Voices: Lisa Moes, Vice President, Business Development, Dial Senior Living

Voices: Lisa Moes, Vice President, Business Development, Dial Senior Living

This article is sponsored by Accushield. In this interview, Senior Housing News sits down with Lisa Moes, Vice President, Business Development, Dial Senior Living, to talk about the safety, security and operational benefits Dial has experienced by implementing Accushield across its communities. She also explains how visitor feedback and Google reviews upon signout helped to improve the overall community experience, and she discusses the other ways in which a visitor management system has impacted the organization’s efficiency as a whole.

Senior Housing News: What career experiences do you most draw from, in your role today?

Lisa Moes: In my previous role, I provided significant oversight in an operations capacity, focusing on driving efficiency, cost reduction and productivity in the business, while also delivering solutions that support our most valuable assets — our residents and communities. I still apply these business principles today, constantly evaluating our business needs, assessing whether our existing tools meet those needs, or determining if we need to seek new solutions.

In line with this, when we consider implementing new components in the business, it’s important to ensure they are sustainable, can be easily adopted, and integrate seamlessly into our daily operations. This thought process, although broad, is the same one I apply as I navigate various challenges in the senior living industry.

Dial Senior Living has implemented Accushield across its portfolio. What factors went into the decision to replace paper logbooks in all your communities with a digital sign-in experience?

I think some of what drove the initial decision was COVID and the realization that we now had an electronic tool that could allow us to use automation to manage our population. Obviously, when you consider security, discretion and overall automation, there are efficiencies gained across the end-to-end solution. For visitors, it’s easier since they’re not writing things down. For individuals at the community, they have a repository of information and are not leaving a sheet of paper on a desk, which is visible to everyone.

From a privacy perspective, we have all that information in one spot. It started with COVID, in terms of population management and monitoring who was coming and going for the safety of our residents. It evolved to include more efficiencies within our health services department, which now uses the data in various day-to-day operations, such as evacuation management.

The ability to see firsthand who is in and who is out of our buildings improves our population management. The system is easy to use and elevates our business to a new level of professionalism, in terms of what we’re doing for our residents and their families.

The safety and security benefits of a digital sign-in system are easy to envision. What operational efficiencies have you experienced by implementing Accushield in your communities?

I think when you consider the operational efficiencies, it starts with our office workers. By allowing the front desk person to greet visitors face-to-face while having them sign into an automated system, it becomes a bit more personal and creates efficiency. They no longer need to pull out a physical logbook or a sheet of paper; the system is right there, collecting all the necessary information. This is especially useful in emergencies, when reception needs to print out a report quickly for a fire or tornado drill. They have all the information readily available, allowing them to extract data and determine the appropriate course of action swiftly.

On the health services side, there’s quite a bit of information that can be stored in systems like Accushield, which serves as a repository for document management and other critical pieces of information. The health services team can use this data to review care plan information, although we’re not yet using this to its fullest capacity. With recent upgrades in resident engagement features, we can extract information about resident interactions, such as the frequency of visits which can influence care plans or activities to engage residents more effectively.

The reputation accelerator aspect has also been transformative. There’s been a strong focus in our industry on increasing our presence through Google reviews and collecting information that enables us to make proactive changes. This tool has been particularly helpful for our sales and marketing and executive directors at the community level, as they receive direct feedback from visitors allowing them to address issues in real time.

Overall, the efficiencies gained touch various departments. You can see who’s in the community and receive alerts for important visitors or new information from tours, assessing our performance and identifying opportunities to drive further efficiencies and improve our business. The wealth of information available allows us to collect, capture and utilize actionable data, benefiting various groups within our community.

How have visitor feedback and Google reviews upon sign-out helped improve the overall community experience? What about the experience of prospective residents and their families searching for communities?

At Dial, we place a tremendous amount of focus on first impressions. When individuals come into our communities, we want that first impression to be five-star. The reputation accelerator plays a key role in this process. In the post-visit interview, visitors fill out information, providing either a rating scale or sometimes textual feedback. This allows the visitor to post a Google review directly.

The functionality within the Accushield tool is designed to channel information appropriately based on the visitor’s rating, whether positive or negative, to the person who can influence change. Our executive directors receive a weekly report containing all the feedback provided by visitors. They can take this information, assess it and review it with their department heads to formulate an action plan. This process gives them the capacity to impact that first impression directly because they’re receiving feedback straight from the source about their experience and overall satisfaction.

This tool is extremely beneficial because it provides relatively real-time feedback. Directors can access these reports anytime (or even subscribe to receive immediate text messages from unhappy visitors), allowing them to use this tool in discussions with various departments like dining and maintenance to address immediate issues.

Recently, we’ve also started collecting information to gauge how well we perform on tours with prospects. This helps us determine if we are meeting our goals, or if there are opportunities for improvement. We’re collecting this information in a timely manner to manage our business more proactively rather than reactively.

This new system not only serves as a repository to collect information, but also drives change by facilitating discussions on consistent feedback. It helps us determine whether adjustments are needed at a property level or if a broader process change is required, especially if we notice recurring themes or if issues are isolated to one property.

A unique aspect of a senior living-focused entry management system like Accushield is the workflow of signing out residents. What value have you found in the resident sign-out process?

In terms of population management, this system really enhances our safety and security measures by allowing us to clearly see who is in and who is out of the building. In the event of an emergency, this capability is key because it allows us to quickly extract information and take necessary actions. Many systems aren’t set up to track this effectively; they might not include certain individuals in an evacuation report during checks.

A unique component we can align with our check-out procedures. When someone checks out, they must indicate who they are leaving with, provide a contact number, and state when they are expected to come back. This could be for a duration of one to three hours, four to six hours, or even a full day. We are working on alerts that could be triggered to address potential concerns, such as elopement issues. For example, if John left at noon and was expected back by three but hasn’t returned by five, the system can prompt us to call his son. This functionality, which is not commonly found in other systems, adds a significant layer of security and reassurance.

You’ve been working with Accushield for a long time. How have you seen the company evolve over the years and what impact has it made on your organization or potentially the senior living industry as a whole?

One thing I admire the most about Accushield is that, although they started by trying to solve a specific issue at one point in time, they knew that for their business to be sustainable, they had to continuously innovate and build upon the base functionality of their system.

Most noticeable is their responsiveness to client needs. They listen to their clients and go back and build solutions that meet those needs so communities can be more efficient. In the world of operations, we must consider which of the many tools available are the best to implement. We don’t want to roll out a whole host of products that aren’t adopted well, so we’ve really focused on finding the right product suite, be it hardware or software, to provide.

Additionally, integrating with Accushield was easy and seamless. From a vertical growth perspective, we’re looking at where our vendors are providing solutions, not just myopic to one thing, but also that crossover into various parts of the business. Accushield, for instance, has done a great job. It’s not just about credential screening. It’s about looking at the resident as a whole and tapping into various areas that allow the community or the operator to collect key information that they can sit down, analyze, assess, and drive change.

Accushield is also a user-friendly tool. Initially, we heard feedback about it being slow to log in for employees, especially during a shift change. Accushield addressed this by enhancing features like QR codes and mobile apps. They’re constantly looking for ways to not only resolve the issue at hand, but also to anticipate future needs, staying two to five years ahead in their vision.

Then there’s the service Accushield provides. It’s not just about launching a tool but providing sustaining support. If users have issues, they can go back to the help desk or IT support. In the senior living industry, where there’s so much churn, it’s challenging when you roll out a process, and a subject matter expert who has embraced it leaves, and you must start over. They’ve managed to implement an end-to-end solution efficiently.

In a couple of words, finish this sentence: “In 2024, the senior living industry is being defined by…”

how well you can differentiate yourselves from others.

Whether it’s care, service, or lifestyle, we really need to help seniors reimagine the way they live, making them feel that they don’t need to move into senior living, but rather that they want to. They’ve earned the right to take this next step, and we want them to be excited about their new home.

We are providing them with value-added services so that when they tour a property, they can see and feel why they want their family to be there. They can visually see it happening and feel it in the culture, and they are immersed in a lifestyle that is beyond what they could ever have imagined. It’s not only about competing with new properties being built and their aesthetics and offerings, but also how well-maintained our communities are. Again, just that overall feeling. I do think that in 2024, it’s a matter of how do you control finances? How do you control costs, but also excel in the value-added care and services that you provide to the families and their loved ones?

Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length and clarity.

To learn more about how Accushield can help your community, visit Accushield.com.

The Voices Series is a sponsored content program featuring leading executives discussing trends, topics and more shaping their industry in a question-and-answer format. For more information on Voices, please contact [email protected].

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