Welcome to Bridge the Gap with hosts Josh Crisp and Lucas McCurdy. A podcast dedicated to inform, educate and influence the future of housing and services for seniors. Bridge the Gap aims to help shape the culture of the senior living industry by being an advocate and a positive voice of influence which drives quality outcomes for our aging population.

Centralized Caregiver Operations with Sage

Alessandro Furlotti explains how operators combat issues relating to trust and transparency in senior living communities through their caregiver tools.


Every caregiver on shift logs into a Sage phone at the beginning of their day and they can see alerts that are coming through in order and how long it's taking.

Alessandro Furlotti

Guest on This Episode

Josh Crisp

Owner & CEO Solinity

Josh Crisp is a senior living executive with more than 15 years of experience in development, construction, and management of senior living communities across the southeast.

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Lucas McCurdy

Owner & Founder The Bridge Group Construction

Lucas McCurdy is the founder of The Bridge Group Construction based in Dallas, Texas. Widely known as “The Senior Living Fan”.

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Alessandro Furlotti

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Happier Caregivers, Better Outcomes.

Quick Overview of the Podcast

How do operators combat issues relating to trust and transparency in senior living communities through their caregiver tools? Alessandro Furlotti, Head of Business Development at Sage, explains. 

This episode was recorded at the NIC Spring Conference.

Produced by Solinity Marketing.

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Welcome to season seven of Bridge The Gap, a podcast dedicated to informing, educating, and influencing the future of housing and services for seniors. Powered by sponsors Accushield, Aline, NIC MAP Vision, ProCare HR, Sage, Hamilton CapTel, Service Master, The Bridge Group Construction and Solinity. And produced by Solinity Marketing.

Lucas 00:50:

Welcome to Bridge The Gap podcast the senior living podcast with Josh and Lucas here in Dallas, Texas at the spring NIC Conference 2024. Want to welcome one of our great supporters. We want to welcome Alessandro Furlotti, welcome to the show.

Alessandro 01:04:

Thank you. Great to be here.

Lucas 01:06:

And you're the head of business development at Sage. Appreciate you traveling to Dallas, and coming to the NIC Conference. I'm sure you've got a very busy schedule and you're taking time out to come and talk to our audience today. Y'all are a new supporter and partner of the podcast and we've been very excited to roll out our relationship with you and your impact on the senior living industry. How did you get started and what has kind of drawn you to being head of business development at Sage?

Alessandro 01:36:

If you look at Sage, we all came from different backgrounds. There's a lot of people who came from tech, a lot of people who came from financial services management, consulting. I was a management consultant by training. All of us kind of had personal stories that really exposed us to senior living. My grandmother went into assisted living and had a really tough time. She wasn't happy with the care that was being provided. She wasn't happy with being in assisted living. It was quite traumatic for her. And a lot of the issues we were having were about understanding what care she was actually being given and when. And there was a lot of friction that I just always thought was unnecessary between the caregivers and her and the caregivers in our family where she's saying I'm not being looked after, no one's checking in on me. And the caregivers are saying we're doing our best. And that sort of gap was really what I was looking for a solution for. Raj reached out, the founder and CEO, and came up with the product, which I think really solves that problem and helps with a lot more things as well both operationally and also from a resident care perspective.

Josh 02:36:

Very important issues in senior living, which is transparency and trust. Yeah, building trust. And, you know, it's difficult because these families, they are putting their most valuable possession asset relationship in the trust of a group that they've maybe just met at a senior living community. How does Sage come along and help build trust and give transparency? What's the secret sauce there?

Alessandro 03:01:

Our hook is Happier Caregivers, Better Outcomes. So our thesis is that a lot of the issues that are happening in senior care at the moment are because caregivers aren't equipped with the right tools to do their job. And those sorts of issues cascade throughout the organization. So if the caregiver's not equipped with what they need, it means residents get poor care. It means management doesn't have insight into what caregivers are actually doing and it means families get frustrated. So what we've done is created a tool to act as that sort of central care coordination platform where we replace your nurse call equal system with our own cloud-based platform. And we call in all of the key data sources about the residents. So EHR data about the residents' care needs, their care plan all of the information you might need on a resident profile about their ADL requirements, for example. So it's all in one place in the palm of their hand. We use that to track the alerts that are coming through from the call system and also track all of the tasks and requests that are coming from caregivers and from residents themselves. So that means in one place caregivers have a record of everything they need to do and everything they've done already. And we can pull that data and create really incredible insights both for the operator, that aggregate level but also for families as I'm prescribed.

Josh 04:18:

So what are you seeing as kind of the keys to your success for implementation? Because for years our industry has been, I would say, slow to adapt to technology. A lot of the technology is designed to be a good tool, but oftentimes when you roll it out as operators, you think this is going to be it and then it gets to the caregivers and then there's friction or it doesn't get fully used, it's not fully executed. What do you think is part of your secret ingredient that allows more adaptation, and more usability from the caregivers?

Alessandro 04:52:

Yeah, so it's two things. We make it as easy as possible to install and implement. So on average, it takes us 90 seconds per room to actually install, which means for a community we're in and out in a matter of a day and that means there's very, very little friction, very, very little lift from your team. Our experience, the reason there's been so many burn bridges, as you've been saying, is because it's been far too complicated to actually use. So if you've got a group of caregivers who half of them might not even speak English as their first language, and the other half of them have only been on the job for a couple of months, it's very tough to expect them to use technology as it's expected to be used. So what we've done is created a UX user interface that's very, very flexible, very, very simple, and very easy to understand, which means effectively you can be a caregiver starting new at a community, you can pick up a Sage phone and you're operating as if you've been there for six months, that's sort of our philosophy.

Josh 05:44:

So you mentioned the term just now, I can't go past it. You said Sage phone? Yes. Tell me about the Sage phone.

Alessandro 05:49:

Yeah, so there are two components to Sage. So as one of our caregivers said to me recently if you know how to use a phone in 2023, you know how to use Sage. That's how easy it is. It was last year said 2023. I've aged an Android phone, which we supply, which we locked down. That's where all of the user interface is from a caregiver perspective, that's where they log caravans, where they see alerts come through. And then we've also got our proprietary button, which we call our sage device, which is what goes in every room. It's wireless, three-year battery life, and integrates with the other platforms that are in the community resident experiences. They press that button either on dependent around their neck or in a bathroom or a bedroom. That alert then goes to the sage phones. Every caregiver on shift logged into a sage phone at the beginning of their day and they can see all of those alerts that are coming through in order, and how long it's taken.

Josh 06:37:

Wow. So biggest opportunity you think for operators that are listening to this and thinking, never heard of this Sage, why should I be interested in this? What is it going to help them with the day that they start implementation?

Alessandro 06:52:

I think it solves the two biggest problems that are really facing the industry, which one is revenue realization. Everyone knows that within a community there's 15 or 20% of residents that are in the wrong care setting. It's very hard to prove. They know that they're leaving money on the table, particularly in a situation which we're in, where margins are coming under a lot of pressure, that's going to be incredibly valuable. The other issue that you have is staff turnover. So caregiver turnover above 80% is not uncommon when you deploy sage. We see on average a 25% improvement in caregiver turnover within the first 60 days because if it's an easier place to work and you're happy at it, you're less likely to leave. And then we are able to prove, as I've been saying, the amount of care that's actually being provided to each resident, which means you can go to families and match that care to the price that you're charging.

Josh 07:39:

So re-interjecting, you shared with us the story, your family member didn't have a great experience, and you guys were put in a tough situation because you obviously wanted them to have a good experience, not probably sure how to help that experience be better. Modern day you were back in that situation. Do you think it helps change that outcome for your family member and how

Alessandro 08:01:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the conversations we were having were around how long it was taking the caregivers to respond, whether they were responding at all, and what her needs were because she wasn't Compass mentis at that time and she, she'd suffered two or three strokes and she was struggling to communicate. So we didn't even know what her needs were based on what she was saying. And so having that accessible would've made a huge difference.

Josh 08:25:

So you take those data points, that documentation, and then you can communicate that back in an educated fashion and actually show the evidence of that, that what you're saying, you know, you're able to stand behind. Does the family have any transparency to the system or is this something that you just simply report to them or how does that work?

Alessandro 08:41:

So the community has control over what they want to share. We have standardized reports that can be sent out to families scribing the care that's being provided and when the type of care, toileting, escort, whatever it might have been, we want to build that out as a kind of consumer-facing product. That's one of the advantages we have at the moment. We're in a fast growth phase. We're looking at new things to build out and develop. That's one of the things we're looking at where you have a true interface and connection with family members. But at the moment that's in the hands of the community and we hope they can use that as a marketing tool to try and build up occupancy as well. Show off their response time. You know, we have the fastest response time in the region. Show off the care that's actually being provided. Show off which caregivers are providing the care.

Josh 09:22:

Lucas, great topic. So excited our listeners are going to hear about this. I'm sure many haven't heard about Sage yet, but you guys have been burning up the trail here at NIC, seen you all over the place, meeting with operators and excited people here, and excited for you guys and the technology, hoping that that helps to build trust and show transparency. That's something that we've often said, Lucas, it’s the key ingredient to changing the perception and getting beyond the capture of only nine or 10% of the age-income-qualified people in our industry. You gotta change the perception and hopefully, tools like those that Sage is providing will do that.

Lucas 10:00:

Absolutely trust and transparency are huge ones in our business, in this industry. And a huge thanks to Sage for helping Bridge The Gap. Bring all of our educational content to the industry every single week. So go to those show notes right now, connect with Sage and the people there and I'm sure that they'd love to give you a demo of their products to walk you through all the features that can help you run your communities even better and safer. Thank you so much for spending time with us today.

Alessandro 10:29:

Thanks a lot. It was great to meet you guys.

Lucas 10:31:

And thanks to all of our listeners for listening to another great episode of Bridge The Gap.


Thanks for listening to Bridge The Gap podcast with Josh and Lucas. Connect with the BTG network team and use your voice to influence the industry by connecting with us at btgvoice.com.

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