Since January 2020, 400,000 senior care facility staff have quit, but the mass exodus of caregivers started long before then. “We know that even before the pandemic, two years ago, there were already staff shortages,” says Susan Reinhard, senior vice president at AARP. “It’s a perennial problem.” 

Senior care facility staff are leaving the industry due to a number of reasons, including low pay. However, Laurie Brewer, the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman, says “Sometimes money is not the problem. It’s working conditions that are the problem.” These conditions include taxing physical and emotional demands, especially as they have watched 200,000 of their residents and colleagues die of COVID-19.  

As senior care facilities continue to face staffing shortages, healthcare technology can step in to provide relief to already-exhausted caregivers. Technology delivers high-quality care with less manpower, and seniors actually prefer this blended approach. 53% of elderly patients say they would prefer their healthcare needs to be met by a mix of staff and technology. 

Transitioning to virtual healthcare isn’t simple, but this guide for senior care facilities breaks the process down into clear, actionable steps.  

Transitioning to virtual healthcare

Step 1: Know what problems virtual healthcare can solve

When transitioning to virtual healthcare, be aware of the limitations. While healthcare technology can ease the burden of a lot of tasks, some will still have to be handled by your staff. For example, you’ll still need staff to change bedding, clean residents, and shift patients to avoid bed sores.  

Although virtual healthcare isn’t appropriate in every situation, virtual healthcare can handle tasks including:  

  • Monitoring chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease 
  • Improving medication adherence with automatic pill dispensers 
  • Interactive patient care (IPC) which connects patients with doctors virtually, via calls, messaging systems, or video chats  
  • Remote vital monitoring that can alert senior care facility staff when there are issues 

Technology also allows residents to connect with providers virtually, which means no traveling to and from the appointments.  

Now that you know when virtual healthcare can be leveraged to assist senior care facility staff, it’s vital to pick the right technology.  

Step 2: Picking the right technology for your facility

When you’re thinking about looking for the right healthcare technology, there are a lot of options to consider. As you do your research, focus on: 

Simple implementation 

Technology should make your staff’s jobs easier, not harder. Look for solutions that are easy to implement, and prioritize companies that assist with implementation. Getting the platform up and running into your senior care facility should be relatively easy. 


Another thing to look for is integration of all your needs. It complicates matters if you have to turn to one platform to monitor chronic conditions, and another to improve medication adherence. One interface should allow you to manage all your healthcare needs. 


Look for a user-friendly, intuitive design. Especially for senior patients, who can often feel uncomfortable using new technologies due to the digital divide, ease of use is key. If some of your elderly residents are still struggling, your staff may need to train them in how to use it 

Data analytics 

Without tracking data, it can feel like going through a maze in the dark. When you track analytics, you’ll know what to improve going forward. There are healthcare technologies that automatically collect the data for you, and these are often the best for your senior care facility.  

Step 3: After making a choice, train your staff

When your residents have questions or difficulties using healthcare technology, they will turn to your staff for answers. Your staff should be trained and knowledgeable about the technology you implement.  

Your staff should also be able to handle basic troubleshooting if issues arise. Another way to set your transition up for success is to find a healthcare app that offers ongoing tech support.  

As you’re training your staff, you can pick a few staff members to be on your “super user” team. These team members will know more about the technology than an average staff member, and they can train their peers and offer relief in the face of any issues.  

Step 4: Create documentation

Creating documentation of how to use healthcare technology and the workflow that staff should follow helps you quickly train new staff members as time goes on. Even staff who have already undergone training can quickly and easily access your documentation to answer any questions they may have.   

Documentation can also help you develop a roadmap of how to implement the new healthcare technology. For example, you can outline:  

  • Who will be responsible to explaining the technology to residents 
  • Who will obtain informed consent 
  • Who is responsible for introducing providers to patients 
  • Who will document the needs during the appointment (for example, a medical scribe) 
  • Who will coordinate follow-up appointments 
  • How data will be integrated into your existing systems 

When you have all the steps and processes written down, it’s easier for your staff to implement the healthcare technology and continue to use it properly. 

Step 5: Engage with the residents and their families

The whole process of transitioning to virtual healthcare is for the benefit of your residents. Engage with the residents and their families to figure out any concerns and how to address them, and keep them engaged throughout the process. Similarly to how you’ll train your staff, we also recommend training your residents to allow for easier integration. 

 After you implement your new healthcare technology, continue engaging with residents and their families by asking for feedback. Use their responses to help you make it easier on your residents and for new residents. After all, your residents are your primary concern.  

Ōmcare offers a new standard for care coordination

As caregivers are diminishing, telehealth solutions allow senior care facilities to deliver quality patient care in a unique way. The Ōmcare Home Health Hub® allows you to:  

  • Coordinate: Connect your residents with healthcare providers via live chat. Efficient communication is possible with an interactive interface. 
  • Improve medication adherence: Automatically and accurately dispenses pre-slit packages of multi-dose medication at the right time. 
  • Inform: Dispensing data and video observation allow your staff to be aware of when doses are missed or taken incorrectly. Your staff will receive visual confirmation of the right medicine, at the right time, with the right person.  
  • Effectively manage costs: We’ve focused on creating a customizable, cost-effective solution for your senior care facility that won’t break the bank. 

 Ōmcare’s Home Health Hub® makes transitioning to virtual healthcare easy and keeps your patients healthier. Connect with Ōmcare today to learn more.