On a daily basis, senior living communities produce enormous amounts of information that operators should use to improve quality of care, revenue, and reputation. The problem? Current platforms are not set up to make that data user-friendly, and as a result, many operators are lacking critical data and insights. 

To get you started on your data journey, get to know the following three metrics, as we break down why they’re essential to running your community efficiently.


Acuity is the measure of the care needs of an individual. It can be tracked in points, levels, or minutes. Overall acuity for a building is the sum of those points – in other words, the quantity of care you are committed to providing. This metric guides how you should staff your building. To ensure that you’re not understaffed or overstaffed, acuity should remain relatively stable over time. 

If overall acuity is increasing, you may be moving in residents who require a higher standard of care that cannot be optimally met with your current staffing and physical resources. While the building may be capable of caring for these residents, they may not be the best fit for your community. This can result in a shorter than optimal length of stay. 

Conversely, if acuity is decreasing, resident reassessments may not be occurring often enough, which can result in a disparity between actual increasing acuity and tracked services that are not keeping pace. In this case, you may be failing to capture revenue for services already being provided.

Assessment Frequency

Actual, tracked, and billed acuity often diverge because resident needs change in real time while tracked acuity lags. Resident needs don’t always increase, but when they do, it’s essential for billed acuity to keep pace so that you can capture revenue, hire appropriately, and avoid care disparity reports down the line. Accordingly, reassessing residents regularly is the key to keeping actual acuity and tracked acuity in sync. 

Operators should have a thorough understanding of assessment frequency needs across their resident populations. Unfortunately, most legacy software systems lack the tools to track assessment frequency usefully – if at all – making it difficult or impossible to maintain acuity metrics. Frequency of reassessment may vary based on differing resident needs. Residents in memory care, for example, often need more frequent reexamination than others. 

Senior living expert and CALA board member Paula Hertel notes that in addition to identifying needs and preferences to build a service plan for new residents, assessments identify changes in conditions before there is a crisis.

“Look for changes in daily routines from care teams on all shifts. For example, PM/NOC teams can highlight changes in sleep that are early indicators of health care changes. Changes in hygiene or eating habits or interests can all signal evolving resident needs,” notes Hertel.

Regular assessments allow you to address early changes in condition, which in turn allows for a more accurate service plan, appropriate pricing and often leads to better long-term social and health outcomes.

Important Incidents

Some of the most serious community incidents include falls, hospital admissions, and missed medications. Because these incidents directly reduce quality of care, they will end up affecting your occupancy and reputation, both of which drive your revenue. Tracking these occurrences will help you determine and address their causes. They will also indicate whether you are staffing your care teams appropriately, moving in residents with appropriate care needs, and even arranging rooms properly. 

Like all modernizing industries, businesses that use their data to improve operations become leaders in the field. The August Health platform is set up to track these metrics and many others that are crucial to improving senior living operations and the quality of your community’s person-centered care. 

August Health

August Health