Vulpia provides customized care in 40 assisted living centers and 750 sheltered housing units. The company continues to grow and in doing so, relies heavily on digitization. “We are going through a transformation,” says Van Moerzeke. “We are changing a care organization into a well-being organization, working not on the basis of a particular service offering but on the basis of what our customers want.” The core of the company is the resident’s experience. “Of course, care and quality of life are very important, but where we help make the big difference is with the things that really make our residents happy.”
At Vulpia, transformation and digitization are two facets of the same movement. “There are two target groups,” Van Moerzeke explains. “On the one hand, the staff and, on the other, the residents.” In addition, it’s important that Vulpia sets the support for residents in a broad perspective: the residents’ families are an integral part of the story, too.
“We are talking first and foremost about the connectivity between head office and all sites. We are connected to Proximus Explore everywhere and we have fiberglass.” Proximus also provides Wi-Fi everywhere. “Here we go for the happy medium. The wireless network offers sufficient security for the staff and is easy enough for the residents and visitors to use.” For smooth communication with the residents, Vulpia uses IPTV. “The residents had a television at home, as well,” says Van Moerzeke. “They are familiar with the medium.” Proximus is rolling out the latest hotel-television version from Samsung at Vulpia, which has an extremely user-friendly remote control.
“We will shortly be providing information about meals and activities, among other things, via the television screen. Paper menus and calendars are often soon out of date.” Printing and posting new versions takes a lot of time and effort. In addition, there is a real risk that not everyone has the right information on time. “Via the television, everyone is always informed straightaway. Thanks to the central management of the IPTV environment, we are increasing efficiency behind the scenes, as well.”
Luc Van Moerzeke, CEO of Vulpia
This is important. Digitization means that Vulpia can switch more quickly. “We ask the residents for their opinion regularly so that we can adjust the care provided, the cooking and the activities calendar, among other things. At the moment all that is still done on paper, which sometimes means a slow process. The aim is to organize these surveys digitally, process them immediately and circulate the feedback via the IPTV. That way, we will be able to respond far more quickly.” Finally, it is important that residents’ families remain involved in the lives of their parents and grandparents. “One way to do this is via the website and the MyVulpia app that we are developing at the moment,” Van Moerzeke explains. “So that the family members know what is happening and can keep in touch.”
Vulpia manages 40 assisted living centers and 750 sheltered housing units dotted all over Belgium. The company provides over 4,000 care rooms and employs around 2,500 staff.
Luc Van Moerzeke studied industrial engineering in Ghent and industrial policy at the KU Leuven. After ten years in the financial sector, in 1996 he took over an assisted living center in Kalmthout. This laid the foundation for today’s Vulpia.
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