Demonstrating innovations in design and technology to pave the way for a future life style in aging

Center Post

Investments in technology-related research and development helped Eskaton deploy elec­tronic health records (EHR) and a sensor-equipped remote monitoring system, and build a national demonstration home featuring universal design, supportive technologies and “green” living features.

This is the 10th in a series of case studies from the Preparing for the Future report.

You can check out the full Eskaton case study or continue reading the summary below. 

The Organization

Eskaton’s primary mission is to enhance the quality of life of seniors through innovative health, housing and social services. Each year, the organization offers a full spectrum of aging services to 14,000 older adults throughout northern California. Its campuses provide a variety of housing and service options, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, hospice, respite care, rehabilitation and skilled nursing, and affordable apartments. In addition, Eskaton provides case management, telephone reassurance, companionship and transportation services, home health care and adult day services to older people living in the community. Its Senior Connection program sponsors a variety of free educational classes for older adults and caregivers and serves as a free and independent resource for information on services available for older adults and caregivers.

The Approach

The board of directors to authorized investments in technology-related research and development including deployment of electronic health records (EHR) and a sensor-equipped remote monitoring system, and building a national demonstration home featuring universal design, supportive technologies and “green” living features.

Technology

EHR implementation began in 2007 and the organization is currently implementing electronic medication administration records and care plans as the vendor works to complete the final components of a full EHR. Eskaton has deployed approximately 350 sensor-equipped passive monitoring systems in its independent, assisted living and memory support apartments.

Eskaton’s well-appointed demonstration home incorporates 100 universal design elements featured in Eskaton’s Livable Design Program, a certification program for single-family homes that meet Eskaton-developed universal design guidelines.

The Eskaton Technical Services (ETS) program was created specifically to provide residents with training, technical support and access to the latest technology products. These offerings, coupled with free, building-wide Wi-Fi, enable residents to expand their knowledge of and accessibility to new technologies, including Skype, email and Internet searching.

Keys to Success

In 2004, Eskaton’s board of directors switched to a policy governance model that freed its members to make strategic decisions aimed at ensuring that Eskaton will continue offering services that future consumers will find appealing and relevant. To advance its strategic planning work, the board places a high priority on educating its members about current trends in the field, and it has been vocal about its desire for Eskaton to be an innovator in the field of aging services. As a result, Eskaton’s strategic plan integrates technology into each of the organization’s four strategic directions.

Business Case

Eskaton continues to be challenged to develop a business model around technology-enabled services that makes those services affordable to a broad range of consumers and throughout all of Eskaton’s housing and services. With multiple demands for capital expenditures and operational costs that must be managed and maintained, especially during the pressures of this “new normal” economy, Eskaton proactively monitors both tangible returns on investment and intangible returns, such as anecdotal feedback from families and residents about their Eskaton experience and increased wellbeing.

You can also view all 18 case studies from the Preparing for the Future report.