Pandemic Brings More Interoperability Innovations, Coordination

CAST | October 14, 2020 | by Donna Childress

Fil Southerland shares perspective from Yardi.

Innovations in interoperability and increased coordination among healthcare and regulatory entities are among recent changes named by Yardi® Director of Healthcare Solutions Fil Southerland in a recent Senior Housing News article. The Voices interview was sponsored by Yardi, a LeadingAge CAST Supporter.
Southerland, who is also a CAST Commissioner, discussed the biggest changes in senior living technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, how technology needs are meeting new healthcare demands, and his experience growing up in the industry in Idaho.

Silver Linings for Senior Living Technology

During the pandemic, the rapid innovation within senior living and the technology uptake have been inspiring, Southerland said, including telehealth becoming a new expectation of physician offices.
Yardi is rapidly adding new clients who are using its broad-based platform to efficiently manage everything from the care-related side to operations to finances. Yardi's existing clients are working to automate and streamline a lot of their workflows.

Lasting Changes in Senior Living Technology

Southerland expects these recent changes to last: 

  • Marketing and admissions: Now, residents or family members can sign leases or change service plans online. Yardi's solution has attracted much interest.
  • Wellness programs: Families considering a community want to know how wellness programs are working for their family members and the quality of care provided. Family members want to participate in that care, stay engaged, and work with community staff from afar.
  • Innovations in interoperability: Yardi has helped facilitate Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting requirements and has brought online the ability to exchange health records via the Carequality network. As residents transition through care, Yardi can work effectively with third parties to exchange health records with an increased emphasis on coordinating between the different care settings. 

Operators’ Increased Healthcare Technology Needs

Southerland told Senior Housing News that Yardi is seeing increased coordination among hospital systems, skilled nursing communities and, to some extent, assisted living. Yardi clients are reporting a lot more coordination between healthcare entities, as well as regulatory entities, at the local, state, and national levels. Care outcomes are a large focus.
Having a way to facilitate coordination and outcomes across those spectrums is important, as is being able to prove to families that this is a safe and welcoming environment that respects resident preferences in their care decisions, he said.

Raised in the Industry

Southerland grew up in the assisted living industry. His father was a pioneer who started a management group and then a software company to manage assisted living. Southerland’s upbringing has helped him emphasize the human connection and empathize with the experience of residents and staff.
This perspective helps guide priorities at Yardi, which reached out to clients for a check-in early in the pandemic. Yardi longstanding practice is to listen to clients and develop solutions that meet users' needs.