As COVID-19 expectations for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) around personnel, policies and procedures are continually evolving - to survive, many SNFs are making the rapid shift to remote care.
This shift comes with challenges to operational viability. Here are five tips to help SNFs reduce the stress of remote work at scale.
1) Evaluate Existing Operations
Changing expectations are putting SNFs at risk. For instance, the New Hampshire Health Care Association worries that without more government assistance, facilities across the state will close.1
With increased state and federal funding anything but certain, however, SNFs must find other ways to navigate the new normal, and this starts with an evaluation of existing operations. Cleaning protocols are a good example. With COVID-19 guidance evolving, SNF administrators may need to revise existing frameworks to meet current requirements and adapt to new expectations.
2) Examine Current Outcomes
Value-driven care is the new watchword for SNFs as the patient-driven payment model (PDPM) takes priority over arbitrary profit thresholds. As a result, it's critical for facilities making the move to remote work and care to examine current patient outcomes and overall client satisfaction; shortfalls here must be the focus of any new spending.
3) Explore Practical Options
SNFs will also want to explore practical options to deliver improved care at a distance. Here's why: According to acute care SNF research2, one in four patients are readmitted to acute care SNFs within 30 days of discharge, and two-thirds of these outcomes are preventable.
By deploying technologies that support both enhanced telehealth connections while simultaneously streamlining accounts payable and compliance operations, it's possible to improve SNF processes and patient outcomes simultaneously.
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4) Eliminate Redundant Processes
SNF processes around cleaning, visitation and response to COVID-19 outbreaks continue to evolve. Recent guidance3 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now recommend that SNFs establish partnerships with local laboratories to receive COVID-19 test results in 48 hours, and develop protective procedures for staff and residents who refuse testing.
This increasing complexity creates the ideal environment for redundant processes that waste time and resources. Here, software automation solutions can help identify key requirements and assign tasks based on operational needs.
5) Expand Data Collection
According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR)4, remote work is transitioning from a short-term solution for healthcare to a long-term strategy. But socially distant service delivery doesn't happen in isolation; to ensure positive patient outcomes, expanded data collection driven by real-time analytics is required to provide SNFs with accurate, actionable insight.
Rapid moves to remote care are now required for SNFs to remain viable and operational - streamline these shifts by evaluating operations, examining outcomes, exploring options, eliminating redundancy and expanding data impact.
1) New Hampshire Union Leader, "Nursing home association warns of closures without more aid," September 24, 2020.
3) Department of Health and Human Services, "Nursing Home Reopening Recommendations for State and Local Officials," May 18, 2020.
4) Harvard Business Review, "The Case for Remote Work in Health Care," September 8, 2020.