Nurse Staffing in the Age of Digital Transformation

Nursing Staffing Room

Hospitals face staffing challenges every day. Whether struggling to adjust for vacancies in full shift coverage, avoiding forced overtime, or optimizing efficiency, there is a direct impact to quality of care, patient experience, personnel workflow, and ultimately, cost.

For hospitals with legacy scheduling software, it can be time-consuming, inefficient, and not cost-effective. In fact, some hospitals still use a paper-based system for scheduling & staffing. Whatever system is in place, the process can cause RNs to spend more time than necessary on scheduling and optimizing resources, and less time on patient care and experience. There’s a better way, and it centers around Digital Transformation.

The Current Situation

For many hospital staff members, including Charge RNs, the staffing process involves a morning ‘bed huddle.’ Unit managers review staffing in accordance with the current census, admission, transfer, and discharge information to determine potential staffing variances and identify issues. Before these meetings, managers from each department gather information about available beds and needed skill-sets. Many still use paper-based processes.

Because scheduling is a manual process and the pulse of the unit is ever-changing, information entered into the system can become outdated before the meeting even takes place. Also, this manual scheduling process doesn’t allow for quick adjustments to the schedule in the event of a surge in patients, changes in patient acuity, or day-of sick calls. Patient flow can suffer, as can the overall care and experience. With an increasing direct link between patient quality outcomes and hospital reimbursement, the effects on the bottom line are clear.

Enter the IVEDiX Platform

Instead of pulling RNs away from patient care, the Staffing Lead can use the iVEDiX Platform to monitor and adjust the staffing levels for each unit across facilities and shifts. iVEDiX features a dashboard that compares the current census to forecasted data and quickly highlights exceptions for each department. It indicates via a clear visual outlier which departments are overstaffed or understaffed for current and future shifts. This has proven to be an invaluable platform to balance the current shift and proactively resolve potential issues.

Take Action with iVEDiX

With iVEDiX, hospitals can transform the scheduling and staffing optimization process so that crucial data – such as available beds, number of nurses on hand, and the staffing needs for each unit – is accurate and in near real time. The App is available for Windows, iOS or Android and serves as a workforce planning center. When an administrator sees that the staffing level for a department needs to be increased, she can instantly view a list of available and qualified personnel who can fill the open positions. The personnel list includes the skill set, certifications, and other specific demographic information for each staff member.

The Staffing Lead only needs to know that a department requires a staff member. The App tells him who has the appropriate skills, where that person is currently located, and their schedule. Once the administrator has found and selected a match, the system automatically sends a notification to the Charge Nurse who then approves or declines the staffing change, electronically and with simple digital workflow. That write-back capability is essential: the iVEDiX Platform has the ability to create data, not just consume it.

iVEDiX automates most of the patient scheduling process and integrates multiple sources of healthcare data, creating a seamless human-centered experience for its users. Multiple sources of data might live in different IT systems, such as patient and staffing schedules, staff skill sets, available beds, patient medical records, and more. But, all are accessible from one easy-to-use application. All the answers reside in a single pane of glass.

Patient Scheduling Doesn’t Have to be Burdensome

Scheduling software shouldn’t have to require dozens of clicks and multiple logins to navigate. Searching for and finding a resource to fill a department opening shouldn’t take 20-30 minutes each time, or remove the Nurse’s focus from where it should be… on the patient. Staffing shouldn’t be based on data that has already become out of date. RNs shouldn’t be burdened with a challenging and time-consuming staffing process. With iVEDiX, they don’t have to be.