As labor rates continue to rise and represent the highest expense in the post-acute and long-term care industries, providers are turning their attention to scheduling solutions that more appropriately align their workforce to patients' needs.
While these implementations provide quick returns associated with automation of key functions including schedule creation, shift-trading, and call-off management, they've missed the mark in accurately modeling the care needs of the individual patient. Quite simply, the scheduling process improved but the staffing model did not. Enter traditional work study. The approach, widely adopted in other industries, is being repackaged to better understand how acuity-specific patient attributes affect the level of care required by floor staff. Traditional work study tools including time study, work sampling and predetermined motion time systems are being used to provide the finance department with a more accurate definition of cost of care while allowing the operations department with the staffing models needed to closely align labor to patient care demands. The results are truly win/win as the patient receives better consistency in care while the company benefits from the lower labor costs achieved through more accurate daily schedules, reduced over time and higher productivity.