A message to long-term care providers: We know you are trying hard to recruit and retain staff

Medline to launch series highlighting programs that have helped enhance post-acute providers’ company culture

By Shawn Scott | September 20, 2021

Staffing is a long-standing issue and while the pandemic has made the workforce shortage even worse, I know you are doing the best you can to find and retain quality employees.

Most facilities have a great team of dedicated employees. Some may be new to the organization and others have been by your side for years, weathering through multiple industry storms. Like many providers, perhaps you went through a large workforce turnover in the last year. While I understand the sense of urgency to focus efforts on recruiting new employees, it is also important to consider how the industry can band together to share best practices for making sure the great staff you have remain engaged. If providers can reduce turnover rates, they can decrease how often they need to recruit new staff.

With RN turnover hovering at 40% in 2021, an increase from 34% in 2020, and CNAs having an even larger turnover at 48%, higher wages remain a top priority for employees as job-quality issues continue to contribute to high turnover. I want to stress though that higher wages can only go so far. Employees want to know that an organization has their best interests in mind. This can be accomplished by considering long-term programs to enhance financial opportunity, help frontline employees make easier clinical decisions so they can spend more time with residents, and ease the process of survey preparedness.

The last year and a half has certainly been a blur, and maybe you did not have an opportunity to connect with your staff as you may have liked, but now is the time to give your employees a voice, and to hear and understand their ideas for improving your organization. This can be done face-to-face or through an anonymous survey. Understanding staff challenges and ideas can help prioritize the types of programs to invest in, like skin health and caregiver safety, and ultimately, provide a long-term foundation for greater employee engagement and retention.

We are excited to announce a new series in our Medline Newsroom that will feature real examples from long-term care providers that are implementing new long-term initiatives to drive cultural change. Over the next few months, the Medline Newsroom will highlight insights from organizational leaders who understand that while we all want a quick ROI on initiatives, long-term programs can help them create positive relationships with their frontline staff and an organization they love working for. The first article features Annette Salisbury, senior vice president of clinical services for PruittHealth, on the organization’s approach to standardizing and enhancing clinical education around skin health.

I am excited to share these examples with you and hope you will take away ideas to consider for your organization.

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Shawn Scott

Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development

During his tenure, Scott has developed several programs and partnerships, including Medline’s Post-Acute Solutions Program, aimed at offering technology-based quality and workforce management solutions for long-term care providers. Scott travels across the nation to meet with thousands of nursing homes every year and has been active on the boards and committees of several organizations including the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), American Health Care Association (AHCA), Advancing Excellence in Long Term Care, and Nursing Home Leader Academy.

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