In a study published in the June issue of Health Services Research, findings concluded that when skilled nursing facilities create a caring environment for workers in which they feel valued, it results in better care for their residents. 
“This study empirically demonstrates that better work relationships between staff, as measured by staff cohesion, are associated with better outcomes for nursing home residents,” explained Helena Temkin-Greener Ph.D., a professor in the department of community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the study’s lead author. 
It is important to note that “staff cohesion” was defined in the study as the extent to which staff felt they shared values, goals, and responsibilities.
In the study, researchers analyzed the rates of pressure ulcers and incontinence among residents throughout 160 skilled nursing facilities in New York State. This took place in 2006 and 2007, over a 13-month period.
In these skilled nursing facilities, 7,418 direct patient care workers were surveyed so researchers could measure how they perceived staff unity. For example, do they share the same common goals, values, group identity, and responsibility for care delivery as their fellow co-workers?
Findings concluded that incontinence and pressure ulcers were much more likely to occur in skilled nursing facilities where staff members did not feel unity or that they were part of a team.
“Nursing home managers have the tools to encourage good patient care but they have to work at it and encourage practices that promote better cohesion, communication, and teamwork in their facilities. If they do this, the quality of care will improve.” said Temkin-Greener.