There are many concerns plaguing the future of the long-term care industry. The combination of an aging Baby Boomer population and a shortage of trained staff continues to be a recipe for disaster. But couple that with the possibility of a recession and the ongoing vulnerability of LTC organizations and residents to the COVID-19 virus—it’s a lot for healthcare leaders, employees, and families to manage. As we look to the coming year, what are some trends in long-term care facilities we can anticipate?
1. Addressing Staff Shortages
Of course, the biggest issue in the coming year continues to be the same issue that’s lasted more than two decades: a shrinking talent pool of trained staff who can care for a growing population of residents needing more specialized care. Nearly 10,000 Americans turn 65 years old each day and their life expectancy is increasing by 2.5 years every decade. At this rate, the population of seniors is expected to double by 2030, which is the same year the International Council of Nurses estimates a global shortage of 13 million nurses.
As a result, LTC facilities will have to find new and more effective ways of recruiting new and retaining existing staff to meet care demands. This means increasing salaries and improving benefits, finding new ways to recruit workers, and embracing innovative technology to aid in patient care. Paycor Recruiting can help you find and secure top talent as well as administrative staff to help ensure your LTC stays fully staffed in the coming years.
2. Planning for an Economic Downturn
Dealing with a tight budget is nothing new for leaders in LTC. But making that budget stretch even further in the face of a slowing economy is a skill everyone will have to hone this year. Health system expenses are expected to increase by nearly $135 billion in 2023 (Forrester Research). On top of which LTC facilities are already facing a multitude of financial stressors, including the increasing cost of labor, the staffing crisis, supply chain woes, and inflation. Many LTC locations have been able to keep their doors open thanks to federal provisions and other government aid — but as that assistance runs out, some will be forced to shut down. LTC leaders will be looking for cost savings in every department, including human resources. Automating the HR and Payroll can help save both time and money across the board.
3. A Focus on Employee Wellness
As part of their mission to provide the best care for patients, LTC facilities are realizing it’s a priority to care for the caregivers, especially when it comes to the very real psychological effects of burnout. Google searches for people looking for an excuse to miss work are at a five-year high. Searches for “calling in sick” went from 59,400 in 2018 to 385,780 in 2022 (Frank Recruitment Group).
Long-term-care organizations need to focus on safeguarding the physical health of staff as they care for sick patients while also building a workplace culture where employees are empowered and rewarded for their efforts. Giving employees at all levels clear guidance and support to grow in their careers is also key to retention. In practical ways, it also means providing benefits like flexible scheduling, childcare and concierge services so employees can maintain a healthy work-life balance. Paycor’s tools such as Analytics, Pulse Surveys, and HR can help you measure and track employee engagement as well as solicit feedback to better understand and respond to your staff’s unique needs and goals.
4. Embracing New Technology
There will continue to be new approaches to LTC operations, communications, and service delivery. Using technology, such as virtual communication and cloud-based tools, are key to connecting with the next generation of senior prospects. Part of these technological trends includes tools to enhance recruiting efforts, to track and manage resumes, and to better assess talent quality. You will also need technology to manage employee engagement and benefits so they can find fulfillment in their career goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Paycor’s suite of HR solutions can give you the tools to meet the serious market challenges of 2023 and beyond.
Healthcare Providers Face Unique Pressures and Challenges
Paycor’s technology helps solve the complex challenges long-term care and outpatient facility leaders face within the healthcare industry. From recruiting skilled nurses and efficiently scheduling staff, to maintaining compliance and managing labor costs, Paycor has the expertise to help.