Top Concerns of Senior Living Facility Managers
In any conversation with long-term care facility managers, the top concern is always financial pressure. This is followed by emergency systems requirements and other compliance issues as well as security concerns. Facility managers are under constant pressure to keep costs down, but yet are expected to maintain the facility and patient safety as well as meet any new regulations that may come along.
Pressure to Keep Costs Down while Labor and Supply Costs Climb
While the cost of labor and supplies keeps going up, the pressure to keep costs down is the number one concern of CEOs, and therefore facility managers, at these senior living facilities. But at the same time, facilities management professionals are facing sometimes costly demands by patients, stakeholders, oversight agencies, and insurance companies.
New patient safety statutes require better, safer systems. Oversight agencies are also looking at systems impacting patient safety, like elevators, fire alarms, and electrical systems. Facilities managers must constantly upgrade patient safety systems but yet try to keep costs down.
Facilities management MUST be on top of changing facility emergency systems’ requirements as per new regulations. Not doing so can result in penalties and fines by oversight agencies. Some typical changing requirements include: fault-detection devices in electrical outlets; patient equipment; as well as other areas. Local, state and national oversight agencies want to be able to do inspections and assessments instantly.
William E. Koffel and Elizabeth C. Keller, in an article for Ashe Health Facilities Management, entitled, “Understanding Recent Door Inspection and Maintenance Codes,” cite just one example of the overwhelming amount of regulation and compliance issues that facility managers face. The article states that “Facility managers must be well-versed in recent codes and compliance data to avoid deficiencies”—especially in view of the implementation of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for annual door inspections in health care facilities. This involves fire doors and smoke doors that must pass inspection on time or else the facility’s accreditation will be at risk.
Growing Security Concerns
Modern healthcare is becoming more and more concerned with security. There have been some recent security problems in New England hospitals that brought about a threat to patients and employees. The increasing use of closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) to monitor access areas creates yet more work for facilities managers who must maintain them.
Patient Satisfaction Affects the Bottom Line
Another area that more and more concerns facility managers is treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction—especially regarding nursing homes and rehab facilities. Some insurers may not remit payments back to a facility if patient satisfaction is low. This means that facility managers must respond quickly to any request that involves equipment or processes directly related to patient care or comfort.
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