The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services five-star rating system that grades skilled nursing facilities in order to help consumers select where to house their elderly loved ones. This five-star system is similar to the five-starFive-Star Quality Rating System systems that grade restaurants, retail stores and hotels. However, instead of permitting just one rating for the entire community, nursing home ratings are broken down into categories that include: health inspections, staffing and quality measures.

  • Health inspection: The inspection information for the past three years is taken into consideration when grading this category. This information contains both complaints and survey results.
  • Staffing: This category is rated on how many care hours each resident is provided. Since there are a variety of needs that each resident requires, care hours are determined by these needs.
  • Quality Measure: This category’s rating looks into how well the residents are taken care of, which includes their emotional, physical and medical needs.

Obviously every community wants to earn five-stars, but apparently reaching a perfect score isn’t such an easy feat. In December 2011, the CMS rated 760 communities and less than half of them received “five-stars” — 27 were rated “one-star”, 54 received “two-stars”, 126 earned “three-stars”, 298 garnered “four-stars” and 255 ended up with the coveted “five-stars” rating. Long term care communities with a five-star rating are viewed as the ones that provide the overall highest quality of care for their residents. This system was originally intended for consumers to decide which community was best for their loved ones; however, when it comes to the Staffing category, HR professionals should be utilizing this information to improve their hiring strategies.  

Since the rating is heavily based on an organization’s staff to resident ratio, skilled nursing facilities should strive to focus on improving their hiring process for speed and efficiency to decrease their time-to-fill. In addition, hiring the right employees can greatly improve the quality of care provided in a skilled nursing facility, while hiring the wrong employees can negatively impact the quality of care. The five-star system is a great way to keep an inventory of how well staffed your facility is and how well or poorly your employees are performing.

With behavioral assessment software, skilled nursing facilities will be able to identify top candidates who are likely to provide high quality care for their residents more quickly. According to Silverado, prior to using behavioral assessment software, their recruiters would spend 30-45 minutes on every interview. Since implementation, they’re now able to reallocate that time and conduct more strategic interviews based on the custom interview guide generated from the behavioral assessment. Behavioral interviewing allows for a more scientific approach to hiring by assessing a candidate’s inherent behavioral competencies such as compassion, adaptability and customer focus. The pre-hire behavioral assessment survey that a candidate takes generates a custom interview guide for hiring managers and recruiters to use to further probe into a candidate’s past professional experience. This information could be useful when it comes to reducing compassion fatigue and turnover.

When skilled nursing facilities utilize talent management technology, such as behavioral assessment software, they’re able to create a faster and efficient process for hiring employees who are more likely to deliver high quality care. This is a step in the right direction for skilled nursing facilities who want to ensure they achieve that five-star quality status.

When it comes to hiring great employees, don’t forget about the reference checking process. Download our white paper: Reference Checking isn’t a Waste of Time, You’re just doing it Wrong! 


About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.