The aging population is a well-known challenge for health providers, but do you know what their biggest workforce challenges around delivering care are?  According to a survey done by Gatepoint Research, 69% of Post Acute & Senior Living executives surveyed said recruiting and retaining talented staff is a chronic workforce management challenge they face.  Following that, 52% say controlling labor costs and overtime are a constant challenge.  Scheduling and engaging employees are also top of mind for executives, with  37% stating scheduling and aligning staff requirements with business needs can be difficult and another third reporting employee engagement is a challenge.  

How can organizations address these workforce management challenges?  What do they need to make improvements?  

50% of those executives surveyed, say streamlined onboarding processes would help them address their challenges.  Flexible scheduling options would help 38% of organizations, while 35% say employee self-services options would be of assistance.  To address labor costs, 27% say visibility into labor data and overtime would help the organization.

Despite all of the challenges Post Acute organizations are facing, a whopping 48% of all respondents say they have no specific plans to add functionalities needed to address workforce management challenges.  A shocking result considering the trends that are occurring in the industry.  What we have to think about is, what is the cost of doing nothing?  The three challenges I’ll discuss will prove just how important technology is in the Post Acute community.

 

Compliance

Streamlining compliance management and working within government and industry regulations can be complicated, but organizations' risk of being noncompliant can be minimized with the right technology.  Solutions, like Kronos for Post Acute and Senior Living, that empower teams to keep pace with important government and industry regulations are imperative.  Think about the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ), Affordable Care Act (ACA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — they all require organizations to apply appropriate policies and rules consistently, fairly, and accurately.

Strategies that help combat this workforce challenge are:

  • Automating reporting to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) PBJ system with full auditability
  • Managing ACA compliance by tracking and recording average employee hours, workforce schedules, time records, and benefits enrollment
  • Creating schedules that address business and compliance needs, and provide government agencies with clear evidence of FLSA compliance

 

Overtime

Labor is 60% of an organization’s expenses1.  Reimbursement rates are not going up, but costs are.  Wouldn’t it make sense to look at the largest expense as a way to keep bottom line healthy so that organizations can make appropriate investments in the business?  Post Acute & Senior Living facilities need to ensure labor costs are kept down.  When an organization isn’t exactly sure how many hours an employee has worked, the common response is to overstaff — just to be safe. The result: Overtime expenses may be higher than necessary while there is no assurance that it won’t happen again. 

Strategies that help combat this workforce challenge are:

  • Aligning schedules and workload demands to ensure right staffing and prevent unnecessary overtime expenses
  •  Helping prevent overtime costs with notification alerts when overtime is approaching
  • Leveraging reports and metrics through real time dashboards to identify scheduling issues and indicate when it’s time to hire an additional employee to avoid overtime

 

Talent

One million nurses will retire by 20302.  If organizations are not thinking about planning for this now, their peers are.  As the shortage of workers and nurses in Post Acute Care & Senior Living rises, the fight for workers remains high.  Continuity of care increases resident satisfaction which increases referrals and has been proven to reduce hospital readmissions.  What does this all mean?  Attracting and retaining top talent is imperative.  But how do organizations do this when they are all competing for top talent?  More than 40% of turnover happens within the first month, and another 10% or more leave before their first work anniversary3.  So, treating employees fairly and equitably is necessary. Hiring and training new employees is costly and time consuming, but so is turnover.  Organizations must invest in their employees’ satisfaction and provide workplace flexibility – it’s better than risking the loss of top talent.

Strategies that help combat this workforce challenge are:

  • Utilizing one integrated consumer grade mobile app to engage your employees
  •  Adopting a streamlined onboarding process
  • Providing work/life balance and flexible scheduling that provides options for employees to define possible work hours, make shift changes, and pick up open shifts

With all that is being faced in the Post Acute and Senior Living industry, the focus needs to remain on the organizations most important asset – their people.  Delivering quality resident care starts with an engaged and passionate workforce.  With an integrated suite of cloud-based applications, Kronos for Post Acute & Senior Living provides organizations with the tools they need to maintain compliance, drive down overtime costs, attract and retain talent all while empowering employees to provide top-quality resident care. 

 

Find out more on why you should choose Kronos for your Post Acute and Senior Living needs 

 

 

 

Sources:

The survey was done by Gatepoint Research for the Post Acute & Senior Living market.  The focus was around workforce strategies, and 52 executives responded.

Want to learn about some key topics in your industry? Click the following links:

  1. How SNFs are cutting costs without cutting back on care
  2. Nursing Shortage
  3. What To Do During Your Employees’ First Week To Avoid Losing Them

 

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2019