Last week I had the pleasure of attending McKnights free Online Expo, my first virtual conference. I registered in advance for the event, which can still be accessed at the McKnights website. When the conference day arrived, I logged onto the site to see a conference hall up on my screen, complete with “rooms” to enter to listen to speakers and visit product reps, who were available for a chat. There were also opportunities for networking with other attendees who were attending the session live.
One of the benefits of the online conference was that I could fit it into my busy schedule. I listened to the session I most wanted to hear — Margaret Wylde’s talk on Getting from Satisfied to Very Satisfied Residents — in my kitchen while preparing food for my slow cooker dinner. Research by Dr. Wylde’s group finds that the most crucial element of resident satisfaction is their customer service experience. Residents and families are most satisfied if they are treated in a “positive, warm, and genuine” manner, and only those that are “very satisfied” refer contacts to their community.
I listened to Peter Kress discuss new technologies over lunch with a colleague the next day. While, for me, part of his talk was preaching to the converted, he described many exciting prospects for using technology in nursing homes. Some of them were related to improved work flow for staff members, such as having Care Plan goals literally on hand while working with residents, and some related to resident quality of life. I was particularly taken with the idea of Virtual Travel for residents. Just as I was transported into a conference hall, residents could virtually travel around the world while sitting in their recreation groups. Paris, anyone?