Use Workforce Optimization to Move from Surviving to Thriving

The amount of change within the healthcare industry can feel paralyzing at times. But, riding out the storm and simply doing nothing is not an option. What about looking for some sure wins to move your organization in the right direction? Even though we don’t know how things will look long-term, we do know that the key to future sustainability is tied to how effectively we adjust to the new reality today.

No matter what the future brings, healthcare organizations that focus on optimizing their workforce will establish a foundation for success both now and in the future. Workforce optimization is a flexible strategy that will empower health systems to thrive no matter what direction the industry as whole moves.

However, achieving workforce optimization takes planning. The lack of a comprehensive and consistent workforce management and staffing strategy can prevent an organization from making the leap from day-to-day survival to long-term financial sustainability.

We’ve developed a three-phase approach to achieving workforce optimization, providing health systems with a path that takes them from surviving to thriving.

Phase 1 – Build the foundation. Invest in automating and integrating key workforce management processes, such as time and attendance, staffing and scheduling. This makes it possible to standardize staffing and pay policies so that employees are treated equitably and labor costs can be managed. And, with visibility into hours already worked and hours scheduled to be worked, organizations can proactively manage overtime.  This can save millions of dollars, as Ellis Medicine has achieved.

Phase 2 – Leverage analytics to connect the organization. Harness the data so that better decisions can be made across the entire organization.  For example, organizations can improve productivity and link staffing decisions to patient outcomes during this phase.

Phase 3 – Use predictive analytics to thrive. During this phase, clinical and operational data is incorporated into workforce management decisions. Adaptations can be made hours or even days before the shift starts to make sure staff is optimized.

While creating and implementing a comprehensive workforce management strategy doesn’t happen overnight, taking this step-by-step approach allows each additional process improvement to build on existing solutions.  When you get to the point where accurate predictive decisions can be made, your organization has developed an agile, optimized workforce. That provides you with the ability to thrive even in the most uncertain times.

What workforce strategies has your organization implemented to manage the shift to a pay-for-performance model? Share them with us in the comments.

To learn more about how the HwIE can help your organization set the stage for long-term financial success, download our complimentary whitepaper: Move from Surviving to Thriving. The three-step survival guide to leveraging the Healthcare Workforce Information Exchange (HwIE) to optimize your workforce and thrive in today’s uncertain healthcare environment.


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