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“2023 Top Trends in Aging Services.”
With more than 25 years of experience in senior care, Sara Deiter is a highly accomplished clinical leader with a passion for improving resident care. Sara’s background as an administrative and clinical leader and her position with the state of Michigan, where she oversaw the SNF survey process, has resulted in her deep understanding of regulatory, clinical, and operational improvement practices.
Sara graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor of science in nursing from Northern Illinois University and Summa Cum laude with a master of science in nursing from The University of Phoenix. Additionally, Sara is a CDC Certified Infection Preventionist, a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and a Registered Nurse.
Sara assists senior living and care organizations facing quality challenges through a number of operational performance improvement services, including:
In this senior living leader spotlight series interview, Sara gives insight into the biggest challenges facing the senior living and care industry, strategies for providers facing regulatory challenges, and her personal commitment to living with integrity.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge that senior care and living leaders will face in the next year?
A: The effects of the workforce shortage have a broad impact causing challenges in many areas, including regaining census momentum, providing high-quality care, and satisfying residents, families, and team members. Many communities are reducing or controlling admissions to help assure that they have enough staff to deliver the level of care they insist upon, and this can truly challenge their very survival. This will be a time of changing the work culture, creative use of technology, and how we imagine work to be done and care to be given while we work to rebuild a robust and stable workforce.
Q: What advice would you give to providers struggling with regulatory challenges?
A: This is the time for providers to thoroughly understand the root causes of their regulatory challenges and look for new options. We will need to become increasingly reliant on technology and a clear hierarchy of a workforce that works to the top of their licenses. This means taking full advantage of the scope of practice at each level of staff and making sure that our nurses, particularly, are not doing anything that could be done by unlicensed staff. It is time to take the human resources and other such duties away from RNs – freeing them to do what only they can do: assess, plan care, and determine whether the care which is being delivered is sufficient to meet the federal and societal mandate that each resident be assured their highest practicable level of function.
Q: Where can you be found on your days off?
A: I am the very satisfied mother of a dozen kids and 2 dozen grandchildren. I thoroughly love taking part in their lives, their goals, and their activities.
Q: If you could change one thing about the senior living and care industry, what would it be and why?
A: I would infuse every person who works in our industry with a sense of mission, integrity, and dedication that creates a level of care we all feel proud of.
Q: Dogs or cats?
A: Both. I have two dogs and two cats. No shortage of paws at my house!
Q: When did you know you wanted to work with seniors?
A: I started as a volunteer in my early teens and knew it was where I belonged. Our seniors have lived through history and have so many stories to share if we are willing to listen. There is much to be learned by those who have more life experience than I do.
Q: Where is your “happy place”?
A: Wherever my kids and grandkids are, but if I could keep them at the beach, I would be forever happy!
Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment in your career?
A: I have maintained my integrity, my honesty, and my insistence on equitable service, despite many times when it was challenged. I take enormous pride in “doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.” I know that sounds simple, but it’s not.
Q: What is your favorite of HDG’s values and why?
A: My favorite value would have to be integrity. It was one of the biggest reasons I chose to work at HDG. It is the one aspect of my life where I am not willing to compromise.
Delivery of high-quality resident and patient care and financial viability depend heavily on operational and clinical excellence. All aspects of an organization’s business or care practices can benefit from periodic review and systematic improvement planning. Sara and Health Dimensions Group can support these efforts through a variety of operational and clinical consulting services. With decades of experience as senior living and care community operators and consultants, our team can help you discover opportunities for improvement and advise you on ways to leverage your community’s operational, clinical, and financial potential. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763.537.5700 to learn how our team can improve your community’s clinical and operational issues today.