The Type of Referral You Should Think Twice About!

One of the mistakes that many of us make when our facility is census-challenged is to begin taking and admitting whatever referrals we can get.  This can create tons of problems in your facility.  Obviously, a good rule of thumb is to ensure that clinically you can take of the patient, that financially they have a payor source, and you’re not going to lose money on them.  However, there are other factors to consider.  Namely, is this a good admit?  Will this person be good for us?  Will taking this resident cause more problems for my facility?  Could I lose any staff by taking this resident?

I’d like to discuss one particular type of referral that I believe you should always think twice about before admitting.  I’m not saying don’t admit.  I’m saying you should carefully consider the consequences.  The type of referral is this:  The family member of a current employee.

“What?!” you say!  These are the best kind, right?  I mean, the employee already knows what to expect.  They won’t have unrealistic expectations, right?  Not so fast.  Actually, many times the employee may assume that the other staff will do an even better job because it’s their mom or dad.  What happens when the employee (who is a good employee, by the way) becomes dissatisfied with the care their loved one is receiving?  This can happen with any family member, right?  What happens is the employee can begin to lose faith in the facility, the staff, and the management.  They become resentful.  They are afraid if they speak up too much they’ll lose their job but if they don’t say anything, their loved one will suffer.  Sometimes, they even begin to call complaints in to the State themselves when they can’t get the results they expect at the facility level.

You can handle all those things you say?  Ok, what happens if the employee isn’t such a good employee and they have to be disciplined for their job performance?  At this point is when you start receiving care complaints on their family member.  That’s pretty much guaranteed.  Even worse, what if you have allegations of abuse against the employee?  What if you substantiate the allegations?  You still have their family member there as a resident.  What are you going to do when they want to visit the resident?

On the flip side, many times, you can have a great experience with the referrals generated from your employees and can reinforce their trust in you if you do a good job with their family member.  Employees are definitely a source for referrals, I just want you to carefully consider each one before agreeing to admit. 

Thanks for reading today!

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