Person-centered care: The bottom line
Cindy Heilman - Long-Term Living
n 2003, a study of best practices for meal service in long-term care found that residents and staff alike believed service at mealtimes had a significant influence on resident satisfaction. The residents saw three things as important: server courtesy and attitude during service, the social skills of their servers and the service techniques they used. On their side, staff described the pressure they felt to complete the service tasks with little or no regard for attitude or courtesy; in fact, most did not realize that residents anticipate being served.
In many LTC communities, the basic need for excellent service has been overshadowed by a single-minded adherence to numerous state and federal regulations, medical regimens and cost pressures, even though service and an environment conducive to healthy living were stated objectives of the organizations. Somehow, companies have not been paying attention to their own core values.
Beyond the moral objective of restoring dignity, honor, and respect to elders at mealtime (which we know enhances their health and well-being), we also know that increases in resident and staff satisfaction lead directly to improved community reputation, marketability and profitability. Satisfaction is all too frequently tied to the dining experience, which can have a great influence on how strongly a community is recommended to potential new customers. Industry expert Vivian Tellis-Nayak, PhD, who has conducted extensive customer and staff research, says it best: "Higher satisfaction with the dining experience wins over residents and family members.They in turn are more likely to recommend a community."
INVESTING IN EMPLOYEES
Making an investment in employees is critical in advancing the culture within an organization. As business consultant Joanne Smikle wrote in the January issue of Long-Term Living, "Culture change requires all staff to have a deep awareness and keen understanding of what (person-centered care) really means
realigning resources so that they are consistent with the organization's mission and vision
encompass(ing) the entire organization—from senior managers to the frontline employee." She goes on to note that the focus of this investment must be learning: "This is more than creating snappy propaganda about culture change. Every employee must have the competencies required to create sustainable change throughout the enterprise."Full Story>>>
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