Benchmark Implements New Standard for Assisted Living Staff Training

As assisted living regulation looms on the horizon, Benchmark Senior Living has announced it is partnering with Redilearning Corporation in an effort to get ahead of the curve and boost staff training efforts.

Under the partnership, Benchmark University — which manages all training, development and employee learning for the company — will leverage the services, support and technologies of Redilearning to maximize staff performance.

“We want to set the standard for what it means to be an assisted living facility,” says Joe Parent, vice president of associate experience at Benchmark. “We are the benchmark. We want to make sure we can focus on providing the world-class customer experience for our residents and their families.”

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Redilearning’s online delivery platform Blended Learning will combine Benchmark’s corporate content, Redilearning programs and strategic communications to simplify the staff training and development process.

This automation, the senior living community says, will boost efficiency, demonstrate compliance and offer a way to assess and track skills.

“At the very base level, we want to make sure that people have the knowledge they need to be successful at their jobs and that they have the ongoing training and accreditation they need to keep up their licenses,” Parent says. “This allows us to provide a certain amount of ongoing training that they can take and provides some consistency and some measurement to what we’re doing as well.”

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Certain staff members’ positions require this ongoing training in order to maintain their licenses, but keeping track of which employees have taken the required courses can create inefficiencies in the staff training process.

Some employees wait until this time of year to take all of their courses at once to fulfill their requirements, but through the automated platform, the system will deliver notifications reminding employees throughout the year when they should take their classes.

“It spreads that out over 12 months and tracks the attendants, so we can keep track of compliance to show that Mary Jones went through this course on this date,” Parent says.

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Within the past year, senior living providers have zeroed in on training their staffs, both clinical and non-clinical, many of them looking to third-party training providers to stay up to speed on the evolving regulatory landscape and other requirements.

A flurry of negative news headlines have impacted the industry, bringing to light senior living staff training deficiencies. Most notably, a court upheld a jury’s verdict in March 2013 against Emeritus Senior Living, finding the company responsible for a resident’s death at one of its California communities in 2008.

As a result, many senior housing executives have doubled down on staff training efforts, spending millions on programs to curb turnover and improve the clinical, safety and risk management sides of their businesses.

Though some bills that would have increased regulatory oversight of assisted living communities in California have stalled, the industry is taking a closer look at staff training, with stricter oversight possibly on the horizon.

By implementing an additional training platform, Benchmark says it’s ready for these regulations in the future.

“We are so primed for whatever comes up,” Parent says. “This just puts us that much further ahead of the game.”

Written by Emily Study

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