Employee satisfaction is often touted as an essential part of retaining your staff – something that no doubt resonates for nursing directors in assisted living and memory care communities. Turnover rates in long-term care are notoriously high and therefore a problematic drain on finances in many communities.

But some communities are still reluctant to invest in nursing retention programs because of their upfront costs.

A recent study should help budget hawks overcome that reluctance. Researchers compared nursing home employees’ answers to questionnaires with facility-specific data on resident outcomes over a four-year period. Their findings were significant: a one-point increase in job satisfaction is linked to…

  • A 17.4 percent increase in satisfaction among both residents and families.
  • A 19 percent decrease in negative health outcomes, including falls, weight loss, and pressure ulcers.

In other words, relatively small gains in employee satisfaction in your community can increase the likelihood that residents stay longer and improve the health outcomes of those residents, both of which can have a positive impact on your revenue.

How an EHR Can Boost Employee Satisfaction

We’ve written in the past about how adopting an EHR system in your community can improve nursing retention and help attract and retain CNAs in the millennial cohort specifically. Here, we’ll look a little more broadly at the link between having an EHR system in your community and making your employees happier.

First, a few highlights from surveys we’ve done of Caremerge users. Communities that adopt our software have reported…

  • Increased staff productivity (29 percent of users).
  • Enablement of successful regulatory compliance (28 percent of users).
  • Improved employee job satisfaction (15 percent of users).
  • Increased staff retention (4 percent of users).

In other words, transitioning to electronic health records lets your staff do their jobs better and more efficiently. These contribute to job satisfaction, which is likely why EHR adopters also see that metric improve.

And because we know that higher job satisfaction leads to happier residents, more satisfied resident families, and fewer negative health outcomes, it’s easy to see how an EHR can offer cascading benefits beyond its ability to improve the day-to-day functioning of your community.

Those are powerful arguments for adopting an EHR, but there are even more.

Research shows that feeling that your work is meaningful or that you are “called” to do it greatly increases job satisfaction. CNAs and other staff may find their work more meaningful if you educate them about the significant impact an EHR can have on the wider community – and even the world.
For example:

  • Data from an EHR (inputted by CNAs) can guide high-level decisions about assisted living communities. Because EHRs capture data digitally, they let community leaders easily sort and visualize what’s happening in the community. This makes it easier for them to take actions that benefit residents and staff alike.
  • The FDA is reportedly seeking funding to establish a system that would let it leverage EHR data to better evaluate medical products and therefore improve health outcomes for people around the country. This is exciting: it’s something that was not possible before widespread use of EHRs and it means the daily work CNAs do has the potential to have a substantial impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Bringing it All Together: Boosting Staff Satisfaction in Your Community

Obviously, we’re big proponents of adopting an EHR, both for the impact it can have on employee satisfaction and for the other benefits it can offer assisted living and memory care communities. But EHR adoption alone will not guarantee happier CNAs.

First, it’s crucial to view technology as one contributing factor to employee satisfaction and therefore retention. By highlighting its potential benefits, we don’t mean to imply that it’s a silver bullet for transforming disengaged staff to highly engaged and satisfied employees.

But second, it’s just as important to recognize that how you introduce an EHR system will greatly impact the effect it has on your employees’ outlook. If you don’t include your staff in the implementation process from the beginning, you could risk alienating disengaged employees even further. On the flip side, by making staff a part of the decision and implementation process – and providing plenty of training – you can go a long way toward boosting satisfaction and therefore outcomes across the board.

Curious about how an EHR might make your nursing staff happier? Get in touch with us. We’d love to talk through your situation.

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