7 Tactics for Skilled Nursing Facilities to Improve Productivity

How can skilled nursing facilities improve productivity? With leaders in skilled nursing facilities facing constant staffing challenges, healthcare worker’s performance and delivery of care is suffering. 

Healthcare workers and staff have the responsibility of ensuring patients are safe, cared for, and satisfied with their stay. However, many healthcare workers already feel overwhelmed and stressed due to the nature of the field. 

Burnout is prevalent from the staffing shortages and challenges facilities face on a regular basis. Making changes in every level of the health system is the key to creating a productive skilled nursing facility.

Having the proper foundation for a productive facility will set the stage to go from merely a surviving facility to a thriving one!

How Can Skilled Nursing Facilities Improve Productivity?

Optimizing your workforce is pivotal to ensuring your facility’s internal processes are run with efficiency. A well-run facility creates a cyclical effect in which every department within the workplace is better off and sees the positive effects! 

Productivity within skilled nursing facilities means shifts are smooth, daily tasks are completed, healthcare staff is retained better, morale increases, and patient care drastically improves. 

While some tactics may require a significant change in skilled nursing facilities to support and improve productivity, most tactics can be implemented today!

Here’s a list of seven ways to guarantee operations are well-organized, effective, and keeps healthcare workers happy and residents coming in the door.

7 Ways to Improve Productivity in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Focus on Retaining Your Current Healthcare Staff

If your skilled nursing facility is only focusing on recruitment, you must start shifting your focus to retention. When your current healthcare staff is fulfilled in their role, new hires are bound to come in naturally from referrals. 

Work on embracing team culture and creating a positive work environment. Team bonding activities, showing appreciation and recognizing hard work, and giving healthcare staff what they deserve sparks morale.

When healthcare workers genuinely like where they work, they will be motivated to represent the facility well, and that means putting their best productive foot forward.

Investing in your current healthcare staff is worth it in the long run as it saves from bigger recruitment costs. It allows your facility to focus on internal needs rather than always looking for new hires.

Involve Healthcare Workers in Planning and Tracking Goals

Is your healthcare staff aware of your facility’s goals? If not, get everyone on board and make them aware of what your facility is working towards.

Incentivizing healthcare workers in a fun way that will make them look forward to pursuing the goals could be the push they need. Get creative and ask what would make your healthcare staff more likely to pursue the goals you’ve set.

Keep the goals in sight. Stay up-to-date on goals in meetings, hang a chart in the break room for everyone to visually track progress, and have managers and leaders check-in with the staff to see how progress is going.

Healthcare workers desire to be a part of positive change in the health system. Give them the opportunity to see the difference they make in your facility and reward them for it!

Offer Training and Development

A skilled nursing facility with a strong team that’s continually expanding their knowledge and skills results in a more productive workplace. Does your team have the tools to grow professionally?

Providing training and development demonstrates that you care about your staff and you’re committed to their success. Work practices such as hosting workshops, compensating for continuing education courses, and supplying programs for job development such as LPN to RN are attractive to healthcare workers.

When your team’s skills expand and increase, and they’re better retained, your facility has a bright future of strong, dedicated, and productive staff. 

Avoid Burning Out Your Healthcare Staff

Burned out healthcare workers equals poor performance, inefficient shifts, and patients suffering from inadequate care. When workers are overworked, they lose focus, make mistakes, slow down, develop poor attitudes, and contribute to higher turnover.

Listed are a few ideas to help your facility prevent burnout in healthcare workers.

  • Maintain proper staffing levels and improve nurse-to-patient ratios
  • Refrain from asking staff to work overtime
  • Require mandatory breaks
  • Work with your staff’s schedules and try not to deny requested time off

When healthcare workers are not burned out, they’re more likely to meet and exceed standards. 

Is your skilled nursing facility in need of per diem support for additional coverage? nurseIO allows you to flex your workforce and fill staffing gaps. Whether it’s one-time per diem shifts or short-term assignments, your facility will thank you for providing healthcare workers on-demand.

Streamline Operations with Technology

This article states, “Skilled nursing facilities are relatively “low-tech” compared to hospitals, leading some to worry that productivity at skilled nursing facilities will lag behind the rest of the economy.” 

Whether needed on a small scale or large scale, there are technologies designed to overcome inefficiency that your facility might not even be aware of. 

Streamlined technologies like improving care coordination after hospital discharge with virtual integration would improve productivity in skilled nursing facilities. Studies have shown that such integration may contribute to lower costs, improve quality of care, and increase productivity.

Digitalization gives healthcare workers the ability to manage tasks easier. Certain digital tools can save your facility time and allow staff to give attention to other important areas.

Digital tools for self-scheduling, mobile apps for communication channels, and management software for documentation, notes, and spreadsheets make a difference when used to their potential.

Ask for Input from Healthcare Workers in Regular Meetings

One of the best ways to understand how your facility is running is to go straight to your healthcare workers who are on the floor every day. Ask your staff for feedback, collaborate with them, and involve them in discussions and decision making. 

Make space for regular meetings to specifically identify problem areas and where the priority in your facility should be. Determine with staff what’s necessary for shifts to run smoother and for a better workflow to take place. 

Asking for feedback from healthcare workers builds connection and trust. Listening to suggestions and implementing feedback means change takes place for a more productive facility.

Strengthen Communication

Clear communication fixes many problems and improves productivity! Make sure everyone on your team is on the same page during each shift. Game plan for huddles and clearly discuss roles, changes within the facility, and important topics that need covered. 

When staff have clear direction and are not held down by the extra time it takes to make up for what miscommunication caused, you’ll be surprised by how much better your facility runs!

Each tactic is important for skilled nursing facilities to improve productivity. With these tips in place your facility will see positive results!

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