Long-term Care staffing crisis won't end soon

Empres found a technology solution - How's Mom

Approximately 4% of direct care workers were displaced during the second quarter of 2020. A year later, few had returned to direct care, according to a new study by PHI and the Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Care at the University of California, San Francisco.

Not only are workers being displaced, they are leaving their jobs voluntarily, too.  A recent Morning Consult poll showed that 19% of long-term care workers had quit their jobs in the last 2 years.  69% reported that the national shortage of workers had affected them and their place of work.

Recruitment and retention are major challenges in senior living and care across the board. According to PHI, long-term care employers will need to fill 7.4 million job openings in direct care from 2019 to 2029, including 1.3 million new jobs to meet rising demand and another 6.1 million job openings to replace workers who leave the labor force or transfer to new occupations.

Three technology keys that can reduce staff stress and avoid "the Great Resignation"

Keys to improving your facilities' customer experience

The stresses of staffing challenges and added COVID burdens on workers are a major hurdle to offering quality care. Yet, there are ways to improve operating procedures to ease some of the challenges workers face.  Technology can play a major role in easing staff stress.

  1. Make staff's lives easier

Technology works best when it replaces routine tasks and makes communication easier.  A significant portion of a caregiver's day involves repetitive tasks - like cataloging and communicating patient information.  EHRs are perfect examples of this type of automation.  They provide a single source of truth for all employees and reduce the amount of data "handling" required to share this information with others.  The How's Mom app and Connections Hub expands on this by connecting and communicating with a community's EHR directly.

  1. Reduce confusion for agency or new staff

Many long-term care facilities are turning to agencies or new hires to replace departed staff members.  This means new staff training and a steep learning curve for new employees.  Technology can reduce this challenge by simplifying data access and reducing the number of systems or activities that demand training.  How's Mom provides an easy, intuitive way to share data with family members and caregivers with little training required.

  1. Empower residents/family to self-serve

Answering family members' questions about patient health data and care plans are one of the most frequent and time-consuming conversations long-term caregivers face on a daily basis.  Technology can dramatically reduce non-care activities by automating access to the relevant patient data and empowering family members to serve themselves.  This has the added benefit of increasing customer satisfaction by reducing friction in communication with their loved-ones' care facilities.  How's Mom puts key patient data and caregiver contact information in the palms of family members' hands.

How's Mom saves staff time at Empres

Leading long term care provider EmpRes recently conducted a 6-month controlled study comparing labor costs for family communication in 24 facilities.  12 facilities relied on phone calls to communicate outbreaks or other important facility information to family members.  The other 12 used How's Mom to automate communication and progress note creation.

The results were staggering.  How's Mom cut phone calls with family members by 95%, reduced the time per call from 14 minutes to 4 minutes. Thanks to How's Mom, EmpRes saved 55 hours per month per facility in staff time - a financial benefit of nearly $3,000/month/facility.  "That represents time that could be spent providing better care, preventing a fall or a re-hospitalization," noted EmpRes's TK King.  Staff members embraced the technology, too.  In a post-test survey, staff members even said, "If you take this away, I'll pay for it out of my own pocket."  As a result of the test, EmpRes will be rolling out How's Mom to all 60 facilities.

How's Mom Can Help

The How's Mom Connections Hub simplifies paperwork by automatically writing visit information and other communications documentation directly to patient records within a community's EHR system.  The How's Mom Family App provides a single, "real-time" distribution vehicle for and facility information, including:

  • Visitation procedures/policies
  • COVID status
  • Social/event activity

The Family App also empowers families by offering self-scheduling of visits, easy access to critical patient data, including health stats, medications, caregiver contact information and much more.

The How's Mom Family App and Connections Hub can relieve the burden on already over-burdened long-term care community staff members, alleviate family concerns and reduce the impact of staffing shortages that are only going to get worse.

Schedule A Demo

Contact us today to learn how the How's Mom Family App and Connections Hub can help you mitigate staffing challenges, easily and efficiently.