● Staffing and Scheduling
healthcare How migrating to enterprise strategies helps manage resources. By Chris Fox
he predominant trend in healthcare today is “consol- idation” – medical groups are consolidating, health
systems are consolidating and account- able care organizations are forming – all in an eff ort to control costs, optimize resources and take advantage of econo- mies of scale. As part of this mindset, more and more healthcare organizations are migrating to an enterprise approach to managing resources – specifi cally labor. As labor accounts for roughly 60 percent of every organization’s operat- ing budget, even small improvements in this area can have signifi cant savings potential.
Enterprise-level strategies Eff ectively managing labor resources at the enterprise level requires that work- force management technology be robust and sweeping, allowing an organization to view and manage resources at the system level, but be effi cient and stream- lined, enabling centralized management by a single individual or a few scheduling specialists/analysts. Key to this is the es- tablishment of best-practice polices and business rules that can be embedded into the system, ensuring standardization and
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providing the framework for predictable and sustainable results.
These principles form the basis of a methodology known as HELM. HELM, or healthcare enterprise labor management, is an Avantas proprietary methodology that combines and embeds the science of workforce planning, de- mand forecasting and operational best practices into a customizable healthcare scheduling software solution. All healthcare organizations are dif-
ferent, but all generally struggle with a similar set of issues. T e commonality of challenges paired with the uniqueness of individual health systems requires a customizable and scalable solution set. HELM provides this, and the strate- gies that encompass it are applicable enterprise wide (inpatient, ancillary, clinics, etc.). T is methodology has been successfully implemented in virtually every type of healthcare organization: single-site hospitals, academic medical centers, multi-hospital metropolitan systems, large regional systems, systems with extensive clinic operations and Magnet-designated facilities.
Predictive analytics Key to adjusting the natural ebb
HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
Chris Fox is CEO, Avantas.
For more on Avantas: www.rsleads. com/304ht-202
and fl ow of patient demand in a cost- eff ective manner is the ability to forecast patient volume – and corresponding need for care staff – well in advance of the shift. Predictive analytics provide organizations with the ability to develop better schedules sooner. Utilizing ad- vanced predictive analytics throughout the scheduling and staffi ng process also results in: • Accurate, sophisticated budgeting; • Improved core staff utilization from initial schedule creation – optimizing at-hand resources to meet patient demand; and
• Proactive alignment of fl oat/con- tingency resources.
Predictive analytics also play a critical
role in eff ective open-shift management. Filling open shifts is generally the most time-intensive, stressful and expensive component of the scheduling process. T is is due mainly to the reactive nature of most open shift-management strate- gies. Reactive approaches to open shifts (posting shifts after ill calls, when there are sudden spikes in census, etc.) can result in last-minute chaos on the unit, time wasted in the recruitment process, high incentive dollars and decreased quality of care. A proactive open shift-