Using technology to solve the long-term care workforce crisis

The labor market for Long-Term Care communities has gone from bad to worse.  Newly announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for staff members will further exacerbate the workforce shortage.  Many communities are facing higher wage costs as a result.  Technology can play a role in reducing the stress on staff – and allow them to focus on caregiving.  One area in which technology can be particularly helpful is family communication.  Empowering family members to access information and stay in the know independently can dramatically reduce the number of phone calls and emails that staff members need to field.  The How’s Mom Family App and Connections Hub put critical data and communications in family members’ hands, freeing staff to focus on providing the best possible care.

Long-term care communities face a staffing crisis

Challenges associated with hiring and retaining long-term care workers have gotten worse for about three-quarters of nursing homes this year, according to a new survey from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.  Key findings:

  • 73% of providers believe their organization’s overall workforce situation has generally gotten worse.
  • 94% of all communities have faced a staffing shortage in the last month.

COVID-19 vaccine mandates accelerating the existing workforce shortage

Labor shortages across the country are fueling a competition among long-term care facilities to retain and hire staff as they grapple with the delta variant.  With U.S. job openings hitting record highs, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are losing staff to other industries, or to other nursing facilities that can offer higher wages and better benefits.

Last Wednesday, the Biden administration announced that it will require nursing home staffs be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. The latest move by the White House is already receiving pushback from advocates who say the decision will only lead to more staff shortages.

"We have about 125 unvaccinated people," one administrator said of his staff. "My guess is that 80% are going to get vaccinated, 10% will get exemptions and the other 10% will leave."

Technology can help alleviate the staffing burden

One of the biggest challenges facing long-term care community staff is the volume of non-care related tasks.  Answering emails, taking family phone calls, completing regulatory paperwork and completing other documentation take valuable time away from patient-centered activities.  Technology and “digital transformation” can help reduce the burden of these non-care activities, allowing staff to spend more time with patients.  Family interactions represent a significant portion of staff activity – and an area where technology can help.

The How’s Mom Family App and Connections Hub can help empower families, reduce staff paperwork and provide real-time communication of critical information.  With critical patient and community information at their fingertips, family members’ need for direct conversations with staff is dramatically reduced.

How’s Mom – a go-to source for all family info

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 retain your staff and enable them to focus on effective, compassionate caregiving.