Experts have projected employment in the long-term care industry will continue to grow through the year 2030, leading to concerns about talent shortages. “Policy makers and educators should redouble efforts to create and sustainably fund programs to recruit, train, and retain long-term care workers,” wrote researchers in a study conducted at the University of California San Francisco.
While much of the discussion about labor shortages has focused on clinical staff, many SNF managers and executives can attest that retaining talented employees on the administrative side is also crucial. But that’s hard to do when revenue cycle workers, like everyone else in healthcare, are constantly being asked to do more with less.
In a survey conducted by ABILITY, SNF billing staff reported that they rarely take all their vacation days because of the backlog of work they know will be waiting for them when they return. It’s an attitude that is shared among many Americans, who took an average of only 16 days of vacation in 2013. That kind of work environment can easily contribute to burnout and high turnover.
So what’s the solution? Many SNFs are finding that smart investments in software can help increase productivity among billing and admissions workers. This not only frees up staff to work on other tasks, but makes it easier to train new workers or cross-train existing ones. With support from the top and the right tools in place, valued employees can actually take their hard-earned vacation time—giving them better odds of staying happy in their jobs for the long term.