Lofty But Doable: Making More of a Good Thing for a Great Workforce

April 21, 2022


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“It sounds lofty, but it’s doable if we start one step at a time,” says JoAnne Reifsnyder, PhD, MSN, MBA, FAAN, of a new AMDA effort aimed at developing action plans post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) facilities can use to grow and strengthen their workforce. Dr. Reifsnyder, professor of health services leadership and management at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and former executive vice president and chief nursing officer for Genesis HealthCare, will facilitate the discussion at the premiere virtual roundtable for a new program, More of a Good Thing: A Framework to Grow and Strengthen the PALTC Careforce. The webinar, the first in a series of six, will take place on April 28 from 4:00-4:45 PM ET.

More of a Good Thing expands on the already successful, evidence-based 4Ms Framework of the Age-Friendly Health System: what Matters, Medications, Mentation, and Mobility. Guided by the themes of the 4Ms, these focused, collaborative discussions will help develop an action plan with practical steps PALTC facilities can take immediately to build trust and engagement with current staff as well as recruit and retain new team members.

“These roundtables present a unique opportunity to work together to codesign some actions we can collectively take to positively address workforce issues while adopting the 4Ms to work with residents,” explains Dr. Reifsnyder. The virtual programs will be structured as two-way conversations with short presentations to trigger ideas for discussion, followed by breakouts to identify specific actions. “Participants can be the architects of something that will be disseminated and used widely,” she says.

The conversations will address a wide range of issues. For instance, Dr. Reifsnyder says, “What we’ve always known but haven’t necessarily practiced is that our focus needs to be on providing positive, healthy conditions to keep the people we have as well as attract new workers. This is our opportunity.”

Dr. Reifsnyder observes, “One of the 4Ms is what matters, and we ask residents what is most important to them; but we also need to apply this to our workforce as well. We need to ask our nurses, CNAs, and other team members what matters to them and really listen and respond.” She adds, “This is part of a culture change, a new way of thinking about our workforce and engaging people to feel they are their best selves.”

While some of the conversations will address ongoing issues, the focus will be on innovation, fresh approaches, and new opportunities for partnerships. Dr. Reifsnyder says, “We don’t want to replicate what is already being done out there, but we want to collaborate and build on it.”

There are likely to be some naysayers and different opinions, she admits; but, she says, “If someone, for example, says, ‘I’ve tried that, and it didn’t work,’ I would like to know about what they did, the work environment, how they welcome and onboard new employees, etc.” She stresses, “Effective change involves more than action to be taken. There is an architecture around it that is necessary to make it work.”

Even if you’re not used to being involved in such discussions or (mistakenly) think that you don’t have much of value to contribute, Dr. Reifsnyder suggests that it’s still important to participate in these roundtables. She notes, “Everyone has something to contribute. We are looking to crowdsource the collective intelligence of people on the frontlines, and we need you to codesign this. Even if you think you’d rather listen than talk, please join us; and know that we want your input when you are ready.”

Go here to register.