Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina is proud to announce that it has earned a Spirit of Innovation Award, as part of the ninth annual LTC & Senior Living LINK Conference. This award recognizes companies and organizations for their innovation, dedication to continuous improvement, development of best practices, and commitment to the success of the long term care and senior living industry. At the LINK conference this summer, PCSC was pleased to have the opportunity to present a case study highlighting its recent IT updates and enhancements.

This recognition comes after years of hard work by Mark Cary, Director of Information Technology at Presbyterian Communities. After joining the staff in 2006, Mark began an immediate overhaul of PCSC’s technology systems. Although this type of project is often a costly endeavor, PCSC’s Board and management believed it was essential. “We knew we had to do it,” said Kathy Ligon, President.

“It would only get more expensive the longer we waited. Technology had the potential to bring all facets of our organization together to assure value for us. We saw it as a driving force for quality and transparency.” In addition to building a more solid network infrastructure, a main component of the project was creating a wireless environment. “Retirement Communities don’t need a network that supports PCs on everyone’s desk, but one that supports mobility— taking technology right to the resident for better care,” said Cary.

After years of work, the IT overhaul was completed earlier this year. As a result, PCSC’s ability to support mobile devices has grown tremendously. Before the project, Presbyterian Communities was operating a network that could only handle 250 devices. Now, PCSC has a Class A network that can accommodate thousands of devices operating at each location. The benefits of the new wireless system are numerous. Residents and their families are now enjoying wireless connectivity on their electronic devices in public spaces at each community. In addition, these advancements have provided a way for physical therapists and other staff to record more information on their portable computers right at the time care is given, enabling them to be at their desk less and with the resident more.

So what is next for technology at PCSC? “The next project will be developing electronic medical records and joining South Carolina’s Health Information Exchange System,” said Cary. “Our wireless infrastructure was vital to prepare our ministry for that next critical step in technology. I am proud to say that now, we are ready!”