Are Robots the Solution to Senior Care Staffing Shortages?

The challenges we face as senior care executives are as multifaceted as they are pressing. Among the most formidable is the persistent staffing shortage that plagues our industry.

While the worst staffing shortages occurred during the pandemic, its reverberations continue to ripple through our operations. COVID-19 laid bare the vulnerabilities inherent in our current model of senior care staffing, exposing the precarious balance upon which our ability to deliver essential services rests. The sudden onset of the pandemic exacerbated an already tenuous situation, with many health care workers forced to grapple with increased workloads, heightened health risks, and unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. Even today, 94 percent of senior care facilities find recruitment difficult, with 67 percent reporting it’s due to a lack of interested or qualified candidates.

Read more at https://www.providermagazine.com/Articles/Pages/Are-Robots-the-Solution-to-Senior-Care-Staffing-Shortages.aspx

Don’t Let Popcorn Affect Your Next Life Safety Survey

The only thing better than eating fresh popcorn is enjoying the mesmerizing entertainment it provides during the explosive transformation of the kernels.  How that transformation occurs, however, can have an impact on life safety compliance and subsequently your survey results.

Find the full article at https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Don%E2%80%99t-Let-Popcorn-Affect-Your-Next-Life-Safety-Survey.aspx

CDC Releases Vaccine Recommendations for This Fall/Winter

Even though summer is in full swing, it’s time to start looking towards our fall vaccination efforts. Last week, the Centers for Disease Prevention & Control (CDC) released updated recommendations for COVID-19, flu, and RSV vaccines.
Updated 2024-2025 COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendation
CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older receive an updated 2024-2025 COVID-19 vaccine for the 2024-2025 Fall/Winter Respiratory Virus Season. This is regardless of whether or not they have ever previously been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. Updated COVID-19 vaccines will be available from Moderna, Novavax, and Pfizer later this year. This recommendation will take effect as soon as the new vaccines are available.
 
Updated 2024-2025 Flu Vaccine Recommendation 
CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older, with rare exceptions, receive an updated 2024-2025 flu vaccine also for the 2024-2025 Fall/Winter Respiratory Virus Season. September and October remain the best times for most people to get vaccinated. For adults (especially those 65 years old and older) and pregnant people in the first and second trimester, vaccination in July and August should be avoided unless it won’t be possible to vaccinate in September or October.
Simplified RSV Vaccine Guidance for Seniors   
For this upcoming respiratory virus season, CDC has modified their recommendation for the RSV vaccine for seniors, specifically suggesting that:
  • Everyone ages 75 and older receive the RSV vaccine.
  • People ages 60–74 who are at increased risk of severe RSV, meaning they have certain chronic medical conditions, such as lung or heart disease, or they live in nursing homes, receive the RSV vaccine.
This recommendation is only for adults who did not receive the RSV vaccine last year as the RSV vaccine is not an annual vaccine.
Providers should contact their pharmacies and begin the process of ordering vaccines for the upcoming season. Providers should also check out the resources on the AHCA/NCAL #GetVaccinated website​ for resources on navigating the reimbursement and administrative requirements as well as resources to help improve vaccine uptake.

Top High-Tech Trends in Long Term Care

New technology in long term care is  exciting and promises to deliver many new  functionalities as long as the purchase  and implementation work for the facility, providers, and residents.

Read the article at https://www.providermagazine.com/Issues/2024/Summer/Pages/Top-High-Tech-Trends-in-Long-Term-Care.aspx

CMS Releases Revised Guidance for the LTC Facility Assessment

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the revised guidance for the Long-term Care Facility Assessment regulation (QSO-24-13-NH), as part of the federal staffing mandate finalized last month.

The revised regulatory requirements have been moved from 42 CFR 483.70 to 42 CFR 483.71.  Existing regulations at 42 CFR 483.70(f) through (q) have been redesignated as paragraphs (e) through (p), respectively. The revised guidance notes that surveyors should determine whether a facility assessment contains the required components under the regulation; they should not evaluate the quality of the assessment.
The revision to the facility assessment regulation at F838 takes effect and must be implemented by August 8, 2024.
Areas added to the guidance to determine compliance include but are not limited to the following:
  • The facility assessment includes an evaluation of the resident population, and its needs (e.g., acuity) based on evidence-based, data driven methods.
  • The facility assessment reflects the population.
  • The facility assessment addresses the facility’s resident capacity.
  • The facility assessment includes information on the staffing level(s) needed for specific shifts, such as day, evening, and night and adjusted as necessary based on changes to resident population.
  • The facility assessment addresses what skills and competencies are required by those providing care.
  • The facility assessment is conducted with input from the individuals stated in the regulation (483.71(b))
  • The facility assessment indicates what resources, including but not limited to, equipment, supplies, services, personnel, health information technology, and physical environment are required to meet all resident needs.
  • The facility has a plan for maximizing recruitment and retention of direct care staff.
  • The facility assessment includes a contingency plan that is informed by the facility assessment.
AHCA is reviewing the guidance and will share helpful resources soon. Please reach out to regulatory@ahca.org​ with any questions.

The Big Spring Sale on Gero Nurse Prep Ends June 15

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Gero Nurse Prep course significantly increases RNs’ gerontological nursing competency test scores. Registrants can save $200 on Gero Nurse Prep through June 15, 2024 with promo code RNPATH24 (all caps).

Research conducted by AHCA/NCAL in 2023 found compelling reasons to consider the Gero Nurse Prep course and ANCC Board certification for RNs. Nursing facilities with at least one ANCC Board certified RN experienced:
  • Lower rehospitalization rates for short stay and long stay residents
  • Fewer deficiencies on average
  • ​Fewer Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations
  • More stars — twice as likely to be a CMS 5-Star facility (44% versus 19%)
Specifically designed for registered nurses working in long term care, this curriculum provides comprehensive online training that leads to board certification in gerontological nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for RNs.
Gero Nurse Prep makes a big difference even for those RNs who are not interested in pursuing ANCC Board certification. Nurses who complete Gero Nurse Prep show an average 24 percent increase between their pre- and post-course test scores. Quite simply, Gero Nurse Prep delivers smarter RNs who are better prepared to deliver competent geriatric nursing care in skilled nursing and assisted living settings. Both two-year RNs and BSNs can take the Gero Nurse Prep course and sit for the ANCC exam.
RNs have one year to complete Gero Nurse Prep and earn 30 quality nursing contact hours – enough to meet the criteria for taking the ANCC certification exam. Gero Nurse Prep grads who choose to sit for the ANCC gerontological nursing certification exam ($395 separate fee paid to ANCC) have a pass rate of 94% on their first try. RNs who pass the ANCC exam can then use the GERO-BC™ credential after their RN credential.
Watch this video or visit the website at geronurseprep.com to learn more. And don’t forget to use the RNPATH24 promo code when registering byJune 15 to save $200 off the regular $790 Gero Nurse Prep registration fee.

Are You Prepared for a Tornado Emergency?

Each year, hundreds of health care facilities across the nation respond to tornado emergencies with limited warning of potentially catastrophic events. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were nearly 1,200 confirmed tornado reports in 2023. While much of this activity occurs in the South and Midwest, often referred to as Tornado Alley, numerous tornadoes also impacted other locations across the country where tornadic activity is generally considered rare. Locations in California, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were all affected by tornadoes in 2023. In one case, an EF-3 tornado caused significant damage along a 16-mile path in Lewis County, New York, the county’s strongest tornado on record.

https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Are-You-Prepared-for-a-Tornado-Emergency.aspx

Boost Your Geriatric Care Competency for Less During the Gero Nurse Prep Sale

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living’s Gero Nurse Prep course significantly increases RNs’ gerontological nursing competency test scores. Registrants can save $200 on Gero Nurse Prep through June 15, 2024 with promo code RNPATH24 (all caps).

Research conducted by AHCA/NCAL in 2023 found compelling reasons to consider the Gero Nurse Prep course and ANCC Board certification for RNs. Nursing facilities with at least one ANCC Board certified RN experienced:
  • Lower rehospitalization rates for short stay and long stay residents
  • Fewer deficiencies on average
  • ​Fewer Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) citations
  • More stars — twice as likely to be a CMS 5-Star facility (44% versus 19%)
Specifically designed for registered nurses working in long term care, this curriculum provides comprehensive online training that leads to board certification in gerontological nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for RNs.
Gero Nurse Prep makes a big difference even for those RNs who are not interested in pursuing ANCC Board certification. Nurses who complete Gero Nurse Prep show an average 24 percent increase between their pre- and post-course test scores. Quite simply, Gero Nurse Prep delivers smarter RNs who are better prepared to deliver competent geriatric nursing care in skilled nursing and assisted living settings. Both two-year RNs and BSNs can take the Gero Nurse Prep course and sit for the ANCC exam.
RNs have one year to complete Gero Nurse Prep and earn 30 quality nursing contact hours – enough to meet the criteria for taking the ANCC certification exam. Gero Nurse Prep grads who choose to sit for the ANCC gerontological nursing certification exam ($395 separate fee paid to ANCC) have a pass rate of 94% on their first try. RNs who pass the ANCC exam can then use the GERO-BC™ credential after their RN credential.
Watch this video or visit the website at geronurseprep.com to learn more. And don’t forget to use the RNPATH24 promo code when registering by June 15 to save $200 off the regular $790 Gero Nurse Prep registration fee.

Cybersecurity Safety is Patient Safety!

Post-acute care facilities play a unique and critical role in the health care ecosystem. However, with this specialized focus comes distinct challenges in the realm of cybersecurity. Additionally, the recent staffing mandates announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as of April 22, 2024, pose further hurdles, potentially straining resources and complicating cybersecurity efforts.

Find out more by going to https://www.providermagazine.com/Articles/Pages/Cybersecurity-Safety-Is-Patient-Safety.aspx

Survey Tip: Documenting Protection on Abuse Reporting

A new survey tip has been posted to the AHCA Survey Regulatory page for your review. In the new Survey Tip section, on the Survey Regulatory page, you will find tips related to recently noted survey trends. In the latest survey tip, you will find tips to ensure you are protecting resident(s) from further abuse, and sufficiently documenting the protection you have provided/are providing residents on both your initial abuse reporting and your 5-day working report to the State Survey Agency.
For additional information about abuse, neglect, and misappropriation of resident property, please review the webinar series on ahcancalED. The series also provides individual tip sheets for each F-tag associated with abuse. If you have any topics or suggestions for future survey tips, or survey/regulatory questions, please send them to regulatory@ahca.org​.