Why Experience is Important
Experience plays a vital role in long term care. While many who are seeking long term care services for themselves or a loved one typically search for things like overall quality of care, the comfort and atmosphere of the facility, and staffing details, there’s more to it.
Essentially, experience for a skilled nursing facility means that they’ve been in business for a while and has earned a good reputation in the community.
This also means its management and staff, have become familiar with local medical facilities and providers, along with pharmacies, medical supply establishments, senior centers and many other resources, developing solid working relationships throughout the community that allow them to make the most of these resources for their patients.
An experienced facility will also have years of experience navigating Medicare, Medicaid and various insurance policies/contracts to make the most of coverage for patients.
Finally, staff should be seasoned professionals who are not only technically proficient in the tasks they manage every day but have the practical knowledge that comes from years of hands-on patient care experience.
Seeking a Skilled Nursing Facility
As you search for a skilled nursing facility, consider that no two facilities will be exactly the same. Consider these three qualities as you search for the right facility for a loved one:
Above Average Staffing
While all skilled nursing facilities are required to abide by certain regulations and staffing requirements, there are only a few that are truly committed to providing high-quality care. Look for things like 24-hour RN coverage, on-staff physicians and specialists, and highly skilled staff, who are capable of managing specialized medical and therapeutic needs.
Emphasis on Therapy & Rehabilitation
Particularly for long term care, this is a crucial element to evaluate. Whether managing a disease or disability, intensive rehabilitation treatment can be helpful for maximizing function, independence and quality of life.
Family and Patient Involvement
Lastly, it’s often seen that patients see the best outcomes when patients and families are involved in the treatment and care process. Quality skilled nursing facilities are aware of this and will welcome them as an important part of the healthcare team.
Outside of these vital elements, also evaluate things like cleanliness, comfort, how residents and families are treated by staff, visiting policies, and how well the staff communicates.
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