Shaw Mountain of Cascadia

Shaw Mountain of Cascadia Eases Staff Burdens and Improves Efficiencies at the Front Desk

Mackenzie Smith

Administrative Assistant - Shaw Mountain of Cascadia

The Challenge

To acquire an easy-to-use and fast front desk technology that streamlines the sign-in and health screening process for families, friends, staff, and outside care providers.

The Outcome

The Accushield sign-in, touchless temperature scanning, and health screening kiosk gave the front desk staff the ability to focus on more important tasks while maintaining screening requirements and keeping track of visitors who enter the building.

The Impact

A safer, more efficient community where residents, staff, and family members can feel secure knowing that required health screening protocols are being followed and everyone is accounted for.

How does one person wear three hats? In senior living that question can be answered easily by many a staff member. Shaw Mountain of Cascadia, a skilled nursing center in Boise, Idaho, is no exception. For Mackenzie Smith, who serves as administrative assistant, clinical assistant, as well as receptionist, each of the hats she wears is as important as the other. So, when a technology emerged that helped to relieve some of the burden of taking on these roles, she was on board.

A Technology Turn Around

Shaw Mountain switched from a complicated sign-in and health screening process to Accushield’s all-in-one solution. Shaw Mountain began the implementation of the Accushield kiosk-based solution in September of 2021 after the center’s administrator brought the technology to Smith’s attention.

“We were the pilot group and the first building in our company to get the kiosk,” Smith says. Since COVID protocols began at Shaw Mountain, the receptionists had been doing everything manually, so Smith had cobbled together a system that used an iPad, Microsoft forms, and a thermometer to screen and keep track of everyone who entered the building.

“CMS [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] requires all nursing homes to have a person dedicated to performing all COVID screenings at the front desk,” Smith explains. “First, we were using an iPad to do it all manually. It was hard to keep track of everyone and was not a streamlined solution.”

Implementing Accushield helped Smith and her colleague free up more time for more important responsibilities.

Staff Burdens Eased

Smith explains that while Shaw Mountain has two receptionists, each of them also has other roles within the building. “For me – I am an administrative assistant, a clinical assistant, and one of the receptionists. The other receptionist also does recruitment and talent acquisition for the community. Accushield helped us to free up more time for our other duties.”

Because Accushield offers users the ability to run a myriad of reports in Excel, Smith says it helps her to “track and find visitors who have been in the building before.” She is also a fan of the text and email alerts that are a big part of the system. “If a visitor is completing the kiosk-based screening process and they answer “yes” to a question about symptoms, it alerts the charge nurse via text message. The nurse is then dispatched to meet with the person to find out more about their symptoms and determine whether they are safe to come into the building.”

A Bonus for Outside Care Providers and Vendors

Outside care providers (i.e., home health, hospice, home care providers) have become fans of the kiosk thanks to its ease of use, Smith notes. “Outside care providers and vendors like it because once they input their information, they can return without having to do it again each time they come back,” she says. “These providers are often on a time crunch to get in and get out, and getting screened can take time when done manually.”

What’s more, when Smith examined the cost-benefit analysis of Accushield, she was able to see that they no longer needed to have a dedicated person at the front desk doing the screenings for 12-hour shifts, seven days per week. “We were able to reduce that burden and free up time for us to have the ability to work on other things while we oversee the kiosk.”

Accushield made the process ten times easier, Smith says, “because I didn’t have to make the forms myself.”

Although Smith says they haven’t taken the step of utilizing Accushield’s reports within their disaster preparedness plans, she is aware that it integrates with PointClickCare, the system they currently rely on to keep track of residents who are in the building.

Since Accushield offers real-time tracking of everyone in the building, including residents, visitors, staff, outside care providers, and vendors, many clients can easily include this into their facility safety plans.

AT A GLANCE

Challenges
  • Staff-intensive screening process
  • Inefficient manual sign-in
  • Compliance with ever-changing COVID protocols
Benefits
  • Improved staff efficiencies
  • Peace of mind among staff and residents
  • Easy-to-use tracking and reporting

“We were able to reduce that burden [of dedicating staff to manual screening around the clock] and free up time for us to have the ability to work on other things while we oversee the kiosk.”

Mackenzie Smith