When it comes to resident health, there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between Independent and Assisted Living – at least with respect to gender, age, and 12 of the most common chronic health conditions that cause seniors to seek these settings and that number among the leading causes of death of seniors. That’s not my opinion. Those are the data.
On the other hand, there ARE differences between Independent and Assisted Living when it comes to the prevalence of 5 important chronic health conditions of the residents (highlighted in yellow above):
It is these 5 chronic health conditions that define the most important health differences between the residents of Independent and Assisted Living. And it is these 5 chronic health conditions that may be the major contributors to the nearly 50% annual resident turnover rate in assisted living communities.
The implications of these data are important. Just one example is in the area of unmet needs that is so prevalent for these residents. If your community’s data tell you that you have a high proportion of residents with any of these 5 chronic health conditions, then THAT identifies a Quality Improvement Project for your managers. The project would be to design pro-active interventions, services, or programs for this/these High Risk residents. The outcomes would be: reduced resident turnover, increased length of stay, reduced ER trips, reduced hospitalizations, and increased resident and family satisfaction documented by surveys. No doubt your managers would find other important outcomes to measure. And these improved outcomes would lead to increased profitability for the communities.
Finally, a most important implication is the emphasis on an under-appreciated truth in the senior living industry:
“Only what gets measured, gets managed.”
ACRA (The Affinitas Center for Research and Analytics) uses a unique analytic system and research data base that seeks to provide state-of-the art senior living health analytics. Our health analytics system was developed by a physician specifically for the senior living industry. Our research data base is derived totally from physician health records using the de-identified health information of senior living residents.
Dr. Steven Fuller January 2nd, 2015
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