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The Power of Testimonials: How Positive Resident & Family Experiences Can Boost Your Census

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

With occupancy rates in long-term care down significantly since the pandemic, many skilled nursing providers are looking for additional ways to rebuild census. Skilled nursing homes suffered heavy scrutiny in the last few years, and operators are working hard to foster a positive perception.

For those in the industry, we know the importance that skilled nursing plays in the continuum of care. SNF leaders are working hard to rewrite the narrative to ensure that people who need skilled nursing care aren't discouraged, and in a September panel, industry leaders came together to do just that.

Hank Watson, Chief Development Officer at American Health Partners, noted, "Part of what the nursing home industry needs to own in a positive way is that about two-thirds of the people in our beds are not long-term care eligible, there are millions of people that need 24/7 nursing care, and we can provide that and do it for a lower cost. That is a really critical piece to be proud of and is unique to nursing homes."

The panelists all agreed that quality outcomes are extremely important because they allow providers to show people what skilled nursing is all about.

But how can providers get the word out and help families feel comfortable giving their loved ones the care they need in the right setting?

Mindy Cheek, Senior Vice President of Greystone Communities, believes in the power of testimonials to get people in the door and stresses the importance of using positive resident or family feedback to prove the fantastic role skilled nursing can have in an older adult's life. Cheek noted, "People are scared to make that move, but when they hear other positive experiences, it helps eliminate that fear."

Let's explore a few ways you can get the word out.

An article posted in the Institute for the Advancement of Senior Care explored online reviews for senior care facilities and found that positive reviews bring more residents and that 93% of consumers say online reviews influence their decisions. "The great thing about online reviews is that they're genuine and honest...On the chance that you get an occasional bad review, readers want to know if you're paying attention to them and that you're willing to address concerns and complaints."

There are many platforms for reviews. Some require that providers pay for listings, and some are generally available, like Google or Facebook. Here are some tips to get started.

  • Select the platforms you want to use to solicit reviews.

  • Make sure your google listings and social media accounts are up to date.

  • Gather links to each platform to share when requesting reviews.

  • Ask all the time!

  • Request a review when a resident or family member compliments you or your staff.

  • Post flyers around your facility soliciting feedback.

  • Include the ask in your monthly newsletter.

  • Ask frequently on social media.

  • Make sure you set up alerts for reviews and reply/comment on all submissions.

There's no quick fix to the current census struggle, but nothing resonates with families more than a powerful testimonial.

How does CareWork help? We streamline operations and make it easy to keep an eye on census development. By integrating the systems SNFs already use, we give teams a one-stop-shop to proactively manage tasks, view analytics, and manage workflow. We make care work easier.

Ready to work more efficiently? If so, contact us today.

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