ANSWER: Learn as much as you can about the #1 reason for losing residents, and then develop specific solutions.
Failing health far exceeds any other cause for losing residents in Retirement Communities. The average resident takes 7.6 different prescription medications and has at least 2-3 or more chronic health conditions (CHCs), and this provides ample opportunity to lose a resident to the ER, hospital, or nursing home. Proactive approaches aimed at stabilizing CHCs and reducing problems with medications have the most promise for keeping residents as healthy and functional as possible and thus preserving census.
Exploring a Community’s data base yields invaluable insight into maximizing residents’ health. Doing so allows the creation of a HEALTH RISK PROFILE for every resident. Combining the details of the residents’ CHCs, the medications they are prescribed, and some basic demographic information identifies residents as being either high, medium, or low risk for failing health. If every resident is assigned to one of these Health Risk categories, then proactive approaches designed to counteract the threats in each category will offer residents their best chance at maximal health and independence. This also increases their lifetime value to the community.
Here are 3 very relevant questions that can be answered only by a detailed analysis of a Community’s data base:
- How many CHCs does each of your residents currently have, and which ones pose the greatest risk for loss of independence?
- A PROACTIVE intervention program for residents with these specific CHCs will have the biggest impact in stabilizing health and improving resident retention.
- What is the average number of medications each of your residents take, and which classes of medicines pose the greatest risk for complications leading to loss of resident independence?
- A focused awareness and caregiver education of the most high risk medications will alert co-workers to be especially watchful for signs of side effects and declining health.
- Which resident demographics provide insights that may lead to improvements in marketing and the services you provide?
- Learning whether money is being spent marketing services that very few of residents actually use allows the reallocation of these funds to services having a broader appeal.
Our previous blog highlighted 5 CHCs that raise residents’ health risk and separate them from residents with lower risk CHCs. Our next blog will identify higher risk vs. lower risk medications. And a following blog will combine the information we have obtained from our analysis to suggest a Health Risk Profile for every resident that can be used to benefit every Retirement Community.
We believe that this type of methodical approach in the use of a Community’s data base offers a unique and creative opportunity for preserving census and increasing profitability.