Staffing is Key Driver for Assisted Living Satisfaction, Study Shows

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

Resident satisfaction among assisted living consumers is a direct result of staffing, including employee happiness, a post-acute care report released Monday finds. While ratings are improving relative to 2010 data, staffing still needs work, according to the report, which surveys post-acute care providers including assisted living, independent living, skilled nursing, home care and hospice.

Based on a nationwide survey of roughly 1,500 assisted living communities spanning customers and employees in 2012, the National Research Report finds that staffing is still paramount among all other resident satisfaction factors. Communities are receiving higher marks, but there is still work providers can do in terms of meeting staff needs, according to the findings.Trended Ratings

“Staffing assisted living communities appropriately to meet resident needs and expectations in these daily support activities can be a challenge and has been the subject of scrutiny,” the report’s authors write. “When we evaluate the perspectives of assisted living customers—residents and their families—we find most have a positive outlook on the ability of their communities to provide these services. Further, the profession has appeared  to make progress in better meeting these expectations in recent years.”

Among the data collected by the National Research Corporation, the report indicates that 91% of residents and 90% of families assess their assisted living’s sufficiency of healthcare needs as either “good” or “excellent.”

Largely, the results are in direct response to staff satisfaction, the authors find, an area which actually has decreased in performance in the last several years.

“…we show a data relationship between staff satisfaction and customer satisfaction, demonstrating that communities with higher staff satisfaction do achieve higher family and resident satisfaction,” the report states.

Making sure employees are satisfied comes down to three main factors, the report finds: care (concern) of management, attentiveness of management and assistance with job stress.

“These three items have been the most tightly tied to recommendation and overall satisfaction for as long as the [data gathering tools] have been used in assisted living communities. Nationally, performance across these three measures is in the bottom half of scores on individual items. Perhaps more importantly, the profession’s success in these areas has actually decreased over the last three years.”

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