“Meaningful and sustainable change to traditional staffing models is a moral imperative that requires urgent collaborative action.”
That call to action from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses reminds us all that when it comes to staffing in healthcare, the status quo is no longer okay. We now have decades of research and first-hand experience that confirms we can have a positive impact on patient and workforce outcomes by changing the way we think about, model, design, fund and implement staffing policies and practices.
One sure tactic for doing so is adopting new technology, and specifically staffing software and applications, that can dramatically improve how we schedule staff.
For example, modern scheduling tools can enable:
- Better decision making. Staffing managers have at their fingertips the data they need to make quick, accurate decisions when it comes to filling shifts. Leading solutions offer intuitive dashboards that offer full visibility and real-time insights so you can act fast.
- Access from anywhere. Cloud technology and well-designed mobile apps enable managers and staff to access, manage and communicate about shifts from their mobile phones.
- A more collaborative culture. Managers and staff work together to fill open shifts. As a result, manager/staff relationships improve, staff satisfaction rises, and turnover falls.
- Less wasted time. Managers spend less time stressing over, completing and managing the schedule, and more time focused on making improvements that truly impact patient and workforce outcomes — and the bottom line.
All that isn’t to say that we are ignoring the realities of the healthcare industry. Administrators and managers are under intense pressure to control costs, while addressing insurers, changes in payer rules, unions, legislation, labor shortages, rising labor costs and more.
Still, with staffing being such a complex issue, it’s wise to look at solutions that can ease that complexity, while also helping organizations to heed the AACN’s call to action and drive better outcomes through simplified scheduling and improved collaboration.
About the Author:
Award-winning nurse leader Kathy Douglas, RN, MPH, has been in healthcare workforce strategy for over 20 years. She has authored dozens of published articles and presented on all aspects of staffing in healthcare. Kathy is also a filmmaker and directed the internationally distributed film, NURSES: If Florence Could See Us Now.
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