3 Key Operational Benefits Gained From Staffing Technology

Millions of dollars in missed occupancy revenue have shined a new spotlight on staffing as senior housing owners and operators plan for the year ahead. But while they grapple with rising attrition rates and turnover, the accelerated burnout of understaffed care teams poses a threat to quality of care and the bottom line into the foreseeable future.

There is, however, a solution.

By leveraging user-friendly, rideshare-esque apps to build a more balanced workforce and plan for staffing needs, senior living organizations will see a direct effect on three key operational areas:

  1. Census
  2. Revenue
  3. Labor costs

In order to yield the greatest results in those areas, owners and operators must first attain the optimal staffing mix within their organizations.

Using technology to build a balanced workforce

For most senior living providers, the optimal staffing mix is between 80% and 90% full-time employees, using a floating staff under the operator’s control for the remaining 10-20%. Yet many operators are failing to achieve that balance due to the continuous staffing fluctuations in today’s senior living landscape.

Providers are turning to technology to unlock this optimal mix, often following the consumer rideshare model. Similar to how rideshare companies connect riders with nearby drivers, senior living communities can now use apps to connect with their area’s floating labor pool.

“By using such technology, you know with a high degree of probability that a nurse is going to show up and not call off,” says Matt McGinty, Chief Revenue Officer of Quincy, Massachusetts-based workforce technology company IntelyCare. “Imagine that that’s in your hands. Your scheduler doesn’t have to be on the phone, your admin doesn’t have to be on the phone.”

With this rideshare-style technology, senior living communities can connect with credentialed nurses and other workers while also creating floating worker pools tailored to their standards and specifications.

Through IntelyCare, operators can specify what training materials workers need to complete prior to a shift, block-book particular workers over a period of time — and even transition float pool workers to full-time employees.

How the optimal staffing mix helps: 3 key benefits

The optimal staffing mix unlocks significant benefits for senior living operators. Here are three.

  • Census. Communities can only accept residents if they can safely care for them. Senior living providers that proactively create a float pool can maintain and drive census, without the disruptions that occur for communities that turn to agency labor as a last resort when in dire straits.
  • Revenue. Post-acute care facilities lost between $2,330 and $5,882 a day in 2022 due to unfilled beds linked to understaffing challenges, according to Oliver Wyman data. With staff in place to support a higher census, revenue naturally increases. This leads to a less volatile staffing cycle in which a steadier staffing mix drives healthier finances that support wages and benefits to maintain strong staffing. 
  • Labor costs. Faced with the sticker shock of hourly agency rates, senior living operators understandably strive to achieve a 100% full-time labor force. But Oliver Wyman data shows that finding a full-time post-acute care employee can cost a facility up to 33% more on an hourly basis than finding an equivalent contingent worker. This is due to “all-in” costs for FTEs, including benefits, retention bonuses and continuing education.

The optimal staffing mix takes advantage of contingent labor cost efficiencies to drive census and revenue, while also taking pressure off full-time staff. This should further improve retention and cut costs related to recruitment and onboarding.

The IntelyCare advantage

A platform like IntelyCare provides pricing transparency and control to providers, so that senior living can be confident that wage rates are fair. These distinctions separate IntelyCare from staffing agencies, McGinty explains.

“We consider ourselves a technology company, we don’t consider ourselves an agency,” he says.

The staffing crisis in post-acute care is real, but the technology exists to put operators back in control of their workforces. As the senior living sector remains under incredible pressure, now is the time for providers to seek a solution that enables greater financial stability without compromising quality of care. 

This article is sponsored by IntelyCare, which is not a staffing agency, but a workforce management partner that can help providers attract and retain more internal staff. To learn how you can use technology to manage your staff while creating a flexible labor float pool and ultimately eliminate the use of agency and travel nursing, visit intelycare.com.

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