When Albright Care Services joined the Asbury Communities senior living system in 2020, gaining the services of ThriveWell Tech, an affiliate of Asbury, had high strategic value for Albright, says Shaun Smith, Asbury’s President of Integrated Services and President of Albright Care Services.
“We were looking for innovation,” Smith explained. “Our previous managed services partner was a good day-to-day provider, but they weren’t bringing us anything really new in the marketplace or helping us keep pace with the rate of change.”
Since then, the continuing care retirement communities and related aging services that came under the Albright umbrella have seen a marked upgrade in technology.
Internet bandwidth is stronger, new collaboration software is in place and crews are upgrading systems, telecommunications and Wi-Fi networks. Even COVID-19 screenings were more streamlined and high-tech.
Knowledge of your organization
One of the most significant new benefits, Smith said, is having an on-site field technician. Previously, Albright employees would have to call a help desk and have someone remotely access their computers when a problem arose. Sometimes repairs didn’t work or a related problem arose or staff would have more questions. Redialing the help desk meant put you in touch with a different technician.
By contrast, Smith said he was recently having trouble with secure printing after a ThriveWell field tech help set it up on his work computer. He got the same field tech to help walk him through the process and get the issue fixed.
“Having the one or two techs who know your organization and its technology is super helpful,” he said.
When the onsite technician isn’t around, Albright benefits from access to ThriveWell’s 24-7 help desk. The one operated by its previous vendor had more limited hours. “That’s very helpful, especially for our third-shift folks,” Smith said. “That’s when things want to break.”
Upgrade to meet today’s tech needs
As a tech company with decades of experience serving senior living operators, ThriveWell brought the expertise that enabled them to quickly lay out a comprehensive plan to upgrade technology as a way to streamline operations, lower costs and improve the quality of lives for residents.
Some of the managed services ThriveWell is providing Albright include:
A realistic approach
Smith said some of the most valuable changes involve behind-the-scenes infrastructure work that isn’t physically apparent. For example, when residents wanted to download a movie in previous years, it would slow down internet connectivity for employees. Those kinds of work slowdowns are now a thing of the past. While boosting Albright’s Wi-Fi bandwidth to the highest possible level for business and medical use, ThriveWell also pointed out necessary hardware upgrades, he said.
Albright is now following a three-year plan to replace aging hardware. Other things will similarly take longer to implement, such as introducing telehealth and remote patient monitoring capabilities.
Through it all, Smith credits ThriveWell for being upfront about the challenges and how much time it would take for the most difficult projects.
“The challenge with changing anything is that it’s always disruptive. And I think that the part that ThriveWell brought to us was constant communication about what to expect, because it’s not something that people go through on a routine basis.
“Most of us try to forget the bad things. The last time we went through it with our previous vendor, it wasn’t pleasant. So you tend to wait several years until you do that again. ThriveWell was just good about being upfront and saying, ‘We’re planning for 24 hours, but let’s say 48 to make sure that we get everything covered.’ The realistic approach ThriveWell takes is very helpful.”