Pandemic Intensifies 2021 Post-Acute Care Trends

Technology investments will provide industry with needed efficiencies to workforce management and oversight policies

Workforce engagement will continue to be a top challenge and trend throughout the post-acute care space in 2021. In 2020, a Workforce 360 survey of over 2100 long-term, senior living and healthcare professionals identified the top two workforce challenges facing the industry as finding and hiring qualified job candidates (67 percent), followed by employee turnover (57 percent). The pandemic is further shedding light on the holes in pay and patient care, leaving partners scrambling to find ways to help reduce costs and increase revenue.

This comes as no surprise for many facilities as a result of new regulations, and now a pandemic, that have pummeled them with more manual reporting, leaving the workforce incredibly overwhelmed. This has forced providers to think differently. Now, many are starting to invest in technology solutions that can engage staff in real-time.

For example, traditional time clocks can be costly to maintain, and are an infection risk as staff aim to avoid touching the same surfaces. Mobile innovations such as OnShift® Time are evolving the clocking in experience. The mobile app makes clocking in as simple as taking a selfie, and can be activated by staff to check in via their smart phone, saving the time to manually punch in, reducing risk of infection and simplifying payroll processes. The app utilizes facial recognition to confirm an employee’s identity and tracks their position in the facility so management can better manage where they are needed at any given time.

Technology is also allowing professionals to analyze data in real time and react to changes in resident condition. For instance, Real Time Medical Systems is an interventional analytics solution that analyzes data in the electronic medical records (EMR) and provides alerts to areas of concern – live as they happen – to help improve quality measures, clinical outcomes and financial performance, according to founder and Executive Chairman, Dr. Scott Rifkin.

“Providing our customers with comprehensive analytic solutions that help increase their efforts in delivering superior resident-care, while also minimizing the administrative burdens that face so many clinicians today is key. By obtaining live actionable insights into the EHR that enables early interventions, clinicians are now better equipped to treat the right residents, at the right time, at the right level of care,” said Rifkin.

Regulations and oversight in 2021

New Jersey recently passed a law regulating staff to resident ratios and a requirement that most revenue go to direct care rather than administrative costs or profit. Early predictions indicate this will become a trend in other states.

“With over 25 years of experience in the field, I can say with certainty the industry will experience enhanced oversight in 2021 due to a new, incoming administration and growing regulations concerning COVID-19 and infection control,” said Shawn Scott, Vice President of Strategic Development, Post-Acute Care with Medline. “It is imperative for nursing homes to look into tools that reduce the time needed by staff to address these oversights.”

2021 will continue to strain the post-acute care industry, but necessity will prove to be the mother of invention as new innovations and technology are created to lower costs, aide management and employees, and streamline the experience to care for patients.

Medline currently partners with solutions providers, OnShift, Real Time Medical Systems, HealthStream online learning and abaqis by HealthStream to provide technology-based programs that help recruit and retain staff, improve clinical performance, address potential survey deficiencies, and increase price per day reimbursement for residents. The company is on track to sign nearly 800 customer contracts for its Post-Acute Solutions Program in 2020, a record year for the company.

 

Originally posted on Real Time Medical Systems  on January 4th, 2021 by Medline Newsroom Staff