Supplemental labor is costly, and should be used to address seasonal volume increases, medical leaves, or to fill in during large training initiatives such as ICD-10, she told me.
Hunt explains that hospitals and health systems that rely on supplemental nurses may be overlooking a greater issue—miscalculated productivity that is masking a full-time staff shortage.
3. Stop Nursing Staff Turnover
Nash told me that it's important to calculate the cost of the nursing search but also the subsequent training the nurse will need as part of the cost. Additionally, during the transition, a hospital may need to resort to using agency nurses.
"If you lose a nurse, you're talking huge premiums. And, interestingly, we know where there is turnover in our organization. But we know how to recruit, we're good at it," says Nash. OSUMC is not as good at retention, she says. "What we find is professional nurses are looking for more than a job, they're looking for ongoing learning, extensive in-service meetings, nursing grand rounds and they want to be treated well."
What other innovative tactics are you using to address labor costs without gutting quality?