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Onward & Upward: Senior Care Leaders Tackle Workforce Challenges At The 69th Annual AHCA/NCAL Event

senior care challenges Myself and several of my colleagues had a wonderful time mingling, learning and brainstorming ideas for overcoming senior care workforce challenges at this year’s AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in San Diego. Here’s a recap of the major themes and highlights I observed during the three-day event.

Assisted Living Providers Focused On Resident & Employee Connections

During Sunday’s NCAL Day, several speakers and discussions centered on the importance of employees getting to know the residents they serve on a personal level, teamwork, and of course, employee engagement. Keynote speaker Robyn Benincasa – whose notable titles include World Champion Adventure Racer, 2014 CNN Hero, Full Time Firefighter, New York Times Bestselling Author – focused on the importance of working as a team to overcome adversity.

As senior care continues to grapple with challenges around staffing, compliance and occupancy, it will become more important than ever to build strong leadership teams that foster outstanding employees, who work together like a well-oiled machine. 

SNF Providers Face Toughest Time Yet  

The AHCA portion of the event kicked off Monday morning with AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson delivering the keynote speech. He opened his speech by stating that this is the profession’s toughest time yet.

He continued with, "I’m always the calming voice that says, ‘Hey, we say that every year. This probably isn’t the toughest year. We’re going to be fine.’ ... But this year, I can’t really be the calming voice. I do think we’re going to be just fine, but I really do think this is our toughest time. Ever."

Parkinson says that to thrive in this ever-changing, highly regulated landscape, providers must do these three things: prepare for the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), continue to improve quality in our buildings and remain politically active.

The new PDPM was a hot topic throughout the event, with the session covering the new reimbursement model heavily attended by providers eager to learn its potential impact on their business. AHCA said they will be offering additional training sessions over the next year through state affiliates and online presentations to help providers to get ready for the October 2019 implementation.

OnShift & Medline Announce Partnership To Tackle Senior Care Challenges

A space where senior care leaders come together to address critical workforce problems was the perfect setting to formally announce our partnership with Medline, a leading global manufacturer and distributor serving the healthcare industry with medical supplies and clinical solutions.

All of us at OnShift are thrilled to work with the Medline team to offer customers an unparalleled solution to improve clinical, financial and operational outcomes. Our two teams will work together to help senior care providers solve workforce challenges head on, many of which were discussed during the tradeshow.

You can read the full newsroom article here and stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new collaboration.

Recruitment & Retention Challenges Are Still Front & Center For Both Industries

This year, OnShift took to the trade show floor with a fun spin on employee engagement. We “celebrated a happy workforce” with confetti – and lots of it. The team used a hi-five confetti machine [see video below!] to get attendees excited about delivering an awesome employee experience to boost satisfaction and retention.

We had many insightful conversations about the workforce – mainly around recruitment and retention challenges. It’s safe to say we all agree that improving the day-to-day lives of employees and supporting them in any way we can, are the keys to success.

Attendees also seemed really excited about the newest addition to the OnShift suite, OnShift Text2Hire which leverages artificial intelligence to automatically engage and communicate with job candidates to schedule interviews. Our customers have experienced two times the hires in half the time – which created a buzz throughout the conference.


 As always, the OnShift gang had a blast, learned a ton, made some new connections and rekindled some old ones. And the fact that the annual event is nearing its 70th year speaks volumes to both its value and the commitment of the folks in this profession. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the OnShift booth, shared their perspectives and is working to drive long-term care and senior living forward. I will see you all next year in Orlando.

Have yet to check out our text-based recruitment solution? Request a demo of OnShift Text2Hire today to see what everyone's buzzing about.


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