Headlines about nursing home lawsuits for negligence are on the rise across America. Concerns continue to grow about the lack of adequate care nursing home residents receive due to short staffing and other safety concerns. The human and financial impact is huge and complex. A 2013 audit that found Medicare paid about $14 billion for avoidable transfers to hospitals because of gaps in care.
Facilities in Illinois have one of the lowest mandated staffing requirements in the country, yet most have staffing levels below the national average. The State requires that residents receive 2.5 hours of direct patient care each day. According to the Chicago Tribune, 1 in 4 facilities around Chicago are unable to meet this requirement.
Nursing Home Care Act In Illinois
Nursing homes, in Illinois, face staffing challenges. These challenges make it difficult to provide the 2.5 hours of direct patient care required. 78% of facilities around Chicago are staffed below the national average. In 2019, The State of Illinois passed the amended Nursing Home Care Act (SB 1510), which mandates that all residents in nursing homes are provided with either skilled or intermediate care. The requirements mandate facilities to meet the minimum staffing requirement of 2.5 hours of direct patient care per resident. Fines for violating the Nursing Home Care Act will be in effect on October 1, 2020. There’s a requirement for facilities to display a notice on the premises, informing clients of staffing violations each quarter.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that 10,000 people a day have crossed the threshold of age 65. If nursing homes are unable to safely and adequately staff, this leads to:
- Medication errors
There is a need for hiring more healthcare workers, especially Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).
Addressing CNA shortages
Staffing ratios impact the quality of care residents receive. CNAs play an essential role in the nursing home and other post-acute and long-term care facilities. CNAs provide care to residents and assist them with activities of daily living:
- Bed mobility
They play a significant role in maintaining good skin integrity. A CNA is often the first person to advocate for resident safety and care. A well trained and skilled CNA is often the first to notice changes in condition such as:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Behavior changes
- Signs of pain
- Signs of abuse or neglect
Certified nursing assistants often form a close bond with the residents they care for. This is why facilities must be staffed adequately, with qualified and skilled CNAs.
To combat the shortage, Illinois needs more CNA training schools to provide professionally trained caregivers. CNA training programs and schools provide students with the knowledge nursing assistants need to provide basic care for their patients. Certified nursing assistants are on the frontlines of patient care, and qualified, experienced, and skilled instructors must teach students about safe and efficient patient care. A quality program ensures its students get a well-rounded education in all fundamental aspects of caring for patients. Although there is demand, many prospective CNA school owners are unable to venture into the field because of a lack of direction and support. To avoid this, it’s essential to:
- Consult trained professionals who can help create a result-driven template for setting up a CNA training school to simplify the process.
- Find a support system of coaches and mentors who will assist in setting up successful training schools that meet state and federal regulations.
With the growing and aging population, CNA training schools and programs are in demand.
If you are ready to start a CNA training program or want to add a program to your facility, we can help you start today! Visit us online to learn more about how we can help you or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by Henrietta Osei