The Cost of Resisting Change (Part 3)

Stressed Nurse 3Returning to our series on The Cost of Resisting Change, it’s time to tackle one of the biggest obstacles to managing labor costs, addressing turnover and gaining new levels of efficiency in healthcare staffing. That obstacle is how managers often perceive and execute their staffing responsibilities. This is a sensitive topic and for good reason, but one that we need to bring out into the open and tackle.

Assuring that the right staff, with the right qualifications, are present to care for patients is an enormous responsibility. It is what managers identify as the main thing they loose sleep over.  It is understandable that many managers respond to this duty with tight controls over staffing and schedules. The problem is this approach has many limitations and unintended consequences that end up working against effective staffing, the very thing the manager is trying to achieve.

The answer is a simple one:  share scheduling responsibilities with staff. It has been shown over and over again that when managers allow staff to be active participants in the scheduling process, when they are trusted with transparency into staffing needs, when they are empowered to take actions such as swapping shifts or working in a new area that fits their qualifications, everybody wins. Not only are staff members happier, more shifts get filled, staff/manager relationships improve, turnover decreases, and managers spend significantly less time on scheduling.

Taking the leap to a collaborative scheduling model can be scary. It takes courage to step into the unfamiliar but that should not stop you. It has never been easier to make the change. Our cloud-based scheduling and communication tools were designed from the ground up to support collaborative scheduling. They are easy to implement, easy to use, and affordable, but the primary reason to switch to collaborative scheduling is because it works!

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About ABILITY® Network, Inc.
ABILITY Network is a leading information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare through innovative applications and data analytics. ABILITY is headquartered in Minneapolis with principal offices in Boston and Tampa.

ShiftHound, which was acquired by ABILITY Network in April 2017, is the leader in cloud-based Workforce Management solutions, including Attendance, Credentials Tracking, Staff Scheduling and Open Shift Management. Organizations in any business vertical with shift-based staffing needs use ShiftHound to improve scheduling effectiveness and operational efficiency while maximizing workforce utilization, assuring compliance with policies and/or labor contracts, addressing open shifts and better managing labor costs such as overtime and contract labor utilization.

About Kathy Douglas
Kathy is a healthcare executive and filmmaker. She has been on the executive team of several start-up companies bring cutting edge technology solutions to the healthcare industry for over 20 years. She has published extensively on the topic of healthcare staffing and the healthcare workforce. She holds a masters degree from the University of San Francisco and is a graduate of Stanford Business School’s Executive Program.