Avoiding Nurse Burnout: A Critical Concern for Hospital Leadership

The job of caring for patients at the bedside is arguably the most difficult of any profession. They work long hours and the combination of physical and emotional challenges is unique to this industry. And as a constant eye for detail is critical to patient care, a single mistake caused by being overworked and/or overstressed could have fatal effects. Nurses [...]

By |2020-05-21T20:47:16+00:00February 4th, 2020|

Hospital Highlights: MercyOne Des Moines

MercyOne Des Moines is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines with over 656 beds, over 34,000 annual patient admissions, and 1,200 nurses. Like many other hospitals, MercyOne Des Moines regularly confronted a recurring nurse staffing challenge: how to allocate the right number of nurses to the right unit to meet actual patient census demand amidst high turnover. This [...]

By |2020-05-21T21:41:07+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

With Predictive Analytics, Florida Hospital Tackles Census Forecasting Challenges

Florida is a popular place to retire. With the arrival of “snowbirds” every winter, local hospital leaders expect and plan for seasonal fluctuations in patient census. But what one area hospital didn’t plan for was a boom in Florida’s year-round population, including young people and families who have relocated to the area. This created a daunting challenge. Managing unpredictable patient [...]

By |2020-03-31T19:19:35+00:00November 14th, 2019|

Using Predictive Analytics to Strategically Choose What Day to be Short-Staffed

The ability to choose what day a unit manager is short-staffed may not seem like a good thing, but it actually can be. Given today’s nursing shortages, most healthcare organizations know they are understaffed and are doing their best to recruit and hire. While predictive analytics can help staffing, many leaders in these organizations are skeptical about using it to [...]

By |2020-05-21T21:43:04+00:00November 6th, 2019|

A Daily Dilemma: Balancing Efficiency and Redundancy

For nurse staffing managers, balancing the needs of the nurses with the financial constraints facing hospitals can be a delicate, daily process of politics and compromise. And for good reason: as Peter Drucker once remarked, “The hospital is altogether the most complex human organization ever devised.” It seems only natural that some of that complexity trickles down into issues surrounding [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:43:54+00:00August 27th, 2019|

Striving for Improvement in Staffing, Not Perfection

An inpatient staffing manager is on a constant quest to ensure proper staffing ratios are met, and that his or her unit meets staff productivity goals. Staffing levels are often set weeks in advance and then adjusted the day-of to deal with unexpected call-offs and to better align with the current census. These day-of staffing adjustments can be costly, both [...]

By |2020-05-21T21:40:29+00:00June 11th, 2019|

Labor Pains: Hospitals Reevaluate Approach to Staff Management

In healthcare, effective staff management presents a formidable challenge, one that will continue to take center stage as margins decrease and healthcare executives grapple with how to reduce costs while still maintaining high levels of patient and staff satisfaction. Labor accounts for ~60% of a hospital’s spend. But the path to improving productivity doesn’t necessarily mean cutting headcount or wages [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:49:55+00:00December 18th, 2018|

Lead-Time in Healthcare Delivery

Most businesses have lead-time to plan and deliver their work products. Take the manufacturing industry, for example. Product delivery times are adjusted based on inventory on hand, time to manufacture, and the cost to scale up production to meet the client’s desired schedule. If the delivery schedule is not possible, negotiations ensue to ship partial orders, adjust the ship date [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:51:21+00:00November 6th, 2018|

Optimizing Your Nursing Workforce With Predictive Analytics

A progressive CFO recently said to me, “we must take the clinicians to where the patient demand exists.” He said this knowing that staffing for patient demand is a daily struggle for both clinicians and administrators in hospitals across the country. There are times when we don’t have enough staff, have too much, or often we just don’t have the [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:51:31+00:00October 16th, 2018|

Staffing the Shift: The Human Impact of Getting it Right

“They just don’t care about us,” goes the refrain. When the shift is understaffed, nurses can feel betrayed by the managers and executives responsible for filling shifts. As an emergency physician, I work at a wide range of Emergency Departments (“ERs”), from large referral centers with four or more providers working around the clock, to tiny ERs with eight beds [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:54:08+00:00June 26th, 2018|