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REPORT: Staffing Critical to Success of Post-Acute Providers

October 31, 2013

A 2013 report from the National Research Corporation examines three main trends in healthcare and eldercare across the continuum of “post-acute” providers — skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living, home health, and hospice.

The report, Empowering Customer-Centric Healthcare for Post-Acute Providers (pdf), integrates data on post-acute providers — from My InnerView surveys, OCS HomeCare analyses of OASIS, utilization data, and additional sources — to help providers gain a better understanding of the “dynamics of the greater healthcare continuum.”

As the health care system changes due to health care reform, “virtual walls separating various types of providers are collapsing,” the authors write. 

By offering information on the dynamics of other post-acute providers on the continuum, the report intends to help “prepare a provider to meet oncoming changes and drive their future role in the continuum and for customers.”

For each provider type, the report contains data profiles and highlights key observations on these “dominant” trends:

  • Person-centeredness: Noting that consumers are becoming more discerning customers, the report looks at evolving person-centered cultures, which are essential to improving quality, experience, and satisfaction. (See MI One Vision: Moving Forward for surveys designed to measure person-centeredness.)
  • The importance of staffing: Staff satisfaction is examined as the key to success for all post-acute providers.
  • The ecosystem or continuum: For each post-acute provider, the report examines the impact of larger changes in health care delivery.

Staffing Is Critical

Across the continuum, “Everything about staff — from availability to quality of work to decisions about how to deploy services — has a direct and critical impact on the success of healthcare and senior service providers,” the report says.

In skilled nursing, for example, every other measure of quality is correlated with employee satisfaction, the analysis found. Higher employee satisfaction scores correlate with:

  • higher customer satisfaction scores,
  • higher Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Five-Star Ratings, and
  • lower survey deficiencies.

Findings for assisted living also show that higher staff satisfaction correlates with higher family and resident satisfaction.

For all assisted living employees, care (concern) of management, attentiveness of management, and assistance with job stress are the top three reasons that they would recommend a facility as a place to work. However, the analysis showed that less than one in four nurses and personal care aides ranked their employers as excellent in these categories in 2012.

The National Research Corporation has produced national reports for the skilled nursing profession for the past six years and for assisted living since 2011.

— by Deane Beebe

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