Rural and critical access facilities offer special staffing challenges.
Rural facilities are among the most likely to have chronic staffing shortages. These facilities have special situations related to their geographic location. Hospitals and rural facilities are closing due to added cost of operations. This further compounds the problem and limits access to much-needed healthcare for the population in rural areas.
Studies like this one on Challenges and Solutions to Accessing Long-term Care in Rural Areas are showing that rural facilities are also tasked with providing care for sicker patients with fewer resources. “Henning-Smith says the report shows that, in addition to workforce shortages, rural long-term care facilities have a hard time meeting demand because patients tend to be older, sicker, and poorer when compared to urban residents. The study also noted that some health conditions — such as psychiatric disorders, dementia, obesity, and those requiring medically intensive treatment — were particularly difficult to address.”
Even CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) are recognizing that staffing a rural facility is not a one-size-fits-all. “The CMS also chose not to mandate the presence of RNs at these facilities, despite evidence of greater acuity of illness among residents today and research findings of care deficiencies. The CMS rejected what it termed a “one size fits all” approach to addressing care deficiencies related to staffing, noting that mandating RNs 24/7 could be challenging in rural areas where there is a shortage of nurses.”
According to this article on rural nursing home closures, some of these considerations are:
Tips for staffing rural facilities:
Need more? This article on Recruiting for Retention in rural areas includes other ideas including recruiting for physicians and other practitioners as well.
If you still need help with staffing your rural facility, schedule a call, and let’s discuss your needs to determine if we can help. We work directly with the facility and corporate leadership to change the mindset and approach to staffing in an intentional manner with amazing outcomes for residents and revenue.
Our facility stabilization program was designed for a facility like yours.