Reduce Labor Spend by Optimizing Staffing-Proven Tactics for Labor Management

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Leadership and Management

Sandy Yanko 
VP Operations
HCA - Far West Division

HCA has developed a set of recommendations and tactics to manage the summer productivity gap and achieve a closer match of staffing with volume fluctuations, as measured by adjusted average daily census and paid FTEs.

Hospitals and health systems reexamining workforce productivity are seeing the recession as an opportunity to sustainably transform how they use labor. This presentation will equip you with strategies to reduce your labor spend.

Approach: " Perform root cause analysis of gap " Identify and evaluate existing labor management processes, practices, and systems " Develop recommendations for new process and system changes as needed " Compile and deploy a toolkit of discretionary and standard tactics, including communication and training actions " Implement any additional monitoring to measure improvement

The eight over-arching tactics developed include 23 sub-tactics:

  1. Labor management roles and responsibilities
  2. Requisition management
  3. Flexible position control
  4. Tool alignment to budget
  5. Expanding flex capabilities
  6. Time clock management
  7. Scheduling guidelines
  8. Contract labor management

Every hospital within HCA completed an assessment template and a target date for completing each tactic. In addition, a labor management education re-fresher module was developed and deployed to each manager and director in the entire company. Topics included: labor management terminology and concepts, flexible position control, scheduling and staffing, monitoring and controlling. It is still too early to show results, but anecdotal evidence suggests movement in decreasing the labor spend. By the time of the presentation in the spring, I will be able to show the results.

Lessons learned include:

  • Having constant attention and constant focus from senior leadership is a must
  • Setting stretch goals and monitoring progress is key