CASE STUDY: Patient-centered staffing

By Janet Boivin, BSN, RN

American Nurse Today (ANT) interviewed Ann Gantzer, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer (CNO) and vice president of patient services for Swedish American Hospital, about the organization’s successful transition to patient-centered staffing. Swedish American, a 323-bed hospital north of Chicago, Illinois, is a division of UW Health, an academic health system associated with the University of Wisconsin–Madison. (more…)

Patient-centered staffing as the path forward

By Karlene Kerfoot, PhD, RN, FAAN

Nurse leaders say staffing status quo is unsustainable.

Frontline nurses and healthcare leaders know the impact staffing and scheduling have on clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, staff engagement, and financial and compliance outcomes. However, as technology, reimbursement structures, patient population, and nurse demographics have changed, the approach to staffing has remained relatively the same.

I recently asked leaders from three nursing professional organizations to share their thoughts on the future of staffing. I also interviewed leaders at two health systems to gain insights into their staffing models and how they are preparing for the future. (more…)

The imperative for an electronic nurse scheduling system

Prioritize the need and make a positive impact

electronic nurse scheduling system organizationTHE EVIDENCE IS IN: Appropriate levels of nurse staffing are linked to lower infection rates, decreased readmissions, and reduced inpatient mortality. And because financial stewardship of nurse staffing is often a linchpin in a healthcare organization’s financial success as alternative payment models shift healthcare’s financial paradigm from volume to value, nurse leaders must make data-driven decisions to support and validate the staffing levels necessary to achieve optimal patient outcomes at the lowest possible cost. To accomplish this, all nurse leaders must have the necessary tools and systems to effectively plan, predict, and manage staffing. An electronic nurse scheduling system (ENSS) is one of those tools. (See What an ENSS can do for your organization.)

Technology and new staffing model bolster workforce management

Software, front-line decision making, and culture change combine in a win for patients and staff.

An interview with Jessica Rivas, MSN, RN, CENP, NEA-BC, FACHE, vice president of operations at Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital in Houston, Texas, and Emily Handwerk, vice president of infor­mation systems at Memorial Hermann Health System.

Coordinating appropriate nurse staffing across a large organization like Memorial Hermann Health System in Texas is a big job. The system includes 19 hospitals, and by 2016, staffing challenges were on the rise, with increases in overtime use and dependency on agency nurses. In addition, nurses were shifting from full-time and part-time positions to as-needed (prn) positions to take advantage of higher wages and fewer commitments.

Stepping into a new world of workforce management

Technology can help you make the right staffing choices.

An interview with Lisa J. Massarweh, DNP, RN, PHN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, CCRN-K, executive director of patient care services, performance & workforce strategy at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California.

Northern California Kaiser Permanente has stepped into a new world of workforce management. After using the same scheduling system for 3 decades, Kaiser Permanente is rolling out new workforce management technology and sunsetting its DOS-based system.

Leverage data to adapt to the changing healthcare landscape

Welcome to Best Practices for Workforce Management: A Toolkit for CNOs, a compendium of evidence-based resources created especially for chief nursing officers (CNOs) and nursing leaders to support your unique role in workforce management. The toolkit focuses on today’s most pressing issues, including patient-centered care, a talented nursing workforce, and data-driven financial decisions.

As a nurse executive in practice for more than 30 years, I understand your challenges, and we’ve worked to create a toolkit that meets your needs and is guided by the following key concepts.

Tips on making the business case

Implementing data-driven workforce management requires nurse leaders to make the case to the financial team. In addition to citing research that supports the efficacy of this strategy, leaders will want to keep the following tips in mind when building their business case and writing the business plan.

It’s time for data-driven, patient-centered workforce management

How to transform data into effective staffing.


  • Many sources of healthcare system data influence staffing outcomes.
  • Nurses—especially nurse executives—can help other leaders in their organization understand the impact on financial, operational, and clinical imperatives driven by a data-driven workforce management approach.
  • Excellence in staffing begins with information about the patient, which is then integrated with information about nurse competencies and environmental factors.

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an upcoming toolkit on workforce management. Watch for more information on a workforce management webinar that’s coming in June.

CNOs and CFOs partner to reap benefits of acuity-based staffing

How to build a case that creates improved patient outcomes.

In this new, unpredictable healthcare universe, chief nursing officers (CNOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) are jettisoning preconceived notions of their individual roles and finding innovative ways to work together to create better outcomes.

cno cfoOne goal that both CNOs and CFOs have in common is finding a way to calculate more effective nurse staffing and scheduling. This intersection is where CNOs can build a case for acuity-based staffing and present the system’s value to CFOs, not only for better clinical outcomes, but also for satisfactory fiscal outcomes.

Practical steps for applying acuity-based staffing

In the healthcare arena, change happens at a rapid pace. Healthcare leaders face the continual challenge of delivering high-quality patient care while managing costs. A growing body of evidence shows that patient acuity-driven staffing is an effective way to optimize nurse staffing to improve patient outcomes and promote clinical and organizational excellence.

How do we turn that evidence into a transformative reality? On July 14, 2016, American Nurse Today and API Healthcare cohosted a webinar that addressed that question. Four nurse leaders—all of them pioneers in acuity-based staffing research and implementation—presented a strong case detailing why acuity-based staffing is imperative, not just for patients and nurses but also for healthcare organizations as a whole. They offered practical guidelines on how nurses can foster change, both across the profession and within their local organizations.