Optimal Staffing Strategies

By Margaret Schmidt

Long-Term Living Magazine recently highlighted the importance of using proven staffing practices for better business results and employee satisfaction. During a Long-Term Living webinar in March, experts offered the following strategies for optimal staffing:

  • Be consistent and fair when creating schedules. Adjust appropriately for high-acuity cases. High-acuity cases should not be left to a few of the same nurses.
  • Invite staff to give feedback about scheduling, and listen thoughtfully.
  • Avoid wasteful overtime. “Set a policy of no overtime built into the schedule without administrative approval,” said Mark Woodka, CEO of OnShift, a provider of nurse scheduling software and management systems. “If you’re properly staffed, you shouldn’t have overtime.”
  • Stay on top of part-timers’ hours. Organizations that go over the hour limits for part-time employees will incur sizeable fines.

A well-run department requires a plan and constant attention to the daily operation of the team. As noted in RehabCare’s white paper, “Optimizing the Performance of a Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Department,” when it comes to staffing, program directors should ask themselves: Do we have the appropriate number and skill mix of therapists? Do we have the right combination of therapists, assistants and techs? Have I defined standards of productivity for employees? Answering these questions can help assess where your facility could make staffing improvements.

For more information, read “Staff scheduling strategies for better care and better business” by Pamela Tabar.