Inside RiverSpring Living’s Remarkable Transformation

David Finkelstein, CIO at RiverSpring Living, outlines how the post-acute and long-term care provider is embracing game-changing new technologies

“I lasted about one-and-a-half semesters but realised it wasn’t for me,” admits David Finkelstein, recalling his brief stint as a pre-medical student at the University of Rochester, New York, in the late-1970s. 

“This was a time when med school was very cutthroat. There was a lot of sabotaging of other students' work to get better grades and, as much as I felt medicine was important, I couldn’t see a career in it for me.”

Finkelstein, who these days works as CIO at RiverSpring Living—a post-acute and long-term care provider—quickly pivoted to business and computers, taking relevant grad school classes before spending a few months working in California and Boston. 

Following this he wound up back in his native Long Island, where he completed his bachelor’s degree at Hofstra University with a focus on his new area of interest. 

Finkelstein adds: “From there is where my career really began.”

Making a difference 

Right out of school, Finkelstein worked for a software company providing billing and records systems, coincidentally for the long-term care industry. Over the next few years, he travelled the length and breadth of the US, implementing computer systems for nursing homes, long-term care organisations and home care agencies, while teaching various professionals how to use the software. 

The sale of the business led to Finkelstein joining Village Care of New York where, for more than 15 years, he progressed through the ranks of the IT function to eventually become CIO.  

Sensing it was time for a change, but keen to stay in long-term care, he was informed of an opening at RiverSpring Living in 2012 and never looked back. 

“The best thing about this job is that we’re able to make a big difference to staff and the residents we serve,” says Finkelstein. 

“I run my department but all the people around me know we’re here for one reason: to support the staff that support our residents because this is where they live; this is their home.

“If we can provide staff with the right technology services, then they can do their jobs better. The end goal is to support the 18,000 people we serve and make sure they live the best lives they possibly can.”

Setting high standards

As with thousands of other CIOs and CISOs across the US and beyond, cybersecurity is an area that remains a crucial consideration for Finkelstein. 

“The bad guys are always trying to get in and disrupt our networks,” adds the CIO. 

“Now that most of our systems are internet- or cloud-based, we can be out of business very quickly if we lose connectivity to our infrastructure. So, building disaster recovery plans and alternative ways of getting to our medical records is top of mind.

Elsewhere, the sheer volume of startups in existence today means Finkelstein and his colleagues must carry out a thorough vetting process before forming new partnerships, especially as RiverSpring continues on its digital transformation journey. 

The challenge is working out which companies are a flash in the pan and which are still going to be around in a few years. 

“It’s about doing a lot of due diligence to determine what is the right partner to bring into the organisation during our digital transformation and how to make it a win-win success. 

“We don't work with vendors – we work with partners. And if you're not going to be a partner, there's no space for you here in our organisation.”

Read the full story HERE.


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