Recent challenges in the Skilled Nursing Facility landscape have created a perfect storm for operators both now and into the future. Shortages in nursing staff, risk factors related to the global pandemic, and a depressed elective surgery rate have all resulted in significant declines in both patient census and clinical resources. The financial and staffing hurdles faced by most SNF operators have never been more daunting.
Even before the unprecedented challenges of 2020, SNF operators were facing increasing competition from the industry, while dealing with margin pressures from increased operating costs and declining reimbursement. The general consensus among industry experts is that business will not soon return to “normal”; so how does any facility hope to remain viable, relevant and successful in the coming years?
How The Ensign Group Met the On-going Challenges Facing Skilled Nursing Facilities
Eddie Keele is Vice President of Milestone, part of The Ensign Group, one of the nation’s leading skilled nursing companies with more than 200 facilities operating throughout the US. Despite the short term challenges brought on by the pandemic, as well as the pressures faced by shortage of skilled nursing staff, there are paths forward for most facilities to be successful today and tomorrow.
On the nurse staffing challenges, Eddie feels strongly that “you’re not successful if you [have] to own everything, but you’re successful when you’re supporting the team that is owning everything.” Recent nurse employee satisfaction survey results show that 30% of nurses cite “working environment” as one of the primary drivers for turn-over.
Nurses working at SNFs are faced with increasing responsibilities, not only as a care-giver, but taking on additional administrative roles such as documentation, cleaning, and follow-up calls. By providing the tools and alleviating the stress of nursing staff to provide top-of-license care, SNF will improve quality of care and patient satisfaction.
In addition to improving staff retention and satisfaction, Eddie cited “[knowing] what’s going on [with a patient], and what is happening and how they’re feeling after they leave our setting” as a critical factor to SNF success. In order for Milestone Health to achieve good outcomes, provide good care, and achieve good patient satisfaction, it is vital to have that patient’s information at one’s fingertips, so meaningful and timely action can be taken.
Cortex provides a suite of solutions for SNF, including our Check-up™ calls, to help facilities manage these challenges.
Check-Up Calls™ provide a way to monitor patient progress after discharge from a skilled nursing facility, allowing clinicians to intervene when patients struggle with care transitions, and enabling operators to consistently gather and evaluate patient satisfaction feedback with cripted calls made by our HIPAA certified Registered Nurses. Our powerful Dashboard gives you rich analytics to provide real-time data and actionable alerts. Best of all, Check-up™ calls free up your nursing staff to care for the patients on site, alleviating provider stress and improving quality of care.
According to Eddie, “90% of [our] touch and data is coming from Cortex. [Cortex solutions provide] updates saying hey this is what’s going on with your patients, it’s critical we look into it.” Resulting information allows Ensign Group to reacquire patients, increase census, and improve staff efficiency.
Hospital Alerts gives SNFs real-time visibility to high-risk patients, using Cortex’s advanced analytic and patient risk-scoring tools so your facility can remain agile in re-acquiring patients and improve patient’s care outcomes. Integrated data with hospitals and preferred SNFs in-network ensures measurable and actionable metrics are shared across the care continuum.
Combined with the Check-Up Calls platform, Hospital Alerts increases revenue through increased census and decreases cost by avoiding costly readmission fines.