Greg Thompson, Emerald Gardens of Greenwood
I first met Greg Thompson, Vice President of Operations for Premier Senior Living, in March of 2011. I arrived for my scheduled meeting with the Executive Director of Emerald Gardens, Michael Patterson, and was lucky to have Greg sit in on the presentation. Both Greg and Michael really liked the VISION service concept and implemented it in that facility almost immediately. Shortly thereafter, I got a call from Greg wanting to add more locations with our music and we now serve eight out of his 12 locations with the others to come on board soon.
Greg has always been a big advocate for our service and has since made a YouTube video promoting our service.
—Brad McFry VP Sales
“I believe that the buildings that have the best reputation and maintain the highest occupancy will be the communities using Osborn.”
A Yes, that’s actually where my home office is. I’m usually there one, sometimes two days a week when I’m not on the road. The administrator there is Michael Patterson— he and I came together to decide on graphics, and we absolutely fell in love with the presentation.
Q. How did you communicate with your residents prior to Osborn?
A. It was a lot of paperwork, a lot of copying— everything from copying menus and passing them out to the residents, copying activity schedules for the day. Just monotonous paperwork, and we were looking for a better way to do it. Not only a better way to do it, but something that was technologically savvy and more with the times. We wanted something that was simple and easy for our residents to read and understand.
Q. How would you describe the effects that utilizing our displays has had on the resident lifestyle?
A. It was almost instantaneous. As soon as we got the displays up and working we started getting compliments. They absolutely love it. We use the feature where we would use photographs of the residents, with their permission of course. We put their photos up, and they absolutely love seeing themselves on television.
“As soon as we got the displays up and working, we started getting compliments. [Our residents] absolutely love it.”
Q. Do you think that using Osborn has had an effect on activity participation?
A. I would say that we’ve always had active participation, but this has given everybody an early update. Family members will come in and say, “Oh, I didn’t know you were doing that on Friday.” Now with the online features, Mrs. Smith’s daughter can see the display online. It keeps everybody informed, and our families don’t have to wonder what mom and dad are doing. It’s helped tremendously. We started it in just one of our buildings and when our other communities saw it, they’ve loved it, too. We’ve put Osborn into seven of our other communities so far.
Q. Do you feel that the program has had a positive impact on sales efforts?
A. I think it has made a very positive impact. For a specific example, the National Accounts Manager from A Place for Mom [a referral agency] flew in from Oregon. I met with her yesterday,and she commented on our Osborn Digital Display. She said she had never seen that before, and that it added so much to the community. The graphics are great, they stay on-screen a perfect amount of time for everybody to read. We have the weather forecast and trivia across the bottom. What I like best about it, and what my directors love, is that all they have to do is send the [Osborn Creative] rep any new information and it’s updated.
Q. What has been your overall experience with the creative directors that have handled your communities?
A. We’ll send pictures, the executive director can send email with any new changes— within a few minutes the same day, they’re already on display. It’s very prompt. If there’s a change, we just have to let [Osborn] know and it’s right on there.
Q. Have you found the overall quality of the product to be in line with your brand?
A. Yes, absolutely. I’ve been encouraging all of my directors to participate in the program, that’s how much I admire Osborn. I’m more of an IT guy, but you don’t have to be an IT guy to love it. We’ve had customers from age 13 to 95 say they love it.
Q. Have you had positive feedback from prospective residents based on your signage?
A. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback. We make it a stop on our tour, but nine times out of ten people will see it before we even stop to talk about it. It has really been a nice addition for the marketing process in general, for brand new customers and for word-of-mouth from family and friends of our current residents.
Q. You mentioned the online viewing- we’re proud of the progress we’ve made with that capability. How do you utilize online viewing?
A. We have done several things. We actually talked about the product at a recent family event, and created a flyer that went out with the invoices for December. It gave them a link with information to access it— we’ve had many people use it, we’ve had a lot of good feedback.
You do have to promote it, you do have to make your family members aware of it. It’s easy to explain, but make sure to give them the link. We put in our newsletters, our welcome letters, and other marketing collateral, but we made a special point to get the link out there.
Q. One of our new updates just about to launch will give you the data for how many people come to the site, how often they view it, which pages they view, and so on. Do you think that would be important information for you to know?
A. I think it’ll be very helpful for me, for both my role as VP and for sales and marketing. The more feedback the better, and I believe that the buildings that have the best reputation and maintain the highest occupancy will be the communities using Osborn.
It’s in most of our buildings already, I’m really trying to get the others that haven’t utilized it yet to get involved.
Q. We’ve recently added commercial-free music to our services, and you’ve added that in a few of your buildings. Have you found it to be helpful, and how have you used it?
A. It is in our quality-assessment review that we have music playing up front— it makes the environment much more lively. We’ve had holiday music playing throughout the Christmas season, and we’ve been able to get senior-appropriate music playing, whether it’s oldies or classic. Before this we had to change CDs periodically throughout the day, and now we don’t have to worry about it.
Q. Thank you for your time— is there anything else you’d like to add?
A. I have been a fan of this program from day one, and I’ve been promoting it as much as I can. I think it’s a great product and you’ve made it fun, you’ve made it easy for directors and staff to use and it looks great on tour. We couldn’t be happier with Osborn’s VISION Service.
“I’m more of an IT guy, but you don’t have to be an IT guy to love it. We’ve had customers from age 13 to 95 tell us they love it.”