Pathway to the Future: How Workforce Development and Quality Jobs Can Promote Quality Care Conference Package. Making Workforce Data More Useful

05/01/2004

The limitations noted above apply not only to the present study but also to future attempts to achieve a comprehensive assessment of the long-term care paraprofessional workforce at national, state, and local levels. To assure the accurate, comprehensive, timely data needed to support workforce planning in this area and offset possible future shortages, the following options are identified:

Upgrade and augment existing CNA registries. Possible options in this area include:

  • Expanding the occupational categories included in the registries beyond nursing aides to include home health aides and personal care aides, with agreed-upon definitions.
  • Expanding the recorded data elements to include demographic characteristics, educational background, and current job status, among others.
  • Maintaining data timeliness and accuracy by requesting employers to submit annual lists of individuals currently employed, including hours worked and other non-sensitive information.

Adopt and implement state-level workforce data collection systems for nursing aides, home health aides, and related health care occupations. Such systems, using standard definitions and terminology, would permit useful totals and subtotals to be collected from facilities and agencies, to be shared and compared across states. A proposed data collection instrument of this form is shown in Appendix B of this report.

Involve long-term care provider organizations and professional associations in data collection efforts. Such groups would be a valuable source of information. Organizations that collect and maintain informative workforce data report fewer recruitment and retention problems than their relatively data less counterparts.

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