Paperwork is Wasting Your Time and Money While Increasing Risks

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Neil Krauss
CPO | Founder


Anyone that has had to help an aging loved one leave their home for senior living understands the sheer volume of paperwork involved in that life transition. And the paperwork is complex, requiring input from several people along the way. If senior living communities will switch to an electronic signature (eSign) platform, they could alleviate a lot of  the stresses involved with moving a loved one into senior housing.

Just think of the wasted managerial time, the costs of paper and ink, professional printing expenses, the repercussions of losing a file or form, and the ongoing expense of storage space. Add to that the inherent risks that come with natural disasters, disgruntled employees, fire, flood, and the cost to insure all of this. Not to mention the added security and compliance risks.


Every senior living sales and marketing manager we have ever worked with wants to help seniors by easing the difficulties around their resident’s transition into senior housing. However, they likewise feel trapped and unable to improve the paperwork processes of their parent company. And the primary tool you've given staff for completing their job is paper, pen and printer. For obvious reasons, this is all very costly.

Have you ever stopped to calculate what move-in paperwork is costing your community? Paperwork is an oft-overlooked area of the senior living business. In addition to being despised by everyone involved, it's inefficient, risky, non-collaborative, and a waste of resources. 

The cost of filling one four-drawer filing cabinet is estimated at $25,000. The average senior living manager estimates each new resident move-in requires somewhere between 4 and 6 hours, and that’s just on forms. What’s worse, if you have the same person responsible for maintaining your occupancy mired in operational tasks you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

Our advice, let people do what people are great at, and let software do what computers are great at. We already mentioned that life transitions are hard, so let people handle the emotional conversations and let software handle the repetitive administrative tasks.

Here’s a few questions to help you identify all of the ways you may be wasting time on paperwork.

  • Are you photocopying and building move-in packets by hand?
  • Are you reviewing completed packets to make sure fields and signatures haven’t been missed?
  • Are you re-typing handwritten responses back into a software system like your EHR or EMAR?
  • Are you sending packets home with residents to sign on their own?
  • Are you emailing or overnighting forms to out-of-state family members?
  • Are you scanning paper forms for electronic storage?
  • Are you printing, faxing, and scanning physician forms for doctors to complete?
  • Are you following-up with physicians in order to get finalized documents?

Have you ever stopped to calculate what move-in paperwork is costing your community?
Paperwork is an oft-overlooked area of the senior living business.


I think the areas where you’re spending money to print and compile move-in packets is probably pretty obvious. However, there are plenty of areas with hidden costs that aren’t as readily apparent. How many residents have you missed out on because your Director of Sales & Marketing was fully engaged in compiling and tracking down paperwork? We worked with a local community manager to calculate the time she could have been using to keep her assisted living community’s occupancy up. The video is a little dated, but it’s worth a watch (The Real Value of Senior Sign).

Here’s another round of questions to help you identify some of the ways you may be wasting money or  leaving money on the table?

  • Do you professionally print folders, forms, binders or the like?
  • How often do you replace toner or ink? What does it cost each time?
  • How much paper do you use in a week? Month? Year?
  • How many boxes of forms are in storage?
  • Is your Director of Sales & Marketing managing all of the move-in process as well?
  • How much does it cost to have your marketing manager track down paperwork?
  • How many new residents have you potentially missed out on thanks to operational tasks?
  • What is a new resident worth in total value to your community?
  • Where have you wasted emotional and brand capital with a bad move-in experience?


I think most executives focus entirely on the time and money savings when implementing a new software for their communities. But what are you risking when it comes to security and compliance? We spoke with one operator that outlined all of the ways their company had committed to special requests (written in the margins by residents) across all of their service agreements. Another customer mentioned the inherent risks of their paperwork being destroyed by accident, natural disaster, or disgruntled employees. We’ve also spoken with community managers that mentioned the potential for bad state audits of paperwork and the ultimate result that can come from that.

Again, here are some questions to consider around compliance when weighing your decision to implement a move-in management or eadmissions software.

  • Are you reviewing all forms to make sure fields and signatures haven’t been missed?
  • Are you possibly using outdated forms in some of your buildings?
  • Are you sure that every resident receives the required list of documents for move-in?
  • What happens to your signed forms in the event of a natural disaster?
  • What happens if you are audited and forms are missing?
  • Do you know what has been written in the margins of all your agreements?
  • Are all of your communities using the latest forms?
  • What could it cost you to have a bad audit hit your community’s license? What would it cost to fix?


As you probably know, Senior Sign offers eSign software that is built specifically for senior living. We have accounted for all of these problems and risks and are working every day to improve and streamline the move-in process. We work with the full spectrum of care types, from independent living, through assisted living and memory care, and even with health centers and skilled nursing facilities. If you’re struggling in any of the areas above, we’d love to hear your complaints and worries and offer a solution built just for you.

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