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Tech Concierge: An Essential New Role or All Hype?by@bentphilipson
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Tech Concierge: An Essential New Role or All Hype?

by Bent PhilipsonAugust 28th, 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the use of technology among older generations. Tech concierge positions are popping up everywhere as a way to help older adults familiarize themselves with and actively use the increasing number of devices and platforms that are now available to them. Technology was the lifeline between seniors and their loved ones, who weren't able to see one in person for years as distancing guidelines have loosened up. Technology is still a way for older adults to stay in contact with their family outside of regular visitation hours.
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At this point, it's undeniable just how much the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the use of technology among older generations.


Seniors have had to adjust to technology to stay connected with their loved ones, but it's also been criticized for their physical well-being as the healthcare industry urgently prioritized telehealth — a trend that many assumed would be temporary, but __will now be a permanent fixture__in healthcare. Not only this, but skilled nursing facilities, long-term care centers, and other roles in senior care have all sped up their adoption of technology so as to not disrupt their care.

This accelerated use of technology has spawned a new role, one that not as many people are talking about, which is the role of the tech concierge.

These tech-focused positions are popping up everywhere as a way to help older adults familiarize themselves with and actively use the increasing number of devices and platforms that are now available to them. These workers are knowledgeable of all the technology used within an organization, so they're available to assist residents directly, but part of their role is to also train that organization's employees on how to best use certain devices or platforms.

Prior to the pandemic, older adults were very reserved when it came to technology — in part because they found it irrelevant to their day-to-day lives. Fast-forward to today, __44 percent more seniors__view technology in a positive light, not only because it's a way for them to connect with their loved ones, but they understand its role in healthcare as well. The same flip-flop happened with the tech concierge role at skilled nursing facilities and long-term care centers. Residents were once indifferent to these employees, but now many of them admit they can't live without them.

However, it's not just residents that are leaning all-in to the tech concierge role, more and more executives in the senior care space are following suit as well. Pre-pandemic, this was not as much of a priority, but that's changed now that leadership is watching the way their residents view and use technology differently.

Residents, who at one point had no touchpoints with technology, are now using it every day. They're video chatting with their loved ones, texting, and even using their cell phones to make more frequent phone calls. While their reverence for technology has grown, they still need a lot of help using it. SNFs and LTC centers found that their staff was spending a lot of their time helping residents resolve tech issues, on top of juggling their daily administrative and care responsibilities. Creating a separate position for a part of full-time tech concierge became the logical option, for current employees, and residents, and for organizational efficiency.

So, is the tech concierge role a new essential position within healthcare facilities? Or is it all hype?

It's clear that the surge in technology use following the pandemic isn't going to suddenly wear off. How can something so transformative fizzle out? Technology was the lifeline between seniors and their loved ones, who weren't able to see one another in person for years as quarantine and social distancing guidelines kept them apart following safety protocols. While these safety measures have loosened up quite a bit, technology is still a way for older adults to stay in contact with their family outside of regular visitation hours.

Since residents aren't going to stop their technology usage, healthcare facilities need to make room for a tech concierge as part of their staff. While your team members are happy to support patients with their issues, every minute they spend focusing on these needs is time spent away from their already hectic schedules. Healthcare workers are already suffering from job fatigue and burnout, both of which skyrocketed after the pandemic shook up the industry. These workers already carried an immense weight on their shoulders, but due to layoffs and resignations during the worst of the pandemic, they've found themselves taking on more responsibilities and hours to ensure patient care isn't disrupted.

A tech concierge would take the pressure off of these workers so they can dedicate themselves to the more critical aspects of their role. With less stress on their shoulders, job productivity and efficiency will increase, as will their happiness, which will decrease turnover rates.

Technology is the future of healthcare, but this isn't just referring to technology that is used to better healthcare services, support more accurate diagnosis, and improve patient care outcomes, it's also about how prevalent technology now is in the personal lives of seniors. If your organization touts its appreciation for transformative tech, it must also consider how roles like that of the tech concierge will also influence a better future.