Proactivity in IT – Mitigating Risk in Senior Care

By Mark McIntyre, EVP and GM
CareWorx Senior Care 

A popular movie character once said “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And, while I don’t think Ferris Bueller was talking about business and technology so much as life itself, I think the sentiment still applies.

Technology moves incredibly fast today and for businesses, keeping up with that pace of change is daunting to say the least. From an IT perspective, proactivity is where it’s at. Any organization’s IT team must stay in front of critical responsibilities like ensuring adequate network capacity, and today, more than ever, data security. Through tools like anti-virus/malware, and processes like proactive network monitoring or data backup, companies are effectively stopping and looking around, so they don’t miss things. Without that element of proactivity, any organization can find themselves in serious trouble.

A few months ago, eHR platform partner PointClickCare undertook a proactive update that required their customers to ensure they were accessing their suite of applications from a browser or operating system compatible with SHA-2 certificates. Why did they do this? To ensure greater security for client data – a critical issue for our senior care/LTPAC customers. In preparation for the change, PointClickCare sent multiple communications over the course of a year to inform and prepare their clients. CareWorx also echoed reminders of the impending update to mutual customers with whom we had IT support contracts.

On January 15, PointClickCare finally made the change and activated the update. However, despite repeated communications and advanced notice, there were still senior care facilities that weren’t prepared. Not all facilities have dedicated IT staff to help them with system updates and technical issues, or the staff they have is overwhelmed. This can result in outdated systems or incomplete updates, which can impact operations. The CareWorx Service Desk received four times its normal call volume about devices not working and an inability to access PointClickCare applications.

CareWorx mobilized quickly to help, regardless of whether customers had an agreement for managed IT services and support. For customers with support contracts, we remotely pushed out a browser update to correct the problem. For others, we generated and sent more than 300 USB drives that would help fix the issue.

As a technology company that offers a range of proactive IT services, the fact that many of our mutual clients weren’t prepared for this update was troubling. We get it, IT departments are notoriously understaffed and usually have too much on their plates. But there are services out there that can take some of that burden off in-house IT, freeing them up for more critical functions and preventing issues like the one I just described.

In senior care, where access to resident data is critical, there’s real risk in an IT department not being prepared. Mitigating that risk with proactive IT should be a priority for any organization.

Contact CareWorx about proactive, managed IT services for senior care organizations.