For this episode of our GoodLife U video blog series with Dr. Mike Strouse, we are excited to introduce a series focused on Technology Enabled Service Models and Virtual Staffing Support. For the next few episodes, we will be focusing on how technology and virtual staffing can increase privacy and self-direction while providing high-quality care for persons with disabilities and support for the staff who serve them.
As our world continues to embrace the emergence of accessible technology—technology like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s FaceTime, and video conferencing through platforms like Zoom—we’ve become increasingly familiar and comfortable with technology woven into our day-to-day lives. Rapidly evolving technology has changed the way we work and shop, how we conduct business, how we’re entertained, and more. In this context, as we think about traditional care models, doesn’t it make sense to examine how technology woven into redesigned service models can deliver better care in ways that prioritize self-direction, safety, lifestyle preferences, independence, and affordability?
What is the benefit of Technology Enabled Service Models?
Virtual support technologies combined with well-designed human services models can:
- Cultivate greater independence;
- Better empower individuals to self-direct care;
- Increase privacy by providing care that is less intrusive;
- Be used to coach, supervise, and train direct care staff who often work alone serving people with complex needs; and
- Provide more affordable services.
Virtual support technologies are a resource that those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, seniors, or other populations with barriers to independence require as we work to redefine what is possible for care and support.
What we learned from Netflix
In our experience, bolting new technology onto traditional service models will prevent you from maximizing the effectiveness of that very same technology. To make a meaningful leap in what’s possible for best practice care, we must learn lessons from Netflix, Amazon, Instacart, and next-generation telehealth such as StationMD, which built new service approaches upon an infrastructure of advanced technology.
Netflix, for example, did not simply “bolt on” technology to a Blockbuster-style service model. Instead, they redesigned how their services were delivered without the store, directly to the consumer, on-demand, 24/7. We must take the same approach to our care models.
For us as care providers, that means examining how to cultivate greater independence with technology. We also examine:
- How we can support individuals moving to less restrictive living arrangements;
- How we can empower individuals to self-direct better;
- How can we use technology to empower individuals to ask for help when they need it;
- How we can use technology to support our caregivers better, and;
- How we can ultimately make services more affordable
What is a Technology Enabled Service Model?
What is a Technology Enabled Service Model? In short, we weave technology into the very framework of our service models to improve their functionality. Technology may include intelligent home automation, health, behavioral, and safety sensors, communication technologies, and cameras in common areas of the home. Intelligent, individualized software platforms can be used to filter out times when support is not needed or wanted and pinpoint conditions that require support.
These technologies allow remote support professionals to see (cameras), hear and speak (communication technologies), feel (sensors), and support persons served when needed or on-demand by providing life coaching, enacting home automation, deploying support, and supervising caregivers. Furthermore, those in need of support can be empowered by technology to easily self-direct help with a simple push of a button.
Moving forward with Technology Enabled Service Models
The evolution of technology and its integration into our culture didn’t happen overnight. Over time, as new technologies have emerged and been infused into our businesses, healthcare, and in our homes, we’ve gradually become comfortable utilizing them for new applications. It’s important to keep this progression in mind as you consider new applications of technology within redesigned service models and within the culture of your organization.
In the next few episodes, we will explore:
- How we use and develop support systems to advance independence and self-direction;
- How we use technology to develop our service models;
- How we design our technology and what its capabilities are, featuring iLink;
- What we hope to advance for the future of iLink and technology enabled service models;
- Case studies and use studies on how care can be better delivered with technology
Stay tuned for the next episode of GoodLife U: Technology Enabled Service Models, Part 2. We know this limited series will have something for everyone. Are you a care provider interested in the use of technology in your organization? Maybe you’re a policymaker charged with developing regulations around emerging technologies that provide care for those in need. The next few episodes will provide valuable insight into how technology enabled service models can help those we serve lead better, safer, healthier, more preferred, and more affordable lives.
We understand that pivoting your agency to embrace future models of care can be really overwhelming, but innovation is often easier to access than you might think. If you’re interested in working with our specialized GoodLife U team to affordably and sustainably rework your service models, please reach out to us to schedule your free Workforce 101 Workshop. We’d love to have you join our GoodLife U Class of 2022, but hurry! Enrollment is filling up fast.