nursing home

Retaining Quality Staff in Nursing Homes

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 1.3 million people currently living in nursing homes. These residents rely on staff for medication, nutrition, and help with daily tasks. Unfortunately, though, it’s not always easy for nursing homes to find and keep high-quality staff members. In fact, the prevalence of neglect indicates that many staff members are ill-suited to their jobs. How do you retain staff in long term care and ensure that they provide adequate care? Nursing home managers who want to find and retain quality staff should read on for a few strategies that can help.

Create a Great Culture

The first key to retaining quality staff in any workplace, including a nursing home, is to create a culture that employees enjoy working in. Working in a nursing home can be hard. Staff must tend to residents’ medical needs as well as their emotional and personal issues, too. There’s a reason why burnout is so common among professionals in this field. Nursing home management can help to combat these problems be creating a positive, encouraging environment where staff’s contributions are appreciated and recognized. Making employees feel valued is the best way to minimize unnecessary turnover.

Provide Thorough Training

Retaining staff isn’t the only goal of a nursing home. Nursing homes need to retain quality staff. Minimizing turnover and maximizing quality can both be accomplished by investing in the facility’s onboarding process. Onboarding provides employees with the first impression of their new workplace, and it needs to be a good one. An effective onboarding process will thoroughly train staff in the expectations of the job and ensure that all new hires understand what is expected of them.

Listen to Feedback

Very few employees will quit a job without giving some prior indication of their reason. Many managers make the mistake of disregarding these complaints until it is too late, though. One of the most important responsibilities of a nursing home manager is to listen to employees’ feedback, and when necessary, take action to remedy legitimate concerns. Failure to hear employees’ feedback is a surefire way to see consistent turnover in a facility. Ignoring concerns from employees is also a major liability. Nursing home insurance can cover many liabilities, but it’s important to address risks as soon as they become apparent.

Offer Opportunities for Growth

Finally, one of the best ways to minimize turnover in a nursing home is to offer attractive opportunities for growth to staff members. Demonstrating the potential to take on new roles incentivizes staff members to develop their skills and remain committed to their position. A nursing home workplace with no apparent opportunities to move up is sure to see a lot of departures.

About U.S. Risk 

U.S. Risk, LLC. is a wholesale broker and specialty lines underwriting manager providing a wide range of specialty insurance products and services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas and operating 16 domestic and international branches, U.S. Risk and its affiliates would like to help you access a world of new markets and products. For more information, contact us today at (800) 232-5830. 

nursing home

Common Patient-Care Risks Faced by Nursing Homes

With over a million seniors receiving care from facilities like nursing homes and memory care centers, the long-term healthcare industry is experiencing significant growth. Residents and their families rely on compassionate and accurate care at these facilities. To improve risk management and to supplement the protection of skilled nursing home insurance, it is important for caregivers and facility managers to understand common risks associated with patient care. In this guide, we will explore common risks associated with residential care facilities.

The Impact of Care Risks in Nursing Homes

At-risk individuals receive care in residential facilities like skilled nursing homes, senior centers, and assisted living facilities (ALFs). With an aging population and with a range of underlying health conditions, America’s seniors face increase risks due to a variety of operational hazards in care facilities. The costs associated with these hazards can be steep. For fall injuries alone, one study published in 2012 put the cost of a fall injury at $31,507 per hospital admission.

Injuries and illnesses in long-term care facilities result in steep expenses for nursing homes and for their residents. In addition to hospitalization costs and other healthcare expenses, premiums of skilled nursing home insurance are on the rise, leading to skyrocketing overhead expenses.

Patient Risks: An Overview

Aging individuals receiving care in residential facilities like nursing homes face a wide range of risks. These risks include:

  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Medication errors
  • Neglect or negligence
  • Bedsores
  • Abuse by caregivers or by fellow residents
  • Choking hazards
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Elopement

Risks are exacerbated by a persistent problem in long-term care facilities – insufficient staff. Staff members are often asked to do more with less, and with these high workloads, errors in care delivery can and do happen. Staffing shortages increase the odds of a serious or fatal incident as well as open up a facility to liability claims. Even the most comprehensive skilled nursing home insurance policy is no match for the increased number of negligence or neglect claims brought on by short-staffed facilities.

Improving Patient Safety: A Top-Down Approach

Even though nursing home residents face numerous risks, many of these risks can be minimized or eliminated by facility staffers. It requires adopting a safety-oriented approach that begins with stakeholders identifying common risk exposures, then developing plans to mitigate those risks. Hazard reduction programs supplement the protection of skilled nursing home insurance while improving conditions for caregivers and residents alike.

Risk-reduction practices include:

  1. Evaluating patient rooms and common areas for slip and fall risks, including loose or slippery flooring, uneven transitions between carpeted and solid-surface walkways, cables and equipment that can cause tripping injuries, and the presence of moisture that can lead to falls.
  2. Adopting medication cross-checking and medication management systems to prevent medication errors. Medication errors involve as many as 27% of all facility residents on average and can lead to severe illness or death. By managing medications more effectively, patient safety is improved and expenses related to these errors is reduced.
  3. Elopement risks commonly affect facility residents with cognitive declines such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Safety-oriented nursing homes have added automatic door locks, video monitoring systems, and frequent patient checks to reduce the chance of residents wandering away from their care centers.
  4. Training is an integral part of safety in nursing homes. Caregivers must receive regular safety training that includes risk-mitigation practices, patient care and handling techniques, and identifying signs of abuse or neglect.
  5. Managers must evaluate skilled nursing home insurance policies to ensure that the coverage reflects the risk exposures of a given facility. These evaluations can reveal coverage gaps, allowing managers and owners to adjust coverage limits or to gain additional insurance protections.

Skilled nursing home insurance is only one part of a broad risk management approach. By gaining an understanding of risks associated with patient care, nursing home managers and staff can improve conditions for residents. Long-term care facilities have a duty to keep residents safe from injuries and illnesses; failures to adequately protect residents can mean significant liability risks as well as increased regulatory scrutiny.

About U.S. Risk

U.S. Risk, LLC. is a wholesale broker and specialty lines underwriting manager providing a wide range of specialty insurance products and services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas and operating 16 domestic and international branches, U.S. Risk and its affiliates would like to help you access a world of new markets and products. For more information, contact us today at (800) 232-5830.