LeadingAge Ziegler 150 Survey Shows Tech Adoption Rising

CAST | February 14, 2018 | by Donna Childress

Technology adoption in seven categories rose 4% or more, and CIO/CTO positions increased.

Earlier this year, LeadingAge CAST partnered with Ziegler, a LeadingAge Gold Partner with CAST Focus, to update the technology adoption and staffing portion of their joint annual survey, the 14th annual LeadingAge Ziegler 150 (LZ 150).
Ziegler is the nation’s top-ranked underwriter of not-for-profit senior living tax-exempt municipal bond financings. Each year since 2004, Ziegler and LeadingAge have ranked and analyzed the nation’s largest 150 not-for-profit senior living providers. 

The LZ 150 lists not-for-profit multi-site organizations based on the total number of senior living units that each system owns and operates, excluding government-subsidized (affordable) units. Systems composed primarily of government-subsidized (affordable) housing systems as well as single-site communities have their own sections and are not included in the primary LZ 150 listing.

Adoption of Most Technology Rises

The 2017 LZ 150 report provides the following insights in the technology adoption of electronic documentation, safety monitoring, and health and wellness monitoring technologies among the largest 150 members of LeadingAge: 

  • Electronic Medical/Health Records (EHRs) adoption continues to rise, up 4% this year to an 84% adoption rate across all operations.
  • Electronic Point of Care/Point of Service Documentation Systems are in use at 84% of the communities owned by the LZ 150—up from 76%.
  • Automatic Fall Detectors continued a three-year climb, from 36% to 40%.
  • Access Control/Wander Management Systems were up 6% to 83%.
  • User-Activated Emergency Response Systems, which dropped in 2015 to 73%, rose even higher in 2016 to 82%.
  • Physical Exercise and Rehabilitation technologies’ adoption increased roughly 5%, to 68%.
  • Care/ Care Management and Coordination, a category added in 2015, reveals that nearly 63% of the LZ 150 use this software, as contrasted with 55% in 2015. 

This year, adoption is generally lower for health and wellness technologies, such as medication monitoring or telehealth remote monitoring: 

  • Telehealth/Remote Patient Monitoring stayed nearly steady, from 21% to 22%.
  • Telecare/Telemonitoring/Behavioral Monitoring declined 3%, to 16%.
  • Medication Monitoring Technology decreased 1% to just over 43%.

Single-Site Providers Lead Adoption in Some Areas

The report also shows that the largest not-for-profit single-site providers tended to adopt the following technologies at a slightly higher rate than their multi-site counterparts participating in the LZ 150:

  • 93% adoption of Point of Care/Point of Service.
  • 93% adoption of EHRs.
  • 91% adoption of Access Control / Wander Management Systems.
  • 90% adoption rate of PERS.
  • 59% adoption rate of Medication Management Technologies. 

However, Automatic Fall Detectors, and Physical Exercise and Rehabilitation Technologies, were adopted at a rate slightly lower than larger LZ 150 providers. Telehealth/Remote Monitoring and Telecare/Telemonitoring/Behavioral Monitoring technologies also saw much less adoption among single-site providers.

More CIO/CTO Positions Created

The position of Chief Information/Technology Officer (CIO/CTO) was one of the most common corporate positions created in 2016, with five LZ 150 providers adding the position. Of the LZ 150 providers, 48 have CIOs, with an average tenure of eight years.
View the full LeadingAge Ziegler 150 (LZ 150).

Interested in Discussing These Findings? 

Register and attend CAST’s Technology Forum at the PEAK Leadership Summit. Hear about and discuss these trends and more with Dan Herman, senior managing director and head of investment banking at Ziegler, a LeadingAge Gold Partner with CAST Focus.

Residential Care Communities and EHRs

In related news, the latest National Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shared its 2016 QuickStats: Percentage of Residential Care Communities That Use Electronic Health Records, by Community Bed Size
In 2016, one fourth (26%) of residential care communities used EHRs. The percentage of communities that used EHRs increased with community bed size*:

  • 12% in communities with 4–10 beds
  • 28% with 11–25 beds.
  • 35% with 26–50 beds.
  • 43% with 51–100 beds.
  • 50% with >100 beds.

Residential care communities include those that were state-regulated; had four or more beds; and provided room and board with at least two meals a day, around-the-clock on-site supervision, and help with personal care, such as bathing and dressing or health-related services such as medication management. Residential care communities licensed to exclusively serve the mentally ill or the intellectually disabled/developmentally disabled populations were not included. Data comes from the 2016 National Study of Long-Term Care Providers.

*Note: This is CDC language. LeadingAge prefers using more person-centered terms like people/apartments when referring to nursing home capacity.