This is part 4 of a series of 9 partnerships every assisted living community should have that was first presented at the Marcus Evans Long Term Care Summit In Florida. See the side bar for the complete list of partnerships in the series.

It is essential that you find skilled facilities that will partner with you and implement the systems that foster longevity and then send your residents back to you. In exchange, you’ll send those facilities your residents when they need rehab.

Six Things

Here are the 6 things you need to look for to identify the right skilled nursing partner or that your must require them to do to partner with you:

  1. To find the right partner look for a skilled facility that has a low average length of stay, no more than 35 days. The reason this is so important is, if your resident stays in the skilled facility more than 60 days, families will move them out of your assisted living community to save the monthly fee for assisted living.

An even more important reason is that residents who stay in skilled nursing more than 60 days have a 50% chance of not ever returning home or to assisted living.

9 Partnerships
1 – Therapy / Home Health
2 – Physician Group
3 – Skilled Nursing Facilities
4 – Pharmacy
5 – Home Care Companies
6 – A Real Estate Company
7 – DME & Ambulance Companies
8 – Hospice
9 – A Coach
    1. You want a facility where the residents have the opportunity to get therapy seven days per week and where therapists are on site, seeing just as many patients on the weekends as during the week. Studies show that it takes 5 days of rehab to recover for everyday someone is bed bound. If your residents go to a skilled facility, sit in the bed, and don’t get weekend rehab it will set them back in returning to the ALF.
    1. You need to partner with a skilled facility where there is a medical practitioner in their building every day, or at least five days a week. You want to make sure that your residents have the opportunity to see a physician any day that they are sick. Per patient per month visits should average 12 in a partner facility.

    At the hospital your residents were being seen every day because the hospital understands patients who require hospitalization have conditions that can change on a daily basis. Well, the truth is the same goes in the skilled facility.

    1. You want to make sure that the skilled facility is admitting 24/7. You don’t want your assisted living residents lingering in the hospital all weekend, or even overnight because your partner facility will not admit after 4:00 p.m. or on the weekends.

    This is important because in the hospital chances are your resident won’t get out of bed the whole weekend and it will significantly delay their recovery and, ultimately, their return to your community.

    1. You want to make sure your skilled facility partner is staffed primarily with RNs who work 12-hour shifts because you want your partner to have nurses who provide continuity of care and can make judgment calls on a daily basis. Additionally, studies have shown that people get better care with a lower number of staff changes per day.
    1. You want a skilled facility partner that is very progressive in medication administration. You must make sure that your residents get their medications at exactly the time they require them. The very best way for this to happen is to have an automatic medication machine in your community backed up by a nearby pharmacy.

    Automated Medication Dispensing Machines

    One of the best ways to reduce medication errors is to use an automatic medication dispensing machine. Talyst is the brand name for the type of automated dispensing machines we use.

    These machines hold 250 different medications, are located on-site in skilled facilities, and can reduce the time it takes for the facility to get all the drugs your patients require.

    Additionally, they have an extremely small rate of error. They have the ability to dispense by individual, hall or entire facility in a matter of minutes. So staff, nurses and med techs save time; they spend less time giving medications, so they have more time to provide better patient care. In our SNFs, we reduced med pass time from 2 hours to 35 minutes and also reduced drug costs by 20%. This will have a positive impact on your resident’s longevity and financial well-being.

    Do you have any any partnerships with Skilled Nursing Facilities? How do they work?

    Scott Middleton

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