United Methodist Communities Earns Silver in McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards

United Methodist Communities earned a Silver Award from McKnight’s 2021 Excellence in Technology Awards program. The New Jersey-based nonprofit senior care provider was recognized in the Skilled Nursing division, Innovator of the Year category, for successfully implementing VirtuSense remote resident monitoring devices during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When infection control protocols and safety precautions required residents quarantine in their rooms, senior care providers experienced challenges in monitoring residents with a higher risk of falling. With reimbursement through the Federal Communications Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth grant program, UMC was able to introduce VirtuSense’s VSTAlert and VSTOne products to its skilled nursing areas. “Falls are a leading cause of injury for older adults and using VirtuSense’s state of the art preventative technology to minimize the risk of these incidents enhances the quality of life for our residents,” explained UMC President & CEO Larry Carlson.

VSTAlert, the original device, uses sensors to unobtrusively monitor attempted bed exits and fall risks. The VSTOne fulfills the same monitoring tasks while adding a wearable Smart Patch to monitor vitals and a video call component to allow residents to connect with skilled nursing staff, physicians, and family members.

Through use of both systems, UMC has observed an 82% reduction in falls among their current resident population and a positive impact on emotional and mental wellbeing among residents who use the technology to connect virtually with family members.  “Artificial Intelligence will continue to transform the healthcare industry, improving clinical outcomes and insights,” observed Travis Gleinig, UMC’s Chief Information Officer. “VirtuSense is on the cutting edge of developing this technology, and we are pleased to partner with them as they enable providers like UMC to deliver the best care possible.”

The McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards is one of the largest and most prestigious events celebrating providers’ use of technology in all facets of senior living, including skilled nursing and homecare. As a joint initiative of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, McKnight’s Senior Living, and McKnight’s Home Care, the program celebrates organizations that have successfully improved care and services and furthered their missions with the help of notable technology. 

“This is a well-deserved honor for a provider that clearly has taken extra steps to distinguish itself and the care of its patients,” said McKnight’s Editorial Director, John O’Connor.

Nominations were judged by an external panel of industry experts and all winners were honored at a virtual awards celebration on Oct. 20, 2021. The ceremony was held in conjunction with educational webinars with tech themes at the McKnight’s Tech Summit.

To see the full list of inductees, and for more information about the program, visit www.mcknightstechawards.com