Individuals who require long-term care can rely on various services to suit their personal care needs. Long-term care can be delivered either through in-home healthcare services or through establishments such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and retirement communities that offer continued medical care. In addition to the elderly, people with long-term health issues or recovering from an injury or illness may also require long-term care. Residents in long-term care facilities are especially at risk from disasters because of their weakened state and vulnerability. Several recent disasters have highlighted the dangers of evacuating long-term care residents from the facilities. On the other hand, long-term care institutions were encouraged by the recent CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule to ensure there is enough effort put in place for the risk mitigation and preparedness activities. This paper discusses residential care facilities, such as assisted living and hospice care. Two examples of these facilities are VITAS Healthcare, which provides hospice care, and Genesis HealthCare, which provides assisted living and nursing services.
Genesis HealthCare is an organization that operates over 400 institutions located in 30 different states and provides services for both short-term and long-term care. Short-term care, skilled nursing, long-term rehabilitation, and post-acute services are the primary focuses of the numerous multidisciplinary departments that Genesis HealthCare maintains (Genesis HealthCare, 2022). Dialysis, orthopedic rehabilitation, ventilator care, and Alzheimer’s care are also areas of expertise for the company. To deliver the best possible care, physicians must maintain regular and effective lines of communication with their colleagues in the healthcare industry and their patients.
Improved results can be attributed to better physician-patient communication. In this approach, Genesis HealthCare explores several factors that lead to its accomplishments. The most important aspect of their goal, beliefs, vision, and values is to provide an extraordinary experience for the consumer, which is reflected in everything the organization focuses on. Secondly, the organization acknowledges that it would be impossible to run its operations without outstanding workers. There is a major emphasis on developing the skills and dedication of the workers. Finally, the organization is concerned with maintaining high ethical standards. Because of the numerous safeguards, medical practices that do not adhere to high ethical standards and prioritize patient care over profit are quickly closed
VITAS Healthcare is a leading hospice care provider in the United States. The VITAS Healthcare facility offers more than hospice programs in 15 states. The services provided by VITAS include medication, home medical equipment, and emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families (VITAS Healthcare, 2018). Working as a team is beneficial to physicians in the field. To ensure patient happiness and high-quality care, various providers and services must work together. The employment of pharmacy consultants, pharmacotherapy optimization, medication reconciliation, and the assessment of drug interactions can all lead to better health outcomes. VITAS’s expansion into new markets and new locations has resulted in greater economies of scale for the company’s operations. VITAS Hospice’s competitive edge has grown due to the company’s scalability. Due to VITAS Hospice’s extensive geographic coverage, the number of patients enrolled in the hospice centers has increased. Presently, VITAS is reporting an average daily census of over 17,700 patients across the country (VITAS Healthcare, 2018). Since VITAS Hospice is the nation’s leading hospice care provider, the company has a significant edge in market share and growth. VITAS also enjoys the benefit of a lower average cost per unit than its competitors; as a result, it gives them a better competition advantage. As a result of the extensive leadership structure established in its management profile, VITAS health care is better positioned to grow its sales. For instance, the Department of Market Development and Sales at VITAS Health Care can conduct sales promotion with relative simplicity and, as a result, attract a more significant number of clients, increasing the cash generated from sales and marketing. Patients at VITAS Hospice have access to both over-the-counter and prescription medications.
However, it has been found that pharmacists can play an important role in providing hospice care of the highest quality to patients. The incorporation of pharmacists into the VITAS Hospice team presents an opportunity for the organization to enhance the symptom management of terminally ill patients through the prudent administration of medication in the latter stages of life. In addition to this, pharmacists have key roles in the dispensing services, the clinical services, and the administrative services. Because of this, the direct inclusion of pharmacists into the multidisciplinary VITAS Hospice teams would enhance patient care. A wide range of professionals is employed by VITAS Hospice as well, including nurses, clergies, executives, pharmacists, and sales representatives. VITAS has maintained its operation because of its fair compensation policy. In the long run, the organization’s strong financial performance has allowed it to maintain its competitive position in the hospice market and attract specialists to help it implement its plans.
Chronically ill patients require long-term care as those who suffer from chronic impairments cannot carry out their everyday routines because their skills are permanently impaired. Millions of Americans need long-term care services because they cannot carry out basic daily functions like getting dressed, eating, or washing. Chronic disability is more common as people become older. A chronic ailment is more common in the elderly population (those aged 65 and older) than in the general population (aged under 65) (CDC, 2022). As a result, the current healthcare system faces unprecedented problems as the number of older people continues to rise. As long as major roadblocks obstruct the provision of high-quality care for the elderly, no progress will be made. The elderly are more likely to have issues in post-acute care due to mental, physical, or emotional limitations. As a result, various approaches are necessary while dealing with the elderly. The skilled nursing facility is a critical component of post-acute senior care in this manner. Post-acute care services provide a broad variety of options for patients and their families. The services aim to help hospitalized patients return to their daily routines as soon as possible. Genesis HealthCare serves as an essential post-acute care facility for patients. Long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation centers, and skilled nursing facilities are all part of Genesis HealthCare.
When a patient has a terminal condition, hospice care is an option that may help ease their suffering. A broad variety of services are available in this program to deal with the body’s physical problems. Hospice care also focuses on the patient’s overall well-being. Volunteers and medical professionals work together to offer this kind of care for the terminally ill. They provide spiritual, psychological, and moral assistance. Providing respect, comfort, and tranquility to terminally ill patients is the purpose of hospice treatment. End-of-life care is centered on the patient’s loved ones and support system. Patients and their families are actively engaged in the decision-making process.
People diagnosed with a terminal illness and are likely to survive less than six years are referred to hospice services. Patients with life-threatening conditions may, nonetheless, benefit from palliative care. The extremely sick patients may get medical care from their doctors for as long as it takes with the expectation that the patients will recover from their conditions. A palliative care program is also offered to these patients. The treatment patients get based on their specific set of symptoms. Regardless, more and more individuals are turning to hospice care near the end of their lives. There are several places where hospice care may be provided, including a hospital, an assisted-living facility, a home, and a nursing home.
Staffing and Human Resource Issues in Both Genesis HealthCare and VITAS Healthcare
Many long-term care facilities have well-documented staffing shortages. Pharmacists, dentists, therapists, medical experts, and certified nurses are just a few professionals engaged in long-term care in various healthcare industries, such as mental health care, nutrition, and nursing homes with human resources. Long-term care facilities employ a variety of specialists, including environmental services staff, social support workers, dieticians, activity specialists, nurses, nursing assistants, and doctors. There has been a rise in the need for long-term care services as the elderly population has grown in size. As a result, long-term care institutions encounter various personnel and human resources issues.
Human resources must also deal with the important challenge of maintaining enough federal and state personnel levels. Long-term care institutions are required to meet minimum staffing requirements for various occupations. Long-term care facilities need registered and licensed nurses for eight consecutive hours each day, while licensed or vocational nurses must be present 24 hours. Facilities must also conform to state and local employee numbers and federal requirements.
It is anticipated that there will be a rise in the number of individuals in need of long-term care services during the next several years. If present trends continue, individuals aged 65 and older by 2030, more than twice the current population (World, 2021). As a result, there will be greater demand for the services provided by nursing homes and direct care; thus, the long-term care industry will create millions of new jobs. These posts would be difficult to fill. There would be a lack of healthcare professionals at most institutions, as they are currently.
Employees at long-term care facilities face severe physical demands, poor pay, and few benefits. In this manner, long-term care facilities have a high staff turnover rate, which causes several challenges for the organization’s human resources. Employees confront several difficulties due to frequent departures, including the need for expensive new training, new interviews, new orientations, and more advertising.
Increasing numbers of people are looking for new experiences and possibilities, which has increased the diversity of the workforce. Long-term care institutions have shifted from a mostly white demographic to an increasingly ethnically diverse one. As a result, human resources find it difficult to educate patients and employees about the growing cultural sensitivity, ethnic distinctions, cultural variances, and language obstacles they face today.
Significant Trends in Long-Term and How to Overcome Them
There will be an increasing number of trends and present developments that will affect both facilities’ day-to-day operations as society continues to advance. To better prepare for rapid shifts in the market, certain facilities have been put in place to manage these changes. The high incidence of long-term care provider departures is one of the most pressing challenges confronting many institutions today. It is becoming more challenging to carry out the tasks of daily living as the population ages. People are increasingly turning to long-term care as a result of this. Due to the rapid population expansion, long-term care institutions (LTCs) will be able to adjust more quickly. An increase in the number of people aged 65 and older means that these services will become less affordable for seniors, forcing them to rely on family members and programs like Medicaid and Medicare. The government is seen as a safety net by many older persons who think they must put their faith in the government to be protected. In addition, it has been shown that many individuals do not anticipate living in institutions but rather seek care from their homes. As a result, demand for home health care services will rise, while demand for nursing homes will fall.
Regardless of the current tendencies, there are solutions to overcome them. In the case of Genesis HealthCare, staff turnover is already high, yet the quality of care provided to those in need remains above average. In addition to handling the increase, the facility’s management and employees have a proven track record of success. Maintaining a fully staffed facility, up-to-date technology, and well-trained employees are the most effective strategies for keeping up with current demands. In light of the aging population’s rapid expansion, the personnel must be prepared to manage anything that comes their way.
On the other hand, VITAS Hospice employs professional nurses who visit patients in their homes and take care of them and ensure that the patient is comfortable. The shortage of nurses will strain the health care system because of the aging population. This means that compensation and travel expenses must be covered, and management’s responsibility to aid the nurses rather than putting extra burdens on them. The staff has to demonstrate that their lives, sanity, and well-being are being cared for while still valuing the patient’s needs.
Forms of Cooperation and Integration
- Management: Leadership in the administration of both sites will be required after examining both facilities. VITAS will need to find a management position since it has a significant impact on how the facility operates and how it affects patients and employees.
- Financing: To deal with the unexpected increase in the senior population, both institutions might profit from recruiting additional skilled personnel, including nurses, doctors, and management. Keeping up with the times necessitates using the latest technology, which must be constantly updated. If an organization’s budget does not match its needs, managers must guarantee that rationing is implemented so that the money may be stretched to fulfill the needs of patients.
- Quality Issues: It is the responsibility of every employee to follow all applicable state and facility regulations. Operations and Medicaid and Medicare benefits must be maintained at both institutions. All employees must undertake drug and background checks to ensure that the firm’s demands, the state, and the patients are satisfied.
Flynn, M. (2019). Genesis Targets Increased Real Estate Ownership as CEO Touts Strength of its ACO. Skilled Nursing News; Skilled Nursing News.
Genesis HealthCare. (2022). About Us | Genesis Healthcare System. Genesishcs.org.
VITAS Healthcare. (2018). VITAS Healthcare. Vitas.com.
WHO. (2021). Ageing and health. Who.int; World Health Organization: WHO. Web.