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OVERCOMING THE NURSING SHORTAGE: STAFFBID(TM) HELPS HOSPITAL REDUCE CONTRACT LABOR

Decision Critical, July 21, 2005
THE SITUATION In early 2004, Rio Grande Regional Hospital (Rio Grande), a 320-bed Hospital Corporation of America (NYSE: HCA) facility in fast-growing McAllen, Texas, was feeling the pinch of the nationwide nursing shortage. Despite aggressive national recruiting efforts and generous signing bonuses, the hospital's nurse vacancy rate was hovering around 20 percent, contract labor costs exploded to $800,000 in the first quarter of 2004, and morale among the hospital's 500-plus full-time nurses was near an all-time low. THE SOLUTION In search of a solution, the hospital decided to experiment with a new staffing concept called shift-bidding. The idea is straightforward: Create a system that allows full-time employees to compete for unfilled shifts that typically go to agency nurses. By increasing the financial incentive for full-timers to add extra shifts, the dependence on agency labor is reduced. BY: Decision Critical Austin, TX www.decisioncritical.com (PDF format - click here to download the latest version of acrobat reader)
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