New Staffing Minimums Final Rule: why Technology is the answer

CMS Staffing Minimums Final Rule

The recently announced Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Staffing Minimums Final Rule will have far-reaching implications for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) across the United States. These new, stricter staffing regulations are understandable – ensuring that our care communities have the resources to provide quality service is essential. However, achieving compliance can be a significant challenge in the face of ongoing staffing shortages.

Does the answer to this issue lie not solely in increasing nurse headcount, but in empowering our current nurses with technology-driven solutions? When paired with strategic operational changes, tech-infused workflows can streamline critical but repetitive tasks, free up nursing staff for the direct patient care that matters most, and ultimately help facilities remain compliant while improving staff satisfaction.

Key takeaways from the staffing minimums final rule

The final rule highlights several important points for facilities to consider:

  • A New Standard: The staffing minimums requires 3.48 hours per resident day (HPRD) of total direct nursing care, including 0.55 HPRD from registered nurses (RNs) and 2.45 HPRD from nurse aides. This establishes a baseline for safe and high-quality care.
  • 24-Hour RN Requirement: The new rule also mandates a registered nurse be onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This ensures that skilled nursing expertise is always available.
  • Focus on Outcomes: The CMS emphasizes that the goal of these staffing minimums is ultimately to improve resident health outcomes and quality of life.

Research consistently links adequate staffing in nursing homes to better care and quality of life for residents. Sufficient staffing has been shown to reduce preventable hospitalizations, lower infection rates, improve the mental well-being of residents and enhance the overall quality of care.

While the CMS rule is a major step forward in addressing the perils of understaffing, there are still some reasons for concern. Is the standard sufficient? How will it be enforced? Will costs increase?

How technology addresses these requirements

Technology is not a replacement for human care, but is a powerful tool to power staff and enhance the caregiving experience. Here are ways technology can help SNFs not only meet – but exceed – the new CMS staffing minimums.

  • Smarter Workflows: Intuitive electronic health records (EHRs), integrated medication management systems, and automated inventory tracking all reduce administrative burdens that keep nurses away from patients.
  • Optimized Communication: Technology platforms that facilitate increased communication and collaboration between nurses, physicians, therapists, and other care team members ensure streamlined care delivery.
  • Data for Better Care: Care management systems that analyze resident data support nurses in making informed decisions aligned with the CMS’s focus on resident quality of life and well-being.

Beyond compliance: Technology’s transformative impact

The impact of technology in healthcare extends far beyond simple compliance. Here’s why investing in these advancements pays dividends in multiple areas:

  • Improved Quality of Care: With more focused time available, nurses can provide more attentive care, building relationships with residents crucial to their well-being.
  • Boosted Staff Morale: Technology reduces the administrative burden contributing to nursing burnout and empowers nurses to practice the compassionate care that drew them to the profession.
  • Attracting and Retaining Talent: Younger generations expect streamlined technology and prioritize employers who invest in the digital tools that support them. Being a technology-first facility is a huge advantage in a competitive healthcare market.

Technology: Building stronger care communities

Perhaps most importantly, technology has the power to reshape how care communities connect and function. Here’s how:

  • Empowering Families: Families benefit from increased and consistent communication tools that empower them to participate in their loved ones’ care journey.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Improved collaboration between the entire care team leads to better coordinated and more effective resident care.

Embracing a technology-driven future

Complying with new CMS staffing minimums requires careful planning. Technology offers a pathway to both meet these regulations and transform how care is delivered. By embracing technology, we empower nurses to provide the compassionate, skilled care that is the heart of the profession.

At Cliniconex, we see the CMS guidelines as a catalyst for positive change. Let’s work together to build a technology-enabled future where staffing compliance, superior care delivery, and a thriving workforce are intertwined, creating the best possible outcomes for our care communities.

Leave a Reply

This is a two step proccess: 1) fill out this form, 2) select a convenient time.

Not ready to book a demo but have a question? No problem! Please call or send us your question.