Deploying Your Workforce: A Critical Competency for Healthcare Organizations
Looking back through old files, I came across the article and sat down to read it over. I was struck by two things:
how many edits I would make to improve the writing (this strikes me anytime I read anything I wrote more than a month ago); and
how not much has changed relative to the core premises of the article.
While my first observation is quite frivolous, the second might be worth some explanation…
While we’ve moved on, at least somewhat, from the global financial crisis (the first premise) that we started from when the article was written, and medical research has continued to drive improvements in care and outcomes, the issues that fueled the article remain the same. Obviously the workforce is still the largest ingredient in the patient care recipe, not to mention the largest item on any health care budget, just as it was in 2009 and back to the inception of institutional health care I would guess. And maximizing retention, then deploying staff to the right place at the right time determines whether the workforce serves its purpose in providing quality care. It also determines whether it costs what it’s supposed to cost according to the plan at the start of the year. In short – effective, high quality staff scheduling.
Yet still too few health care organizations have staff scheduling practices on their strategic radar. It is gratifying when looking back and speaking with clients that have in fact done so, such as Interior Health in BC, Alberta Health Services, and Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick to name a few. But it is somewhat confounding that so many organizations continue to operate with an absence of visibility and accountability for staff scheduling, the very function that delivers the employee to the patient and drives payroll costs. I challenge you to read the article below with fresh eyes and decide for yourself.