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7000 Striking Nurses - Could Your Nursing Home Survive?

7000 Striking Nurses - Could Your Nursing Home Survive?

Recently there were over 7000 nurses that went on strike in New York. The striking of nurses will significantly impact the care the patients receive. At this time, it is unclear if the hospitals will face any fines or citations for this. As an administrator or owner-operator, you should be concerned that this could happen at your facility. SNF faces many challenges. One of the top challenges is staffing. As you may know, CMS has an F tag related to sufficient staffing. The F tag is F 725. F 725 states that:


"The facility must have sufficient nursing staff with the appropriate competencies and skills sets to provide nursing and related services to assure resident safety and attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident, as determined by resident assessments and individual plans of care and considering the number, acuity, and diagnoses of the facility's resident population in accordance with the facility assessment."


You may be thinking, what is sufficient staffing mean? The federal regulations do not define minimum nursing staffing ratios, but many states define adequate staffing in their regulations. What the federal guideline does say is that:


"A facility may meet a state's minimum staffing ratio requirement and still need more staff to meet the needs of its residents. Additionally, the facility is required to provide licensed nursing staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."


Complaint Survey

When the state arrives at your facility for your complaint survey, they will check for key non-compliance elements.


'They are checking to see if the facility failed to do any one of the following:

  • Ensure there are a sufficient number of skilled licensed nurses, nurse aides, and other nursing personnel to provide care and respond to each resident's basic needs and individual needs as required by the resident's diagnoses, medical condition, or plan of care; or
  • Ensure licensed nurse coverage 24 hours a day, except when waived; or
  • Ensure a licensed nurse is designated to serve as a charge nurse on each tour of duty, except when waived."

SMK Medical Top Five Tips To Ensure Patient Care During A Strike

No administrator or owner-operator wants to deal with their nursing staff going on strike. Should you ever have to, SMK Medical has compiled five tips to help you before, during, and after the strike.

If your nurses go on strike, it can be challenging for your facility and your patients. Here are some steps to help you handle patient care during a nursing strike:

  1. Plan ahead: As soon as the strike is announced, start planning on how your facility will provide patient care during the strike. This may involve hiring temporary replacement nurses or reassigning nursing duties to other staff members.
  2. Hold special resident council meetings to communicate with patients & families: Let patients & families know that a nursing strike is happening. Focus on the steps you are taking to ensure their care. This can help to alleviate any concerns they may have.
  3. Prioritize patient care: Make sure that the needs of the most critically ill patients are met first. This may involve transferring some patients to other hospitals if necessary. If you have to transfer residents, move your residents to the most like setting.
  4. Work with the striking nurses: Try to negotiate with the striking nurses and come to an agreement that will allow them to return to work. This helps minimize the impact the strike has on patient care.
  5. Follow all relevant laws and regulations: It's essential to ensure that all patient care is provided in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, even during a nursing strike. This may involve seeking temporary licenses for replacement nurses or ensuring that all staff members are appropriately crossed trained to perform other assigned duties.

Conclusion

In conclusion, facing a strike in a long-term care facility will majorly impact the resident and their outcomes. Violations of CMS F Tag 725 can result in citations and fines for nursing homes. The S/S can range from an F to IJ or even an IL. Nursing homes must comply with this regulation to provide high-quality care to their residents.


References

F725 

Nursing Home Staffing Standards by State 

7000 nurses on strike  

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