Updated: Aug 18
Action speaks louder than words. Listening is just the first step. The senior living communities must take action on feedback to improve the quality of care for their residents.
Senior living communities are getting into the rhythm of conducting annual resident satisfaction surveys, and soon to adopt pulse surveys to get consistent real-time feedback from residents. Getting feedback is the first step in helping the facility management team and its staff members to be aware of issues in the care homes, taking action on feedback is what actually helps to improve the quality of care for residents. Taking action on feedback ensures residents feel heard and allows senior home communities to build trust with the residents and the residents' family members. So why is it so challenging to turn feedback into action?
It takes a lot of time and resources to consolidate and analyze feedback. The senior care industry has been lagging in embracing technology. Today, some care homes are still using manual paper forms or free survey tools to administer feedback surveys. By the time these care homes are done consolidating and analyzing the results, the data is already out of date, and they have lost the momentum to turn data into action.
Decision paralysis. Overthinking and overanalyzing kill productivity. It slows decision making and creates inefficiencies for those trying to do the right thing for the residents and the care homes. It frustrates residents when they don't see actions from their feedback and demotivates staff members from feeling they can provide the best possible care to them.
Overcommit and under deliver. Oftentimes, we overcommit because there's a lot to be done, or we don't want to disappoint those we are accountable for. Senior care communities can identify low hanging fruits/quick wins that are easy to deliver and guaranteed to succeed. Quick wins establish cadence to your action plan, fuel momentum, and get everyone motivated to work as a team to accomplish a common goal - to improve the quality of care for residents.
Creating an Effective Action Plan
An action plan outlines a set of tasks when accomplished, will lead to desired outcomes. To create an action plan based on the results of a satisfaction survey, one would need to outline the steps required to respond to the survey results. According to BPIR and their article on action planning, action plans are important because they "help people know what needs to be done to complete a task, project, initiative or strategy" (1). They set goals and directions to help improve the care home directly and efficiently.
What Should Be Included in an Action Plan
An action plan should begin by stating exactly where the company stands at the time of writing the report and the specific change the action plan will bring. The plan should highlight the steps that will be taken throughout the process to reach this change and the milestones for progress. It's important to identify owners for the tasks to see tasks through to completion. Meetings should be set up to regularly review these tasks so staff members can discuss progress or escalate challenges preventing them from accomplishing their tasks.
Taking action on resident satisfaction surveys can improve the overall experience of the home and increase resident satisfaction, making residents more likely to recommend the facility to their peers. These action plans can be published online to show that residents' opinions are taken into account and that the facility actively tries to improve the quality of care based on their feedback, improving the home's overall reputation.
Pulse Surveys and Action Plans
Pulse surveys are short, sporadic satisfaction surveys that occur on a frequent basis. These surveys help to provide more consistent and real-time feedback data than annual satisfaction surveys. Pulse surveys help with showing the effectiveness of an action plan due to their frequent nature as the staff members can compare results and see if the desired change is occurring. When comparing results, you can then see if your action plan is working or if modifications need to be made.
How Can We Help?
Retainify offers a unified solution that allows senior living facilities to customize and automate their employee and resident satisfaction surveys to measure what matters to them. Our cost-effective solution can be deployed in less than 24 hours with minimal effort, and customers can access feedback from their staff and residents in real-time.
Find out more at https://www.retainify.com/seniorliving
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