English Meadows was founded in 2008 with the mission to provide affordable, quality senior living care for residents, while providing a rewarding and enjoyable workplace for team members. English Meadows currently owns and operates nine campuses providing assisted living and dementia care in Virginia and West Virginia.
For Greg Mehfoud, Chief of Staff for English Meadows, the need to position the organization for future growth centered around two critical factors:
- Investment in a purpose-built, senior living software system
- Speedy adoption buoyed by strong team member buy-in
Realizing the Need for a Digital Transformation
Like many senior living communities, English Meadows was a paper-based business. “If you look at where we were five years ago, we were stuck in the Stone Ages,” said Mehfoud. In addition to the challenges of managing daily work on paper, they were also lacking critical information that is necessary to drive operational performance and provide visibility to investors and lenders. “We realized that many of our antiquated processes were affecting us negatively, because we aren’t able to track key performance indicators or easily capture data to make better decisions.”
After making the decision to move away from paper, the company onboarded a solution for billing and another for eMAR. Despite the investment of time and resources, they ran into a significant obstacle – maintaining resident health records on paper while implementing a standalone eMAR. “We quickly realized that it was a huge operational concern because we were not all on the same page,” said Mehfoud. “At the same time, we also wanted to make our caregivers’ jobs easier.”
From Many Solutions to One
Unsatisfied with their hybrid technology and paper solutions, in early 2021, the company began evaluating other senior living software systems offering more comprehensive workflows. According to Mehfoud, the primary drivers were the need for higher efficiency, a better work experience for staff, and the need for data and insight necessary to drive performance. Operation ‘From Many Sources to One’ began.
English Meadows started with their sales teams first, implementing the Enquire CRM by Aline and Aline Contact Center solutions in the Spring of 2022. “Today, we’ve got a best-in-class sales CRM. Before, we couldn’t track our analytics or easily provide data to show investors and lenders our progress. That’s exactly what the CRM does really well.” Today, seven of nine English Meadows properties are at 90% occupancy.
At the same time, the contact center has the potential to allow the company to shift the time its sales teams spend fielding calls to focusing on marketing and lead generating activities. “Marketing is the fuel that lifts the plane of sales and without that fuel, you’re out of luck,” said Mehfoud. “As we continue to re-orient ourselves to focus on digital marketing and activities that will drive leads, we see the potential of what the contact center could provide.”
Next Up: Resident Care, Billing and Financials
English Meadows decided on Aline for the rest of its operational needs primarily because it is designed for assisted living and memory care and manages all operational areas in one package. Providing one system of record, it keeps everyone on the same digital page, addressing the issues that English Meadows had experienced with disparate systems.
“I see everyone’s pain points as chief of staff,” said Mehfoud. “With Aline, I was able to see how it was going to make everyone’s jobs better. Becoming more aligned with one another is one of the biggest benefits.”
Aline stood out from other technology platforms designed for the senior-living industry because of its intuitive UX, ease of use, and customizability. “To get our staff to use something, they need to be drawn to it and the user experience needs to be easy. When we saw the Aline UX, it was, ‘Holy cow, this is easy, and the colors are bright and vibrant.’ Our team loves it!”
The staff found the previous solutions English Meadows used for billing and care cumbersome and complicated. Aline also provides the ability to process resident ACH payments, which will be new for English Meadows. Mehfoud anticipates saving their billing coordinator two days a month processing payments.
Mehfoud also found that Aline’s approach to development and implementation felt like a true partnership. “No other company we evaluated was able to build out a full operating system centered around our specific needs,” said Mehfoud. “It’s like the Burger King slogan: ‘Have it your way.’ We can tailor the system and implementation to each community.”
All Systems Go!
English Meadows’ implementation is fully underway, and the organization is using it as an opportunity to drive focus and simplicity back into their operational processes. The company is looking forward to aligning its people and processes and ensuring the highest standard of care for residents while lessening the burden of paperwork on staff and management.
“Motivating staff, maintaining a high quality, high performing happy team is so critical to what we do and the lives of the older adults we serve,” said Mehfoud.
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