The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with PointClickCare . The program is designed in order to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of senior housing, skilled nursing, home health, and hospice care. To see this year’s Future Leaders, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.
Erez Cohen, co-founder plus co-ceo at August Wellness, has been named a 2022 Future Leader by Senior Housing Information.
To become a Future Innovator, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be the high-performing employee who will be 40-years-old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for seniors, and the committed professionals who ensure their own well-being.
Cohen was interviewed by Older Housing News to talk about his career trajectory as well as the ways he sees the industry evolving, including the need for reimagined relationships within senior living communities when it comes to technology infrastructure and technological modernization to improve staffing plus overall community wellness.
What drew you to this industry?
In 2020 Dr. Justin Schram and I met by chance at a playground in San Francisco. I had just left my position at Apple a few years after it acquired the data analytics company that I started. I was exploring new ideas and jobs but wanted to make sure I was going to devote time to something meaningful, mission-driven, and oriented around doing good.
While our kids were on the swingset, Justin shared their experiences working in senior residing communities when he has been Medical Director at Landmark Health. He explained that while some of society’s most essential work takes place in senior living communities, these communities usually lack modern, easy-to- use technology in order to support the staff in their extensive treatment operations.
Mr. bieber had experienced first-hand the particular challenges associated with endless paper records and legacy technology systems that limited his team’s access to the information they needed to provide good, proactive care for residents. Getting a medication list, the care plan, or a history of recent incidents required digging through papers charts onsite, as they tried to create a picture of a resident from disparate plus conflicting paperwork.
Together we began visiting communities and quickly saw an opportunity to support staff and caregivers by building contemporary software in order to drive high-quality care, automate busywork, simplify compliance, and streamline local community operations.
We worked very closely with numerous areas to identify their biggest pain points and study their workflows before launching design sessions and creating a first set of product mocks with feedback from our partners. With just a set of product mocks plus a pitch deck we launched August Health, signed our first anchor customer and raised a seed round.
What’s your greatest lesson learned since starting to work in this business?
It’s become very clear that will this industry is really people and relationship-driven. An important early decision all of us made had been to function closely along with customers before we started building a product. We visited communities, fulfilled staff plus residents, shadowed med-passes and formed true partnerships with Executive Directors and personnel members. All of us started building the 1st set of Aug Health products very closely with our initial users — people whom we would regularly text plus call.
This people and relationship-centered approach continues to be the cornerstone associated with how we all interact along with our
customers. Working with us is more of a partnership — I’m still on a first name basis with most associated with our
clients. We also have close relationships with a key group of advisors that really have a pulse around the market — folks like Joel Goldman through Hanson Bridgett and Josh Allen from Allen Flores Consulting possess helped us build best practices right into our tools.
If you could change one thing along with an eye toward the future of senior residing what would it be?
We’ve noticed that most older living leaders are dealing with numerous technologies plus tools that will don’t work well together. When these kinds of equipment and systems don’t talk to each other, it becomes a headache with regard to senior living leaders and potentially results in dangerous knowledge gaps for caregivers.
By having software, techniques, and processes that interact well together and allow for info to be exchanged benefits every operator plus every resident, and is usually something that the industry should be moving towards. Folks making purchasing decisions should be demanding this particular capability through their vendors. Unfortunately, some companies even purposefully make integrations more difficult by obscuring their information or documentation. In the particular broader healthcare industry, the lack of interoperability among healthcare software is estimated to cost $30 billion dollars annually.
Whenever different systems can work together, decision-makers are free to select tools that best support their employees and operations. This results in improved care for residents, more productive and supported staff members, and better insights regarding executives. It has the potential to be a significant force-multiplier across all levels of the particular industry.
What do a person foresee as being different about the senior living industry looking ahead to 2023?
Across our customers and the industry, we’re seeing the crisis-level reduction in available staffing amounts. Team members are burned out. We all predict operators will make investments in retaining and recruiting staff with higher quality tools that truly support their particular daily workflows, make them a lot more efficient, plus elevate their individual impact and job satisfaction. Within 2023 it will become increasingly clear that will legacy technologies systems that add friction and inefficiency are unsustainable for overworked caregiving teams.
Families expect digital-first experiences from senior living neighborhoods. Other industries used Covid as a catalyst to adopt standard digital practices, like digital forms, e-signatures, email and text updates. Families now need 24-7 visibility into the care their loved ones are receiving, as well while seamless communication. Senior residing operators that are able to create digital improvements to their own workflows will come out ahead associated with peers who else don’t keep up along with family expectations.
Industry leaders need to have visibility into what& #39; s actually happening within their buildings. The industry is effectively flying blind – the particular combination of paper plus disparate legacy systems make answering simple but critical questions impossible – how many falls did I have across my portfolio yesterday? How much should I be charging intended for new residents? What’s the average acuity throughout my residential areas, and is definitely this changing over time? These are difficult to impossible in order to answer inside today’s environment, even among the most sophisticated providers. We foresee operators wanting not just more data, but more insight about their organizations.
In a word, exactly how would you describe the ongoing future of the senior living industry?
What quality must all Future Leaders possess?
Empathy. Whilst the mature living sector reflects the complex network of professional, regulatory, and social techniques, the core of the particular industry is people. This is probably most visible in the industry dedicated but overworked staff plus caregivers. The people that are actually handing out the particular medications, or even helping with an escort or creating a care strategy. To be a good effective leader in the industry, you absolutely have to have empathy for the people doing the hard function on the ground. By understanding the day-to-day joys, struggles, motivations and goals associated with a team, leaders can inspire its best performance and cultivate a culture of excellence. One of our main goals in August Health is to fully support staff and caregivers in providing the best care. This is reflected in our company’s Mission: “To empower the particular essential work of caring for our elders. ”
If you could give advice to yourself looking back in order to your first day in the industry, what would it not become and why?
To have fun and do your best work. In the end, it’s all about improving the lives of the residents.