Staffing is a complex, crucial, ongoing process within a health system, impacting staff, patients, and the bottom line. Yet this critical component of hospital operations often uses inefficient processes, some of which are nearly thirty years old. As a result, staff schedules often do not account for actual demand, creating a last-minute “staffing scramble” to ensure suitable coverage and an inability to manage overtime costs. But there is a better path forward. Those outdated processes that use incomplete and inaccurate data are being replaced with strategies that allow health systems to deal with the challenges they face today. In this blog, we’ll explain some of the innovations in predictive solutions that make it possible for staffing coordinators and nursing leaders to reliably predict their staffing needs. Learn how to reduce overtime in healthcare with these powerful financial, clinical, and operational results that predictive staffing delivers.
When patient needs and staffing are not fully aligned, unnecessary labor costs are incurred. Last-minute staffing adjustments, an over-reliance on overtime and other premium labor, and staff frustration with schedules that can ultimately lead to turnover are all extremely costly. With predictive staffing solutions, nurse managers have visibility to the days, shifts, and even staffing intervals where they have too many nurses or insufficient nurse coverage. This enables them to proactively ensure appropriate nurse coverage days in advance, reducing the number of last-minute staffing adjustments and eliminating unnecessary overtime hours worked and agency expenses. Staffing is optimized to meet true quality of care needs and labor costs are minimized.
Better patient experience
By aligning available staffing with patient needs, your health system can maximize capacity and increase revenue. Predictive staffing solutions make it possible to pinpoint potential staffing issues before they create a bottleneck. Instead of needing to hold patients in the PACU or ED or board them on gurneys in the hallway, beds that would have been blocked are opened because nursing leadership had the visibility to where the nursing staff would be needed, ensuring the right nurse is assigned to the right location at the right time. This results in better clinical outcomes and patients more satisfied with their inpatient experience
Improved nurse satisfaction
Increased schedule stability and flexibility boosts staff morale and helps reduce costly nurse turnover. Predictive staffing solutions deliver increased insight into labor demands days in advance, which leads to fewer last-minute call-ins and call-offs and provides staff with the predictability they crave. Although staffing changes still happen, they are now done proactively, giving staff advanced notice so they can plan for it. And when accurate projections of patient needs are used to build staffing plans, staff requests for time off and schedule flexibility can be accommodated more easily without disruption.
When predictive staffing solutions replace manual processes and incomplete or inaccurate data, nurse managers save hours of time each and every day. Instead of dealing with frantic last-minute staffing adjustments, nursing leaders have more time to manage their staff, their unit, and focus on patient care needs. Staffing coordinators also save hours of time each day, enabling them to become proactive and help nursing leaders identify misalignments in the staffing plan days in advance, reducing reactive decision making. This saved time can also be dedicated to finding proactive, sustainable solutions.
Why is predictive staffing so important now? The healthcare industry is faced with widespread uncertainty, and the demands on health systems are increasing quickly and exponentially. In the face of these complex and dynamic challenges, health systems are seeking innovative strategies that will enable them to optimize their most valuable and most expensive resource – the workforce. Predictive staffing solutions are a powerful tool that can be implemented quickly so health systems can streamline staffing processes, maximize results, and realize a quick return on their investment.
Would you like to learn more about how predictive staffing is enabling health systems to achieve powerful outcomes that link back to their corporate goals? Check out our newest white paper, “Overcoming Staffing Challenges with Predictive Analytics.”
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