It is probably no surprise to you that your post-acute care (PAC) organization’s biggest asset is its employees. Administrators are in a position to recognize their staff’s value and foster a work environment that attracts employees and keeps them coming back. Any organization’s sustainable growth and success depends in part on investing in its employees.
One way to invest in them is to provide ongoing, high-quality development through training that reaches beyond practical needs, which usually includes onboarding newly hired staff and complying with industry, state, and national standards. According to a 2023 LinkedIn Learning survey, 93% of organizations are concerned about employee retention, and the number 1 way they are working to improve it is by providing learning opportunities.
On-the-job training is particularly effective in developing skills for proficiency that are unique to the organization. It can be very helpful for tasks that are not particularly challenging to learn and master, such as procedures for using organizational equipment and facilities. Other advantages include:
- Reduced employee downtime
- Enhanced employee perception of being valued due to the personal attention given
- Heightened employee confidence
- Improved capability to provide backup or vacation relief due to cross-training
Reaping the benefits of employee training in healthcare
Having engaged, dedicated employees who believe that you are committed to their growth and development is critical to the success of your organization. In fact, employers who engage in employee development usually experience an increase in sales and profits.
Organizational success is also dependent on retaining your employees. Employee turnover is a billion-dollar problem in the United States, and replacing employees usually costs more than retaining them. In addition to staff retention, ongoing staff training has the following potential benefits:
- Improve staff performance
- Enhance quality.
- Boost efficiency.
- Create problem-solvers.
- Support employee engagement
- Increase emotional investment and interest.
- Improve communication.
- Clarify role and responsibility expectations
- Empower staff.
- Establish accountability.
- Foster adaptation to change.
- Create opportunities for staff development and growth
- Exercise critical thinking skills.
- Encourage knowledge sharing.
- Track skill level and growth
- Verify competency.
- Validate compliance.
- Identify and address employee weakness
- Reduce mistakes.
- Encourage strategies for success.
- Have a positive impact on those who receive your organization’s services
- Mitigate the risk of being outdated.
- Improve customer service.
- Support positive relationships between staff and those they serve.
PAC training directly impacts the lives of the patient
PAC services provide an extra level of assistance for people discharged from acute hospitals. If they experience a complication, getting them the help they need before the problem worsens is easier. They can also avoid hospital readmission, which helps them heal faster. Returning to their normal life on schedule — or more quickly than they expected — is best for helping them settle back into their day-to-day functions.
Except for long-term care hospitals, these facilities are often more home-like than acute ones, aiding patient recovery and comfort. Patient recovery can improve if a person feels they’re receiving adequate care even after leaving the hospital — which some people in the industry refer to as “service after the sale.”
Enhancing competency with PAC training
Certain topics are particularly important in the PAC industry, especially for front-line care workers. Those topics are related to frequent and significant changes in reimbursement, the rising complexity of care required for higher acuity levels, and partnership strategies with acute care providers.
For PAC organizations, the most important results of employee training include improving standards for clinical practice, clinical competency, and program or service outcomes. Your staff should be given opportunities to receive training about how to:
- Respond effectively to tightened budgets and margins.
- Prepare for individuals who need a higher level of care and skill.
- Navigate increased demand for accountability, quality, and compliance.
Some of these training opportunities relate directly to care and may encompass:
- Activities of daily living
- Changes related to aging
- Special needs
- Individual rights
- Ethical issues
- Effective communication
- Managing challenging family situations
- Plans for care
- Special procedures
- Infection control
- Medication administration and assistance
- Recreational activities
- Food service
- Cultural awareness
- End-of-life issues (including advance directives and palliative and hospice care)
- Safety preparedness
- First aid and CPR
- Incident reporting
- Abuse and neglect
- Environment safety
- Fire safety
- Emergency preparedness
As an administrator, you will be expected to ensure that training is provided to your employees. It should be planned and developed with the specifics of the work tasks and site in mind. Your organization should provide at least some guidance as you select topics for employee training.
You will need to assess employees’ knowledge of security, safety, and health issues. If you suspect that any of your employees are unsure about how to perform their required duties, then timely, thorough, and meaningful training should be implemented to prevent any harmful results from occurring.
Investing in employees, recognizing they are assets
Effective administrators ensure that their employees are given consistent, continual education through training and opportunities for growth and development. The impact can be significant by extending employee longevity within the organization and improving sales and profits. Effective training can also reduce employee downtime, enhance employees’ perceptions of their value to the organization, heighten nurse leadership, and provide cross-training that allows back-up or vacation relief that can reduce stress.
Choose your training wisely so that your employees stay compliant and increase competency and confidence. Engaged and knowledgeable employees are more likely to provide better care and stay with your organization longer. You can start your organization’s upward spiral by investing in your employees’ education and future.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated with new content.
Is Your Training Smart About Learning?
Organizations spend more than $140 billion on training and development worldwide, but almost half of employees say it isn’t helping. Download this research brief to learn how brain science combined with personalized learning can help post-acute care organizations improve performance.Download the Research Brief →