More than 1.5 million Americans now live in nursing homes. As the population continues to age, this number is only set to rise. Sadly, many nursing home residents experience sub-standard care.
Are you looking to learn about how you can improve care in a nursing home you own or manage? Perhaps you’re not sure what the most efficient way is to improve the quality of care.
For answers to these questions and more, look no further. We’ve put this guide together filled with helpful suggestions. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Improve Your Recruitment Policies
An organization is no stronger than the people who fill its ranks. So, if you’re looking to improve the care you can offer, you might want to try to improve the quality of your staff.
Be sure you’re putting staff through a rigorous recruitment process. Ideally, you’ll want this to be a multi-stage process including resume screening and a sit-down interview.
One or more trial shifts can also be a great way to see what potential recruits are made of. Putting new recruits in the line of fire is a good way for you to see what they’re made of, and it also allows you to see if they’d be a good fit for your team. Be sure to follow local regulations in regards to trial shifts, as you may need to pay your potential recruit.
Although quality is more important than quantity, it may be a good idea to recruit extra staff too. The more able bodies you have in your nursing home, the more supervision you’ll be able to give and the better response time you’ll have for incidents and accidents.
If you’re having trouble recruiting the volume and quality of staff you need, try working with a recruitment agency. Recruiting yourself may save some money, but it’s unlikely to get you the results you need.
Focus on Training
You don’t necessarily need all new staff members to improve your level of nursing home care. Improved training is often just what’s needed to improve the level of care you’re offering.
There are lots of different types of training that can be helpful for staff in a nursing home. From intensive medical training in geriatric medicine to a lifting and handling course, all levels of training can help make your nursing home a nicer place to be. Try to identify weaknesses in your care and find training programs to fill in the gaps.
Just like with recruitment, it may be a good idea to bring in an outside agency to help with training. There are consultants and businesses dedicated to providing training plans and helping your staff improve their practice.
Use Modern Technology
Modern technology makes our lives easier in so many different ways. From finding our way to a new town, or listening to our favourite songs, technology makes things more convenient for us. Why shouldn’t the same hold true in the healthcare industry?
Many nursing homeowners and managers don’t know that aged care software can have a transformative impact on their nursing home facility. This modern software can help with planning, making you more efficient, while freeing staff up to spend time on primary care instead of doing paperwork.
Partner With Approved Organizations
Good nursing home works in conjunction with a variety of other organizations to benefit from shared expertise and resources.
By linking up with local hospitals, your nursing home can gain valuable advice on everything from infection control to preventing bedsores. You could also potentially access telemedicine and other useful services.
Try contacting local medical institutions for potential link-ups. Many non-profit hospitals will be happy to help, especially as their care could reduce hospital admissions in the long run.
Colleges are another great institution to consider creating a partnership with. Local educational establishments may wish to offer their students experience in the field, while you can benefit from interns and a potential pipeline of permanent recruits after graduation.
In a nursing home, social interaction is extremely important. Isolation can lead to a variety of mental and physical health problems, including an increased risk of dementia. Sadly, the need for lots of socialization is often forgotten due to other care needs.
Get creative. Try to think up new activities that can bring residents together and let them interact with one another. Make common areas welcoming and accessible and ensure there are enough staff members on hand to help facilitate activities.
Many nursing homes isolate patients as a method of infection control. This can be necessary during outbreaks of infectious diseases, like COVID-19 or the flu. You can combat this by providing means of digital communication, like tablets and phones.
Be sure technology is in place before you need it. Train staff in its use and try to make things as simple as possible for residents. By providing this technology, you can facilitate visits from relatives and friends, keeping residents happy and healthy.
The Benefits of Improving Quality of Care
When you provide a great quality of care in your nursing home, you’ll stand out from the competition who haven’t put in the same amount of effort as you. You’ll also reduce complaints from family members, along with enjoying peace of mind when you know your residents are as well looked after as possible.
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