Ask the care expert: How can long-term care facilities receive deficiency-free surveys? Part II

Share this content:
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
How to achieve deficiency-free surveys … (continued from last issue)

You may need to do some one-on-one education, and reteaching, of caregivers. Some people learn better hands-on, especially if they have reading problems. You are never done with education, and the more it is done and reinforced, the better the outcomes.

• Don't get discouraged. I know everyone strives for a perfect inspection, but we are dealing with many different humans, and no one is perfect 24/7. Celebrate your achievement and educate in areas where you are experiencing problems.

• Don't take the ostrich approach and hide or try to ignore your problems. Remember: The more you try to ignore it, the bigger the problem will be that comes from a once “small” problem. Break a big problem into small achievable tasks. Don't give up.

• If and when you do achieve a deficiency-free survey, celebrate with your staff, and tell the world! I think in the LTC continuum, we tend to not tell people about our good news. And all of the bad news gets to the headlines somehow.

So write press releases, add it to your website, send pictures of your residents and staff to the local press, and tell them all about you and the good news. That includes graduations of staff, weddings, certifications, special entertainment, etc. And keep a scrapbook! Sometimes we forget about all of the good things we do and we need to remind our staff and ourselves.

If you have an optimistic, happy attitude, it WILL trickle down to your staff. If you run around like Henny Penny, they will act the same way.Be positive and consistent. Don't beat yourself up over small deficiencies. Remember: We are not perfect all the time, even if we are surveyed on a scale that expects us to be.