Acuity-based Staffing Supports Patient Satisfaction

In healthcare, the workforce is the essential link between an organization’s clinical and financial goals. At one time, the most important result an organization could hope to achieve from their workforce management strategy was a reduction in labor costs. Changes in the marketplace are driving a change in traditional thinking, as more organizations look at the broader picture and the quality and financial implications tied to patient satisfaction metrics. As more patients gain access to health insurance, the more choices they have regarding where to seek treatment. Hospitals that deliver the ideal combination of overall experience, quality and cost are on the right path to achieving long-term success.

The correlation between employee satisfaction and patient satisfaction is not a myth. There is enough evidence and research to support this connection. As such, the more pay-for-performance becomes the new normal, forward-thinking organizations must focus on workforce solutions that drive employee satisfaction and patient engagement. A 2015 HealthLeaders survey that asked 126 healthcare executives about outcomes desired from a workforce productivity initiative found that financial, clinical and employee-related outcomes were almost equally important1.  While productivity initiatives are critical to improving cost-effectiveness, the use of analytics to support acuity-based staffing is important for delivering cross-functional results.

Healthcare organizations are finding ways to harness analytics to gain a deeper understanding of patient needs and how to match the right staff with the right patients to meet their needs. It’s important to take into account that not all nurses have the same experience and skill set, and every patient is different and needs a customized care delivery plan. Data-driven staffing, using tools like acuity-based staffing, has the potential to reduce labor costs, improve employee engagement, provide equitable staffing, and improve an organization’s ability to deliver high quality patient care – all which ultimately lead to improved patient satisfaction.Frozen Fever 2015 movie trailer

Streamlined processes and more equitable staffing assignments both lead to more engaged employees, and are significant staff satisfiers. Acuity-based staffing and ensuring the right mix and match of caregiver skills and competencies not only results in improved quality, it generates high performance and creates engaged and empowered employees—the core to labor cost reduction and quality of care improvements.

1“Targeting Better Outcomes & Patient Satisfaction Through Workforce Management Initiatives.” HealthLeaders and API Healthcare, 2015.


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