Ask the nursing expert: surviving long-term care reimbursement cuts while providing quality care

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert

There are so many changes occurring in long-term care, with reimbursement cuts, staff downsizing, higher acuities of admission, etc. How am I to survive all of this and continue to provide quality care?

It takes creativity to be the leader of a nursing team these days. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a very “tight” nursing leadership.

You must move as one. Believe me, this is possible. Each morning at your clinical services meeting, review the 24-hour report, list items needing follow up throughout the day and keep in touch through your rounds and phone calls regarding progress and any additional issues that surface.

It has become clearer to me over time the importance of a climate which understands that with each resident admission, you also admit families and close friends. The old idea that nurses only take care of the “patient” is long past. Develop permanent team assignments and create family unit care plans.

How important is it to establish a close relationship with vendors?

Vendors are an important part of your team! They are additional eyes and ears for you and will look out for potential areas of concern and contribute valuable support to “fix” what isn't correct.

Anyone can audit and present you with a list of issues needing fixing or correcting. A vendor on your team will provide you with a list of issues, speak with other members of your leadership team, fix what they can, and offer support to fix the rest. I also have found that vendors will follow-up frequently if they feel they are a welcomed contributor.  Make them feel welcome!

If the vendors you work with aren't a good “fit,” after a discussion of expectations, ask to have them replaced.