Rich Miller

Enterprise staffing analytics align supply & demand for optimal benefits

September 11, 2020
By Rich Miller

One of healthcare’s most vital tasks is historically one of its hardest: Making sure the right staff are always available at the right locations to meet patient care demands.

Currently, most hospitals and health systems take a segmented approach to clinical capacity management. Each individual department or service line oversees its own staffing needs. This method ensures adherence to crucial specialty-specific requirements, but it also creates disparate manual processes that limit greater visibility into staffing trends. Consequently, it does not lend itself to allowing staff resource optimization at the department level—let alone across the enterprise.

By leveraging scheduling data, however, health systems open new opportunities to maximize staff productivity while preserving staff satisfaction. Achieving this fundamental balance is possible because scheduling data is a treasure-trove of information that accurately reflects actual daily workflows. When it’s normalized and rolled into a semantically consistent enterprise view, it can spotlight both current trends and areas for improvement.

The value of advanced visibility
The key to aligning staff supply with clinical demand is advanced insight. While historical staffing data alone provides some benefits, it can’t adequately support proactive clinical capacity planning. Agile and informed staffing decisions require the ability to identify needs and address potential problems hours, days or months in advance.

Analyzing near real-time scheduling data in conjunction with historical staffing trends gives health systems the power to adjust and adapt in real-time. With data-driven visibility comes the potential for continuous change management that encourages strategic benefits including:

Tactical analysis, strategic results
The beauty of scheduling data is that it reflects workflows for all sorts of staff resources. That means health systems can apply data analysis to physician and non-physician staff—including mid-level providers, nurses, on-call providers, technicians, orderlies, housekeepers, and the many others necessary to keep healthcare operations moving safely and smoothly.

Enterprise-wide data visualizations and alerts can give health systems the visibility they need to improve staff utilization, provider satisfaction and revenue. With the awareness generated by enterprise scheduling data, health systems can optimize staff resources to meet patient care demands and achieve strategic objectives.

About the author: Rich Miller is chief strategy officer at QGenda.