Lack of data makes it difficult to solve workforce problems: report

Data collection has not kept pace with the changing pace of the direct care workforce, complicating the efforts of policymakers and employers to address the challenges workers face, according to a new report from the Center for Advancing Racial Equity and Job Quality in Long-Term Care.

Steps toward improving the situation, according to the report, are creating a standard federal data set of direct care workforce data, coordinating a national data collection effort, designation of federal funds for data collection and mandated engagement of workers from a variety of sources.

“There is no accurate, robust and accessible data on the national and regional workforce disaggregated (i.e. data on the quality of the workforce and jobs disaggregated by demographics workers), leaving policy makers, government officials and employers in the dark as they attempt to address the challenges facing direct care. workers and improve the quality of care for consumers,” wrote report author Breanna Betts.

Low-quality direct care jobs are largely funded by public money, the author noted. Therefore, she said, it is incumbent upon agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “to create a system that works with workers and communities to ensure that the necessary workforce information caregivers are centralized and disaggregated for the first time.”

According to the report, fair labor data is important in addressing the racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, xenophobia, colonialism and heteronormativity found in the workplace. employment in long-term care.

“By redesigning data systems with fairness in mind, the United States could ensure for the first time that all workers and their experiences are considered to make equitable policy interventions based on the reality of workers’ lives. and tangibly improve working conditions,” Betts wrote.

National standards and national databases are needed to avoid “a patchy picture of the direct care workforce in the United States that seriously undermines efforts to identify policies that would reduce the ‘labour shortage’.” ‘work’ – which is not just a labor shortage, but a shortage of quality direct care jobs that can recruit and retain caregivers,” according to the report.

Michael A. Bynum