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Save Millions Using GIS Technology for Strategic Workforce Planning

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, April 23, 2012

Schutt explains that without the use of GIS, much of workforce planning is based on guesswork. Though compensation could be benchmarked against national and regional survey data, things like the type of shift clinicians prefer or the role location plays in retention were not quantifiable;  the GIS map changes that.

Schutt is now successfully using this data-driven approach at Stanford University Medical Center to transform workforce planning into a strategic exercise that's saving millions of dollars by mitigating turnover, countless hours of recruiting, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in recruiting and advertising costs.  

"There isn't a day that goes by where someone isn't talking about the shortage of nurses or physicians. What leaders in healthcare need is data that helps them understand their workforce today and in the future," he says. "But it isn't enough to only know your hospital's numbers; you need to know the information for the whole area."

To effectively recruit and retain providers, Schutt explains, healthcare leaders need granular geographic and demographic information them, such as:

  • How many, and what type of clinicians and providers are at the organization?
  • Where are there large concentrations of providers with specific credentials or expertise?
  • Where do these providers live and work?
  • When are provider populations reaching retirement age, by specialty?
  • When an employee leaves an organization, which hospital or health system did they migrate too?
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