We all know earthquakes and wildfires in California, hurricanes in Florida, and deep freezes in the upper Midwest are inevitable, but there’s no way to predict exactly when disaster of any kind will strike. The world certainly wasn’t prepared when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. That’s why it is so important for senior living facilities to have preparedness plans in place to ensure resident care and health is never at risk.
It’s one thing to be reactive, but forward-thinking executives know the best way to avert major problems is to anticipate and be as prepared as possible. And while many people think of diesel generators and evacuation plans when they think of disaster preparedness, it is equally important to have a digital strategy in place as part of a facility’s emergency plans.
The Cloud to the Rescue
The protection and security of data is critical for resident safety. Information needs to reside in multiple locations so the loss of a data center, or even the destruction of a single laptop computer, does not cripple an organization.
For example, some smaller senior living centers still use paper-based recordkeeping. If these facilities experience a fire or flood, information critical to the well-being and safety of residents can be damaged or destroyed. Cloud based senior living software is the lynchpin to protecting residents and the operators who care for them.
With staff schedules, resident care plans and medication orders stored in the cloud, even if the facility must be evacuated, operators still have all their critical information protected. As long as there is an Internet connection, they can access all their information, which means appropriate resident care and record-keeping compliance can continue. Even if hardware is damaged or destroyed, data in the cloud will be protected.
A Lifeline for Families
At the same time, the cloud enables families to access to important updates and information about their seniors. During the pandemic mobile apps became a lifeline for many families who had loved ones in senior living communities. They couldn’t visit in person, and it was often difficult to get information through email and phone calls, because staff were overwhelmed and working round the clock. However, solutions such as the Glennis Family App were able to provide critical updates on changes at the community and real-time updates on the care and well-being of seniors, keeping families informed and providing some peace of mind, without creating extra work for staff.
In each of these cases, the right software works to maintain records, maintain contact with residents’ families, and ensure the care and safety of residents.
Loss of Internet
Providers should also have contingency plans for how to operate should they lose Internet connectivity. Printing resident care plans may become necessary. Senior living software systems that have the capability to temporarily work offline can bridge the gap and ensure resident safety.
For example, the Glennis ACCUflo eMAR application charts resident medical records and medication administration, and if necessary, caregivers can access the system offline, and track and document treatments and medications, keeping residents safe and preventing emergency hospital admissions. Once connectivity is restored, records are automatically synced.
Always be Ready
While your state may have requirements for operating during a disaster, every provider should have a well-thought out plan for how to continue to care for residents and keep them safe during an emergency or unplanned event. These plans should include the security and continued access of critical data that will protect operators and keep residents safe.