Considering Care When Making Staffing Assignments

There is a tremendous amount of planning and preparation that goes into the creation of staff schedules.  Hours are spent analyzing staff availability, overtime, trends, and census.  Fortunately, there are software solutions that can provide the tools to help automate the scheduling process.

Once the schedule is made, the next step of creating staff to patient assignments can have a great impact on both patient satisfaction as well as staff engagement.  While many factors are considered when making staff assignments, such as patient acuity, workload distribution and patient location, there is another very important point to be considered, continuity of care.

Patients perceive care to be more personalized when they have the same nurse, which can lead to increased patient engagement. Creating assignments that provide the patient the ability to establish a relationship with their caregiver can increase patient safety and satisfaction, and can result in high quality, patient care.

Increased satisfaction is similarly experienced by the staff, through a deeper nurse patient relationship that may develop when assigned to the same patient. The nurse becomes familiar with the orders and medications, and can define and resolve patient problems. The nurse can effectively identify and communicate changes in condition from the previous shift worked.  This continued level of involvement may help increase patient outcomes leading to a greater sense of accomplishment for the nurse.

The nurse may also build a rapport with family members and create simplified communication networks to efficiently provide updates on progress and answer questions. There is also a time savings factor with efficiencies in reporting and chart checks when assigned to a familiar patient.  Communication with physicians and other healthcare providers are streamlined and effective with the nurse most familiar with the patient. The nurse can function in a highly professional autonomous capacity. Greater involvement and responsibility for the care of an assigned patient can have a positive impact on job enthusiasm and nurse retention.

Creating staff assignments with consideration to continuity of care can have a positive impact on both the patient and staff and can result in increased patient engagement and outcomes as well as nurse engagement and retention.

To learn more about tools to help with creating staff assignments, you can read more about API Healthcare’s Assignment Module.


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  1. Tara

    Continuity of care is so important to successful outcomes

  2. manzarm

    Nice article.

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