As the long-term care and senior living industries continue to evolve, workforce management (WFM) remains a critical aspect for long-term care facilities to provide exceptional care and support to the elderly. Operational needs, staff engagement, and the convergence of technology and analytics in this space have paved the way for significant long-term care and skilled nursing facility trends that have immediate and future impact and will shape healthcare in 2024.
In the course of examining skilled nursing facility trends, it is important to note the distinctions and differences among senior living arrangements and options. The term "senior living" is often associated with nursing homes, but senior living communities offer a different living experience. Understanding these differences is essential when choosing the right environment as well as understanding the impact of current and future trends. Nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities, focus on providing medical care, supervision, and assistance with daily activities. They are suitable for individuals requiring ongoing, around-the-clock care, such as those recently discharged from the hospital.
Senior living communities, on the other hand, prioritize enhancing seniors' quality of life, maintaining independence, and offering various levels of care. They provide a homelike, social atmosphere and feature activities, meals, and exercise programs. These communities can include independent living, assisted living, and memory care options, and the care residents need at different facilities can vary based on the type and level of attention and assistance needed.
In this blog post, we will explore three key workforce management technology trends that are transforming assisted living facilities and senior housing communities. We will showcase key challenges such as why are nurses quitting and staffing models that are no longer effective and provide trending strategies that can be put in place to mitigate roadblocks such as how to prevent caregiver burnout.
Enhance Operational Efficiency and Resident Care with Integrated Analytics
Senior housing analytics play a crucial role in optimizing operations and elevating resident care standards and facilities need to be prepared to tap into these analytics via a seamless and effective method. Harnessing data-driven insights empowers senior living and long-term care communities to make well-informed decisions on staffing, budget and resource allocation, and service delivery which can not only help minimize costs (ex: identifying employees to staff who won’t go into overtime) but also ultimately enhance the overall experience for residents.
Optimize Engagement and Staff Retention in HealthCare
Acknowledging the vital impact of staff on resident satisfaction, dealing with higher turnover rates can have a negative impact. Additionally, a main concern among skilled nursing facilities is the availability of people to provide care amidst growing challenges of financing and staffing shortages. This is one reason why staff retention in healthcare is key and can be done much more seamlessly and effectively through workforce management tactics such as delivering staffing education, providing mobile tools and pay/hours transparency, and incorporate technology that can offer not just predictive scheduling but flexible shift pickups as well.
Adjusting staffing models to meet demand is also paramount which can be easily done with strategic marketplace staffing strategies. The 2023 CMS Compliance Staffing Mandate would establish minimum staffing standards for Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes. The impact of this could result in facilities needing an additional 187 thousand plus nurses’ aides to meet the mandate*. How can long-term care facilities be prepared? By approaching staffing models through three methods.
The right technology can help schedule the workforce effectively and efficiently, but there still needs to be enough staff to fill a complete schedule. To accomplish this, one of the latest trending solutions is to first leverage W2 employees, utilize external agencies to use temporary workers to fill in gaps, and then finally tap into internal agencies to fill any remaining scheduling needs.
Implement Cutting Edge Technology that Shows How to Reduce Overtime
As mentioned above, the right workforce management technology can streamline operations in many ways and have a variety of positive impacts including how to schedule nursing staff. For instance, with the right scheduling resources in place, it’s possible to schedule team members based on not just their availability but also who would be going into overtime or not.
It’s also possible, with the right technology, for team members to see schedule changes in real time from their mobile device and pick up shifts as they become open. These capabilities of the latest workforce management tech not only keep team members engaged and provide key benefits they’re looking for, but also enable facilities to make much-needed adjustments in a proactive versus reactive manner.
Be Ready for 2024 with These Tactics
So how can long-term care facilities be ready to take on 2024? Three key tactics will set organizations up for success. By focusing on the employee experience, team members will be one of the key focal points which will not only help retain current staff but also make the facility a much-desired place to work when recruiting others. Understanding industry drivers and having data analytics in place is also important as this will undoubtedly have an impact on what scheduling needs are and organizational needs as a whole. Lastly, implementing workforce management technology that streamlines operations can reduce administrative hours and errors and help to make the best decisions when it comes to staffing. By implementing these tactics, facilities are equipped to focus on being optimized to provide the best quality of care to their residents.