It shouldn’t be a huge surprise that many senior living communities have told McKnight’s that they will have to increase agency use this year, especially in light of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) potentially moving forward with a new minimum staffing standard in 2023. The reality, however, is that with an increased reliance on external staff to meet the mandate comes increased concerns with the quality of care provided to residents. There is also an increase in legal risk, as communities could be working with agencies that are not properly classifying and screening the nurses and aides that are being placed in their buildings.
As part of McKnight’s recent Workforce Development Forum IntelyCare’s Lynn Barry, MSN, RN and Senior Director of Clinical Operations, and Greg Hoonjan, Executive Director at Stone Rehabilitation and Senior Living discussed ways that facilities can properly vet and find true healthcare talent partners. Their discussion touched on everything, from nurse training to safety and HIPAA compliance, and even properly evaluating the operational and technical support of potential partners.
If you want to hear the full discussion on the best practices for vetting healthcare talent partners, you can view the entire webinar below. Greg and Lynn dig into:
- Best practices for ensuring the quality of care provided by nursing staff
- Vetting quality when evaluating talent partners
- Understanding proper onboarding, training, and quality assurance processes
- The importance of Joint Commission certifications
- Implementing performance improvement targets
- Ensuring safety and HIPAA compliance
- The differences of W2 and 1099 working models
- Credentialing best practices
A Deeper Dive on Training Nursing Professionals
Both facilities and their talent partners need to step up in order to ensure that nursing professionals have an experience that keeps them coming back.
On the facility side, the agency staff should be treated as a member of the team. They should receive onboard training, be invited to any staff events, and feel included because at the end of the day when they feel supported, they are better able to provide the best quality care for their patients.
But while treating every nursing professional with care is key, it starts with the talent provider setting up the nurse for success. Facilities and healthcare talent partners should be talking about nursing quality from day one to build and ensure that trust.
Evaluating and Ensuring Compliance
It’s also important to understand if the talent partner you are working with is taking compliance and training seriously. One way to know, is whether your partner has nurses on staff who have a strong grasp of the issues a facility could face. At IntelyCare Lynn has built out a Quality Assurance team that includes nurses from varying backgrounds and disciplines. These nurses can dig into the issues and uncover issues that can go beyond one facility. For example, recently IntelyCare was investigating a documentation issue in a facility, and after realizing it was a broader problem, instituted stronger education and training around documentation. This effort led to 35% decrease in documentation issues reported.
“Through partnerships we’ve been able to find root causes to things that are both beneficial to clients and the nurses. Maybe we’re having so many of these issues at this facility because there is a break in the system, and through these conversations we often stumble on these breaks and are able to rectify things and it’s a win for everyone.”Lynn Barry, MSN, RN
Develop a True Partnership
Never let a provider feel like they are left on their own. Often when issues come up facilities can feel like the agency suddenly disappears. That’s the benefit of working with a healthcare talent partner. From beginning to end we will be there for you, and IntelyCare will actually help you decrease your dependency on staffing agencies. Our goal is to help facilities build a sustainable workforce strategy that combines full-time hiring, float pool management, contract hiring, and other roles.