October 23, 2020

Closing the gap in family communication

The Springs at Whitefish is nestled in the heart of the Flathead Valley in Whitefish, MT. Despite the immense challenges that have come with restrictions related to COVID-19, providers like The Springs at Whitefish are showing up for residents and patients through this crisis and technology solutions have been developed and utilized extensively over the past few months to make family outreach easier and more efficient.

After adopting Carely Community in June 2019, the community saw significant increases in family engagement and even more benefits once the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Before adopting Carely Community, The Springs at Whitefish had several methods of communication with families including email, phone calls, letters, and text messages. However, there was still a gap in communication with families.

“We truly didn’t notice there was a gap in our communication with families until we had the Carely app,” said Executive Director Nicole Jemming. “Now that we do, we realize we were missing many opportunities to highlight the excellent care their loved ones are getting in our community.”

During the pandemic, hours and days without information can create additional stress and worry for families, so it was even more crucial for communities to cut down on their response times. At The Springs at Whitefish, Jemming knows the value of providing timely updates to all their families through a crisis, and having the ability to share data with the entire community at once through technology solutions “saves so much time and has been a wonderful tool during the ever-changing landscape surrounding our necessary coronavirus precautions.”

Families are one of long term care’s greatest, most under-appreciated resources. From referrals to care coordination, families can bring valuable expertise to your community. Using technology to prioritize and simplify communication enables staff to develop meaningful relationships with families to the benefit of both resident care and your reputation. Without Carely Community, Jemming and her team were missing opportunities to highlight the quality care residents were receiving at their community.

“We took for granted that we could see the smiles and enjoyment on a daily basis and now being able to share those moments with families has been wonderful,” said Jemming.

“Carely has been the next best thing to being there in person with our family member residing in assisted living during the Covid-19 quarantine,” said a family member at The Springs at Whitefish. “We love the real-time communication, photo sharing and care updates. The integrated communication has given us tremendous peace of mind during these unprecedented times.”

Implementing a solution like Carely Community at your facility not only helps you provide much-needed reassurance to families through a crisis but will transform the way you and your team approach family engagement in the future.

At Whitefish, family engagement grew by 6,000% between July 2019 and March 2020 and utilization of the app increased to 75%. This growth is impressive and indicates that not only are families active and engaged in their community, they’re also building meaningful relationships along the way. By steadily increasing usage of the app, Whitefish has created a self-sustaining ecosystem for families and staff to connect.

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