It seems innovation, technology, and even artificial intelligence is everywhere these days. That’s certainly the case for The Admiral at the Lake, a life plan community on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, where innovation and technology upgrades are part of its strategic plan. The Admiral — which offers independent and assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care — is part of the Kendal Corporation’s family of communities whose recent annual report discusses how innovation fits into their future strategy.
“Innovation is a big part of what we do … it’s one of our core beliefs” said Mark Dubovick, The Admiral’s Health Services Administrator. “It’s one of the themes of our strategic plan we just implemented. Having that strategy is really important because it leads to accountability.”
One recent example of that innovation at The Admiral is a culinary services robot named Garcon. The Admiral believes Garcon will improve resident and employee satisfaction, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs.
“The residents LOVE Garcon,” Dubovick said.
Improved communication with families and medical staff
The Admiral has used a variety of different communication methods over the years, including texts, phone calls, and pages. Recently, the facility started using Hucu.ai, a HIPAA-compliant technology that’s used for communication between staff, families, and medical providers.
They use it to message providers, forward lab or x-ray results, and keep family members in many different locations connected via group chats.
“Our vision is to work smarter — not harder — and to have better communication overall,” Dubovick said.
Previously, staff time was taken up with communicating with providers and then waiting for return phone calls. The new software has cut that time immensely, reduced administrative burden and allows for real-time interactions.
“Everybody is on the same page and our teams are constantly connected,” Dubovick said. “What really surprised me was how easy it was to use and how quickly it impacted the community. We’ve really seen happier staff.”
“CLA has been very much on the forefront of educating us on different trends in the industry, helping us continue to be financially responsible, and assisting us so we’re able to provide our residents with great care.” — Mark Dubovick, Health Care Administrator, The Admiral at the Lake
Innovation, technology have a “huge role” in senior living
Innovation doesn’t always have to be the shiny new object or trend.
“Technology is here to stay, but it doesn’t have to be a huge, bold move,” Dubovick said. “It can be something that’s very simply streamlining a process by using technology that’s already out there or finding a way to integrate it so your processes can run smoother.”
For example, during the pandemic, The Admiral used their existing closed-circuit TV system to develop different programming for residents.
“Isolation was very hard on the residents, especially since visitors were not allowed in,” Dubovick said. “During that time, we utilized technology to educate, bridge communications, and broadcast to the residents in their apartments.”
Most life plan community residents are fairly tech savvy and, because of that, technology and innovation will continue to play a “huge role” at The Admiral, Dubovick said. He believes there are a “wealth of opportunities” where technology and innovation “can improve every resident’s outcomes, their way of life, and their daily living needs.”
The Admiral views CLA as an important collaborator in its future. “Most impactful to my position and my role at The Admiral at the Lake, CLA has been very much on the forefront of educating us on different trends in the industry, helping us continue to be financially responsible, and assisting us so we’re able to provide our residents with great care,” Dubovick said.