Nursing Home Pain Points In 2022
It’s well known that 2021 was a rough year for many industries. In particular, the nursing care industry has had to deal with numerous challenges, including staffing shortages and nursing home liability insurance pushed to the brink. Many of these issues can be attributed to COVID-19, which still rages in many parts of the world.
Unfortunately, it seems that the situation won’t be much better in 2022. Besides the ongoing public health emergency, staffing issues, overburdened workforces, and supply shortages remain. And with the demand for nursing care still at peak levels, it is apparent that the nursing care industry will continue to wrestle with these issues throughout the coming year.
There has been relief on some fronts, to be sure. Vaccine rollouts helped ease some of the burdens on the health industry. Even so, many challenges have yet to be addressed, and flare-ups and new variants will likely pose future threats.
Nursing care challenges to expect in 2022
Here are some of the most significant pain points in the nursing care industry to expect in 2022:
Most industry professionals agree that staffing shortages are still the most significant issue the nursing care profession faces. This problem affects a facility’s ability to provide the quality of care needed by patients. It also impacts its bottom line and could even jeopardize its future.
Despite the demand for nursing care at an all-time high, facilities have had to deal with occupancies falling way below their target rates. Because of the pandemic, families are wary about moving their senior family members into assisted care settings. With more surges and possible new variants expected during the coming year, occupancy may yet go through more downturns.
Preparing for upcoming challenges
One of the keys to addressing these challenges is focusing more on nursing care personnel. In particular, it will be beneficial to get support from local, state, and federal agencies regarding recruitment. This applies to caregivers, administrative personnel, and even janitorial and maintenance staff.
There is a clear need for patient advocates and leadership personnel in senior living communities. But more than shoring up workforces with new workers, it is essential to hire the right candidates for the job. By emphasizing the development of a team culture based on quality service, nursing homes have a better chance of improving patient care and producing more favorable patient outcomes.
The importance of mental and emotional well-being
Solving the problems surrounding the nursing care industry should always involve a discussion of the mental and emotional health of staff and residents. Having providers that can address these concerns is essential for meeting the challenges of the coming months. It is vital for nursing care facility administrators to assess their behavioral health providers and ensure their ability to provide tangible benefits.
Addressing labor shortages
It may be necessary to look into non-traditional solutions to address the current labor shortages plaguing the nursing care industry. Technology can be invaluable for this purpose, particularly concerning medication management, tracking vitals, and requesting assistance.
Nursing homes may also utilize outside sources to address staff shortage issues. Industries such as hospitality and tourism are staffed with personnel with many qualities ideally suited for the nursing care profession.
Note that these industries have been hit just as hard by the pandemic. Therefore, they could be a viable source of recruits for nursing homes. Of course, care-specific training will be necessary to help these workers shift to nursing care.
Improving employee retention in nursing homes
Solving staff shortages should be more than just about recruiting new workers. Remember that it requires considerable time and resources to onboard new nurses. Therefore, nursing homes should also look into ways to increase retention rates.
Some effective retention strategies that nursing home administrators could consider are offering child care, allowing more flexible vacation and days off, and providing health services for staff and their families. These perks can be just as helpful for enticing workers to stay with the company as higher salaries.
The harsh reality is that many of the challenges in the nursing industry will remain throughout much of 2022. But being aware of these issues can help prepare companies to meet them head-on. With awareness and sufficient preparation, senior care facilities can hopefully withstand the trials of the coming year and come out stronger than before.
About Midwest Insurance Group
Midwest Insurance Group is a risk retention group developed by Caitlin Morgan Insurance Services in response to the unique needs of the healthcare industry, particularly that of senior living facilities. With rising premium costs and difficulties in obtaining coverage from the traditional professional and general liability insurance market, Midwest Insurance Group represents a viable, long-term insurance alternative for the senior living sector, giving members complete control over costs and claims management. Midwest Insurance Group is reinsured with Lloyd’s of London, and A rated by Demotech.