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.

By Margaret Schmidt