New Legislation Requires California Assisted Living Communities to Embrace Communication Technology

The top priority in any senior living community is keeping residents safe. As such, most senior communities take emergency preparedness seriously, ensuring they have smart, effective ways of safeguarding precious residents no matter what happens. And now, thanks to a new piece of California legislation, it’s more important than ever before for assisted living communities to consider how they will communicate with residents in the event of an emergency.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what this legislation entails—and how assisted living centers can fully comply.

A New Stage of Emergency Preparedness

The new legislation in question is AB 3098, which is intended to strengthen the disaster preparedness plans maintained by assisted living communities. The bill was supported by the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown—to go into effect on January 1, 2019.

But what does this legislation require from assisted living communities? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • All staff members must receive initial and annual training on emergency preparedness plans;
  • Drills must be held at least quarterly, simulating various emergency situations;
  • Emergency preparedness plans must be reviewed and updated as needed;
  • Two evacuation sites must be discovered and identified, including one outside the immediate area;
  • Procedures must be put into place to confirm the location of residents;
  • An assembly point must be designated, for use during an evacuation;
  • The location and operation of generators must be clarified, when applicable;
  • Communication with the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) must be assured during any emergency;
  • Two methods of communication are required during any emergency, and residents/family must be aware of both methods;
  • Staff members must be knowledgeable of their role in any emergency; and
  • Residents must be encouraged to participate in emergency drills.

As you can tell, there are a number of moving pieces here, and much for assisted living communities to think about as they work to ensure compliance before January 1. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to highlight one specific component of this new legislation—the requirement for two methods of communication to be in place. What does that look like, exactly, and how can your assisted living community be sure it’s compliant?

Technology Holds the Answers

There are a number of communication tools available to assisted living centers—think in broad categories, like phone, email, messaging, etc. The problem lies in actually implementing these different communication options so that assisted living communities can leverage them quickly and easily in the event of an emergency. And of course, these communication methods also need to be easily managed by residents, who may not always have a high level of tech savvy.

Salient Networks can provide solutions here—including integrative communication technologies that are expressly designed for senior living communities. These technologies empower messages to be sent in multiple formats at the same time, and to be easily received and displayed to residents.

Learn More About the Role of Technology in Senior Living Centers

At Salient Networks, we are in the business of connecting people—and one of the things we’re most passionate about is helping senior living centers use technology in a way that increases safety and connectivity.

As such, we not only want to provide clients with technological solutions, but show them how they can use those solutions most effectively—even using them to comply with this new legislation.

To that end, we are happy to announce that we’ll be presenting a WebEx session at CALA 2018, with the goal of showing senior living centers how they can use technology to make their communication measures more robust.

CALA 2018 is scheduled for November 5-7 in Palm Springs, California. You can find more information, including registration details, online.

Connect with Salient Networks Today

Salient Networks is a leading provider of business technology solutions, as well as an expert in situational awareness methodologies for senior living centers. We are proud to serve businesses and assisted living communities in the United States.

We support this new piece of legislation, believing it to be an important way to safeguard our seniors; at the same time, we understand that ensuring compliance may prove tricky. Our team is here to help. Reach out to Salient Networks today to learn more.