First state program to reward LTC workforce quality

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Long-term care facilities that meet higher standards for workplace culture will receive special licensure in North Carolina under a unique state program. The North Carolina General Assembly recently approved a measure establishing the program.

Standards being assed fall under four main areas: supportive workplaces, career development, training and balanced workloads. The state-sponsored program, the North Carolina New Organizational Vision Award (NC NOVA), is an outgrowth of an LTC Better Jobs Better Care coalition project. Officials hope it will be replicated in more places.

"For the first time, providers will be rewarded for investing in their workers and improving the workplace culture. Turnover rates, which can reach 100 percent, can have a serious impact on providers, consumers and the workers themselves," said Robyn Stone, DrPH, the director of BJBC, which is run by a subgroup of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

A partner team creating the state-sponsored project included five state provider associations, workers, consumers, regulators and educators. The state quality improvement organization (QIO) will determine which applicants meet the higher standards.

For more information on the project, visit www.bjbc.org or www.dhhs.state.nc.us/ltc/bjobcare.htm.