The ENTOUCH Blog

How Smart Building Technology Keeps Senior Living Facilities Energy Efficient

Senior living care facilities face insurmountable pressure to reduce overhead expenses, improve quality of care and streamline business processes. According to AARP, average costs for senior living care expense range from $2100-$2900 per month, but that rate was identified in 2004. Today’s health care expenses for seniors may easily be more than double that fact, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has increased care standards, which inevitably increase senior living costs. Instead of charging more for senior living care, health care Facilities Managers can put the power of smart building technology to work to improve energy efficiency and much more.

Intelligent Energy Management Reduces Overhead Spending, Freeing Capital for Use in Top-Quality Care

Intelligent energy management is not a new concept. According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE) ENERGY STAR program, senior living care facilities that obtain energy Star-certification have a heightened awareness of energy use, can identify billing errors, improve asset effectiveness, prioritize maintenance and facilities me, demonstrate success, and contribute to more responsible decision-making.

Deployed intelligent, smart building technology effectively let’s senior living facilities do more with less, which frees capital for use in top-quality care. Capital may be devoted to hiring more staff, which reduces residents-to-caregiver ratios, improving quality and continuity of care.

Implemented Facilities Controls Benefit Resident Health and Safety

State-of-the-art facilities controls also possess significant benefit to resident health and safety. Residents stay more comfortable, and safety systems, like door monitors, fall prevention sensors, and fire and water monitors and alarms, improve safety. Since CMMS guidelines stipulate payment on the terms of treatment outcomes, evidence-based practices dictate all senior living care facilities implement systems to improve health and safety. Among seniors, mortality due to falls has risen 31 percent over the last 10 years; therefore, safety systems reduce mortality rates.

Monitored Food and Medication Refrigeration Systems Reduce Risk and Enhances Facility Compliance

Although senior living is often associated with in-facility care, senior living facilities include assisted-living facilities, skilled nursing facility, a nursing home, supportive care, continuing care retirement communities, dementia care, active communities, retirement communities, and even age-restricted communities.

While facility types differ, they have common characteristics, including food preparation and medication management, not to mention medical case management. Depending on the needs health of a person, dietary standards or restrictions may exist, and medication may require extensive measures to ensure their viability.

For example, some medications, such as insulin, must be kept at certain temperatures to prevent spoilage, and the same concept is true of foods. Monitored food and medication refrigeration systems reduce risk by ensuring food and medication are safe for consumption or ingestion. This enhances facility compliance with CMS guidelines as well.

Automated Systems Reduce Errors and Problems

Automating systems, including lighting, environmental, monitoring, and alarm or alert systems, reduces accident and eliminates errors in reporting. If something does go wrong, documentation insurers a timely resolution, further strengthening a facilities quality of care and safety.

New Technologies Enable Seamless Implementation Via Retrofitting, Meaning Lower Cost of Implementation

Disruption of the therapeutic care environment can have a disastrous effect on mental and physical health. This concern leads many senior care facilities working with outdated systems and processes. However, today’s systems are designed to integrate with existing facilities management systems without disruption to care environments. Using wireless technology, modern smart building technology can be retrofitted to any and all system, allowing Facility Managers to collect data and continuously improve business processes, reports Facility Executive. This enhances wellness, improves satisfaction, increases profitability, and reduces the overall effect of the disruption.

Increased Property Value Is a Win-Win-Win for Seniors, REITs, and Health Care Organizations Alike

Smart building technology amplifies savings potential across an entire facility, and senior living facilities can achieve sustainability, profitability, and a higher quality of care. This is the ultimate win-win-win for seniors, real estate investment trusts (REITs), health care facility stakeholders, and health care organizations.

ENTOUCH has the experience in integrating systems, using smart building technology, and developing data-based systems to track and enhance facilities management. Additional benefits of working with ENTOUCH include wireless retrofits, a Quarterly Business Review, verification of ROI, and managed services, useful for organizations just entering the smart building technology landscape.

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