November 10, 2020

Improving response time

In this second post of our Carely Community case study series, The Springs at Butte is another Montana-based community that successfully made family engagement a priority through the pandemic.

Emails, phone calls, and text messages are the most common ways families connect with care staff, but it can be hard for staff to keep up with each individual inquiry. “It takes time to answer phone messages,” says Tonya Kish, Director of Life Enrichment at The Springs at Butte. “The [Carely Community] app has allowed us to have faster response times to families.”

Acting as a one-stop shop for communication, Carely Community can eliminate the need for internal reminders, such as posts it notes and emails, to respond to families. And with the corresponding Carely Family app, families are empowered to communicate more effectively amongst themselves.

For the Springs at Butte, being reliant on phone calls and voicemail messages created an unfortunate lag in response times and lack of cohesion amongst the team-- something that can cause unnecessary concern or stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Before, the families would call our main number and if they couldn’t talk to the person they were reaching out to, a message would be sent. Of course, it takes time to answer phone messages,” said Kish.

With Carely, the team at The Springs at Butte was not only able to provide instant communication to families but they did it while bringing the team and family closer together.  

“The app has allowed us to have faster response times to families and what is even better is that other team members in other departments can see the communication and add to it if needed,” Kish added. 

Now more than ever, care updates and personalized communication go a long way in allaying some of the fears and anxieties families have. As an extension of a resident’s care team, many families want to be included in their loved one’s day-to-day life. 

“Before, I would only be able to show them what their loved ones are doing once a quarter during their service plan update,” said Kish. “Now I can show them daily.” 

Carely Community enables staff to share status updates, photos, and direct messages. This type of high-touch, real-time communication increases family confidence in care.

“I love seeing the everyday joy in my mom’s life -- a picture of her taking a walk, doing yoga, having a treat with a friend”explained Martina Bowman, Family Member at The Springs at Butte. “When your loved one has dementia, you have to rely on others to share these details of their day since they cannot recall them when asked. I feel like I am there even when I cannot be.”

At Butte, family engagement saw a 305% increase in family engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. With efficient and intuitive communication features, regularly updating and engaging with resident families becomes second nature. The communication also becomes less transactional and prioritizes the relationship between loved ones and care providers.

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