The presence of adequate nursing facility staff likely leads to better treatment of elderly residents. Staff shortages can result in a failure to diagnose the concerns of residents and could lead to unnecessary pain and suffering.
In worst-case scenarios, nursing home neglect significantly impacts the quality of life of residents.
Maryland facilities experience staff shortages
According to information from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, Maryland has about 22 percent of nursing home facilities that report low levels of staffing. This amounts to less than 0.5 hours per resident day staffing of registered nurse care and 3.6 HPRD staffing of direct care staffing from RNs, LPNs and certified nurse assistants.
For comparison purposes, this puts Maryland in the middle of the pack when it comes to nursing home staffing. These metrics come from a 2022 analysis of data from 2019.
States with the lowest levels of inadequate staffing came mostly from western states, while states in the same category as Maryland came from all over the nation. Three states, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia reported staffing shortages in over 70 percent of nursing care facilities covered by this analysis. Many factors, including state laws and practices, influence the staffing levels at care facilities that take Medicaid payments.
Low staffing leads to reduced care
Many studies show a relationship between professional staffing coverage and quality of care, with levels of RN staffing showing the strongest link to quality. Other areas of direct care staffing also show improved outcomes in the areas of fewer pressure ulcers, lower levels of urinary tract infections and reduced hospital emergency visits. Those with loved ones in a nursing facility should have an awareness of staffing levels.