Digital Transformation in the Senior Care Industry




The pandemic has brought sharp focus on the Senior Care Industry, especially Long-term Care. In Ontario, the recent change in the Long-term Care Act to new Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 has brought the risk of operating a home into sharp focus with changes to the inspection processes and fines that can be levied against a non-compliant home. More than ever, homes need to be able to see operations at a glance and finances need to be monitored carefully to ensure that spending is in line with the government funding and care goals.

What is Digital Transformation

Digital transformation requires a high degree of support from top management and the full commitment of the organization. To transform is to refrain from old ways and adopt others, ultimately leaving your comfort zone. If you do not see transformation in those who lead your organization, you will not believe it, and it will not work. A leader who takes notes with a pen and paper and asks for e-mails to be printed out will not be able to lead a digital transformation process, however much authority they have.

Cultural change management and transformation are key enablers of success. Change is scary and the fear of the unknown is real. In the January 2022 issue of Harvard Business Review, authors Leeward, Mani and Sheppard “Reinventing Your Leadership Team” discuss an approach to building a leadership team that is up to the challenge of Digital Transformation. The four key components are:

  1. Identifying the leadership roles needed to transform your company for the future.
  2. Assembling the right people.
  3. Focusing your leadership team on driving the company’s transformation.
  4. Taking ownership of your leadership team’s behavior.

Moving towards Digital Transformation

After developing your team to manage the Digital Transformation, begin by differentiating between strategic and non-strategic processes and assets. What can you do to move non-value-added processes to standard software solutions? Rely on partners to provide the innovation and speed you need. Customize where you need to and recognize out-of-the-box software will help you move faster than highly customized software.

The best place is to start with your accounting software. Does it use the old Chart of Accounts which means you have a thousand accounts and every time the ministry provides new funding, a new account needs to be added to the chart and to every cost centre. What about your Financial Reporting – is it flexible; can it easily handle the changing report needs of funders, management, and other stakeholders. Perhaps you need a new solution that accumulates your data in a much more flexible way. Maybe you need Dimensions.

What is a “Dimensional Accounting” System?

Dimensional accounting replaces the different account segments and just retains the natural account. To record different information for each segment, you just set up a dimension for each. Then, you simply tag each entry with the appropriate dimension. This creates a smaller account list that is easier to maintain and report against. A modern Accounting System allows for appropriate Dimensions to be textual such as location, department, or fund name rather than just a number.

The Benefits

This simplified structure provides numerous benefits. Consider four.

  1. Increased reporting capabilities. Accurate reporting is critical for government-funded long-term care. A dimensional system allows Finance to “slice and dice” data based on whatever criteria they want. Detailed analysis is available quickly. Comprehensive reports can be provided regularly with little effort to essential stakeholders.
  2. Accurately track business. Dimensional accounting software enables users to “tag” transactions and operational data with multiple dimension values. This allows you to add business context to your data. It also allows for tracking Statistical Data the same way you track financial data.
  3. Increase admin productivity. Dimensional accounting saves time in every step of the accounting process, including set-up, data entry, and reporting. Tasks that used to involve multiple people can now be done in minutes. It gives your Finance staff the flexibility and functionality to be proactive and focus on other key tasks.
  4. Gain flexibility. Flexibility in accounting is critical. New builds, programs, grants and various other jobs and resources require the Finance Team to figure out how to input and track a dynamic business. With dimensional accounting, as your business expands you simply add the dimension types you need to track what’s important to you. Dimensional accounting empowers your accounting department to adjust their data entry and reporting capabilities without significant restructuring.

Instead of spending days preparing reports, wouldn’t you like an accounting system that allows your Finance team to provide a real-time view of where the company stands within minutes? View performance from any angle you wish. Create reports using simple drop-down lists. Filter, group and organize your data at the request of any stakeholder.


Whether you accept change or not, digital transformation is the future of senior living facilities. Adapting to technological changes can propel management teams within senior living facilities to better outcomes. Providing the latest tools to organize, manage, and protect your organization is how facilities can stay innovative and in control of the operation and minimize risks.


Dennis Donovan

About The Author

Dennis Donovan

Dennis is focused on senior care living finance and technology automation. He is the CEO of 167 Finance and Systems Consulting, Dennis currently works with homes on updating finance and HR software, new build applications, and technology RFPs. Previously, Dennis was the Director of Finance and Information Management at Belmont House, a charitable long-term care and retirement facility. While working at Belmont House for 15 years, Dennis's extensive experience makes him an expert in the senior living industry.