Hospitals see benefits in automated scheduling

By Eric Wicklund
12:00 AM

SAN DIEGO – The days of nurses filling out their schedules on paper and rushing to the hospital to grab prime vacation slots are rapidly fading, thanks to the advent of automated staffing solutions.

Three Florida not-for-profit hospitals, for example, are reportedly saving more than $1 million and seeing a marked improvement in operations and morale by using Concerro’s automated nurse staffing solution to fill open shifts.

The technology allows hospitals to match open positions with qualified nurses, gives nurses an opportunity to manage their own schedules and reduces the need for costly contract agency personnel or extra incentives to fill slots.

The system has proven successful at Health First’s three Florida not-for-profit hospitals – Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne and Palm Bay Community Hospital in Palm Bay – which employ roughly 1,700 registered nurses. Officials say the system saw an 83 percent reduction in contract labor use in the first six months and expects to realize a $3.12 million annual reduction in contract labor, representing an annual net savings of $1.32 million.

“We used to spend just a huge amount of time making phone calls each day … and begging people to come in,” said Jan McCoy, vice president and patient care services at Cape Canaveral Hospital, of the hospital’s scheduling woes prior to the Concerro implementation last June. In some situations, she said, hospital officials were compelled to offer double or triple bonuses to nurses to get them to fill needed shifts.

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