Improve unit coverage and decrease costs. Sounds too good to be true?

Published by Hiro Kawashima on February 01, 2019

Most hospitals today are under significant pressure to reduce operating costs while maintaining and even improving the quality of care. So what can you do when you are tasked with finding opportunities to cut costs in your department?

We conducted data analysis on behalf of a large academic medical center located in the Midwest. Our client was experiencing high inpatient nursing overtime costs and had limited ability to effectively implement day-of staffing adjustments.

We analyzed 17 departments ranging from Neurology to Pediatric ICU and discovered that departments were either overstaffed or understaffed 66% of the time. In addition, some departments were chronically understaffed despite large overtime and agency costs. 

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For example, Oncology was understaffed 58 percent of the time.

We also analyzed potential cost savings and coverage improvements had they used StaffRight’s forecasting capabilities. We found $4.9 million in cost savings opportunities which represents a 9 percent decrease in total staffing costs across the departments. More interestingly, we found that had they used StaffRight, they would have achieved 100 percent coverage for less than a $150,000 budget increase, a significant improvement from the $6.3 million in cost overruns they experienced.

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A $4.9 million costs savings opportunity or 100 percent coverage for a slight budget increase.

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