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October 25, 2022

CMS To Include Staffing and Turnover Data in Nursing Home Rating System

by admin

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched its enhanced Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating System a few weeks ago, and it’s set to be a game-changer for the healthcare industry. The rating system will now include weekend staffing rates for nurses and data on the annual turnover of nurses and administrators.

In this article, we’ll cover why the CMS rating system now includes staffing data. And, given the ongoing challenges with hiring staff in the healthcare industry, we’ll look at recruitment strategies to help you hire high-quality team members, as well as provide talent retention tips for successful nursing home management.

Why Staffing Data Has Been Included in the CMS Ratings

CMS made the new changes to the five-star quality rating system for two important reasons:

  1. To make it easier for residents, their family members, and caregivers to compare the care available in nursing homes and choose the right one for their needs. 
  2. To encourage nursing homes to improve the staffing in their facilities so residents have consistently better outcomes. 

According to CMS, a high turnover of nurses can cause a dip in the quality of patient care. 

Nurses who have worked at the same facility for a long time can recognize small health changes in the residents. They can take action quickly to prevent more severe health issues.

Also, administrators can help create a stable management structure when they stay on for longer. They can be expected to develop consistent policies and processes that improve the service available to residents.

CMS is also conducting a study to develop a minimum staffing standard for nursing homes. They plan to share their findings next spring. 

Recruitment Strategies for Hiring High-Quality Healthcare Staff

We are well aware of the staffing challenges every healthcare facility is facing. To ensure that you’re hiring the best possible candidates for your facility, there are several recruitment strategies you can adopt. Here’s what we recommend:

Branding Counts

“A company’s employment brand,” according to Deloitte, “must be both highly visible and highly attractive because candidates now often find the employer, not the reverse. To leverage this interest, companies are intensively managing their employment brand, which can ‘pull’ candidates toward them.”

To increase visibility and attract potential hires, start by updating your website and social media pages. Produce engaging content consistently. Make your layout look exciting and inviting, so visitors are compelled to read more. Create a section for careers and showcase what’s to offer. Highlight the internal culture, values, and mission statement so candidates can understand how they fit in.

Consider using video testimonials of staff talking about their positive experiences working with you. Make your “Want to work for us?” button clear and visible so potential candidates can be easily directed to the hiring process.

Streamline the Candidate Experience

Make the hiring process as easy and seamless as possible for interested candidates. Ensure the hiring process has been optimized for the mobile experience, and limit the number of steps or “clicks” required to complete the initial application process. A long, drawn-out, and complicated application process can turn off even talented candidates.

Update Your Benefits and Compensation Package

Given high turnover rates, it’s critical to make your benefits and compensation package more attractive and appealing to healthcare staff.  

In a recent study by Beacon Research, nurses highlighted salary increases, more time off to recuperate, optimal staff-to-patient ratios, emotional support in the form of counseling and support groups, and pension benefits as some of their most preferred benefits.

In addition to these benefits, consider offering ongoing training and development, amenities like free or discounted meals, and complimentary access to a gym.

Invest in Software

Software can help reduce the manual labor and guesswork involved in traditional recruitment methods. It can also help you enhance your ROI by leveraging technology more innovatively and efficiently.

With Empeon, for example, you can instantly post your vacancies to dozens of job boards. You can seamlessly move candidates through each step of the hiring process, enhancing their experience with your platform. To maintain compliance and streamline candidate screening, you can automatically roll documentation on background checks, licenses, and certifications directly into your HR system. You can even develop an in-house referral program to incentivize your staff to find best-fit candidates for you.

Empeon also provides extensive features to help you manage all your human resources tasks, such as workforce scheduling, attendance tracking, time-off and leave management, payroll, benefits, and more. To learn more about how to hire quality healthcare staff, connect with an Empeon expert, or book your free demo here.

Develop a Retention Strategy

To ensure that your staff will continue to work with you long-term, it’s essential to support your recruitment strategy with a retention strategy. 

Reviewing and revamping your benefits and compensation package is one of the first steps you can take. You can also look at the following:

  • Create a warm and welcoming onboarding experience. You can even provide a “welcome kit” inclusive of daily essentials like a water bottle, a company-branded jacket, or a penlight. It can seem like a small gesture, but it goes a long way toward making your employees feel like they made the right decision by joining your organization.
  • Provide skills-based training so employees can feel competent while doing their jobs. It also reduces the stress caused by making mistakes due to a lack of knowledge.
  • Ensure safety at the workplace. Develop safety standards and policies. Install security staff. Provide training so healthcare staff can recognize behaviors that may potentially lead to violence. Seventy-five percent of all workplace violence takes place in healthcare settings, according to a recent study. Out of that figure, patients were the largest source of violence, at 80%.
  • Look at bonuses in the form of referral bonuses for bringing in new staff or longevity bonuses that kick into gear after the completion of a certain number of years. 
  • Lastly, maintain an open door policy, where you’re receptive to feedback and willing to implement staff suggestions wherever feasible. It can make your healthcare staff feel like they’re part of the team and genuinely valued.

Hiring quality healthcare staff doesn’t have to be a challenging or overwhelming experience. Although the new CMS rating system seems tough, we’re hoping that these ideas can assist you in recruiting the talent you so desperately need.


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