Before jumping on the latest technology or implementing a new monitoring or communication system, use this checklist to ensure you are prepared for success:

■ Does your facility or community have a wireless network? It’s hard to deploy systems if you don’t, says tech expert and writer Laurie Orlov.

■ Do you have tech support available? “If you don’t have someone in the building who is paid to support technology, this is a real barrier to implementation. Technology doesn’t just adopt itself,” says Orlov. Problems and questions need to be addressed promptly, and everyone—staff and residents alike—needs to know who to contact, and they need to feel confident that glitches and problems will be addressed promptly.

■ What do you want technology to accomplish? It is important to have goals for technological innovations. These may include improving census, reducing hospitalizations and/or medication-related problems, and enhancing resident and family satisfaction. However, there must be a plan for how technology will be implemented, what it will do, how you will train staff, and how you will track results.

■ How will you manage and disseminate data? Realize that not everyone wants or needs the same data
and that no one wants to wade through pages and pages of it. Make sure you have a way to customize data dissemination so that all parties involved only get the information they need and want. As Orlov says, “You need technology that produces reports with practical, useful information. You also need staff that have at least a rudimentary ability to analyze and interpret reports.”

■ How will you seek feedback? It is important to have a way to get feedback from staff, residents, and families alike about what they like and don’t like.