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Problems in Healthcare Hiring

Better Data Can Help Some of the Problems in Healthcare Hiring: Three Blueprint Examples

This is another installment in a series of guest blogs from Juice Analytics.

Whether you’re a healthcare employee or not, we are all at one point or another affected by the healthcare industry in the US. That means interacting with healthcare professionals who are the face of the industry. If you asked them, they would likely attest to the fact that they are working with a tightening resource base. Likewise, healthcare reform is introducing external pressures and constraints that demand hospital systems to do more with less.

A recent CIO article went as far as to compare modern healthcare to Blockbuster, suggesting that the industry is in need of a Netflix-type level of disruption. However, trying to compare the intricacies of the healthcare delivery model to the video rental business is like comparing the complexities of the human body to the functionality of a VHS tape—one is definitely more complicated than the other.

Currently, workforce expenses make up over 54.2% of a hospital’s overhead costs, and staff-related expenses can cost upwards of 70 percent of an organization's total costs—easily the largest expense line item on the books. Furthermore, healthcare employment is projected to grow by 29% by 2022—two times faster than the overall expected employment growth! Ironically enough, hospitals invest millions annually in financial and clinical IT systems, but spend much less on "the people side of the business.”

There’s certainly a need for a new approach, and that is where our Blueprint comes in. Blueprint allows healthcare leaders to use data to understand their workforce from a bird’s eye view, with the ability to drill into the details. Think “Google Map” for your workforce. Blueprint is a diagnostic tool for leadership to understand the links between key HR metrics like turnover, hiring, span of control, and employee engagement.

Fortunately, what we’ve learned through the development of Blueprint is that it does not take a whole lot of complex workforce data to begin measuring staffing areas that are directly tied to quality of care, outcomes and cost management. Below are some workforce strategies that Blueprint focuses on that will have you moving towards better clinical and financial outcomes today.

Turnover

Replacing a valued healthcare employee can cost up to 250% of his/her salary. Surprisingly, many hospitals don’t track their turnover very accurately or in a timely manner. According to an NSI study, 83.9 percent of healthcare respondents don’t record the costs of employee loss. With the report finding that the vacancy rate for nurses is expected to grow, hospitals need to do all they can to keep retention high avoiding a lapse in patient care.

Here is what the CHRO of Trinity Health Senior Communities had to say about Blueprint’s effect on his organization. "Because we are so spread out, being able to connect the dots for us in terms of where our turnover is happening and using actual data instead of anecdotal stories is going to change the way we deliver care and make business decisions.” – Sam Albanese, CHRO Trinity Health Senior Communities

Retention and new hires

Retention can provide the continuity of care that plays a large role in patient satisfaction. Furthermore, employees with less than one year of tenure make up nearly 25% of all health care turnover nationally!

Blueprint allows a leader to understand where the most hiring is happening in her organization, not only by facility, department ,and leader, but by job category and job title. This allows a user to focus retention efforts where the newest employees are. Also, conversely, Blueprint can identify employees with the most tenure in an organization, which might help prevent future vacancies.

Monitor managerial span of control (How many direct reports a supervisor has)

According to studies, smaller spans of control are linked to higher rates of employee retention—and the alternative being true with wider spans of control.

We were recently talking with an organization that was interested in understanding where all of their “1 to 1’s” here. In other words they wanted to pinpoint the cases where one supervisor had just one employee. They then used this information to consolidate, driving efficiency and saving money.

About Juice

Juice is an expert in designing and building web applications that connect people with data. We work with clients across industries including healthcare, digital advertising, and other data-rich businesses. Founded in 2004, Juice has offices in Nashville, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.

Our people, our platform and our passion are all dedicated to building data products that people love to use. To us, this means finding better ways of capturing the excitement of finding an insight and sharing it with a colleague. This means telling a story using data that unfolds as your understanding grows. This means delivering data products that make your customers say, "Wow!" HealthStream—which made a minority equity investment in Juice—with both companies recognizing the potential of Juice and its products to support HealthStream’s network, including Nashville’s data-rich healthcare industry.

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