs. Through Smile™, staff and families stay connected through a fully secure HIPAA-compliant platform. Whether it’s simplified calendar creation, effective activities documentation/analytics, enhanced family engagement, more person-centered memory care or better communication, Smile™ helps optimize your results – leading to highly satisfied residents, families and staff.
ABOUT SPRING HILLS SENIOR COMMUNITIES
All Spring Hills Senior Communities offer a distinctive and innovative approach to senior living and Home Care Services as led by Alex Markowits, President/CEO. Signature Touches is the company’s approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients. Personal choice is top priority, which is exemplified by recreational programs led by professionals in one of the company’s eight communities located in NJ, VA, OH and FL or in their own home. For more information about their commitment to senior living, including information on Spring Hills Home Care Services, visit http://www.spring-hills.com.