By Randena Hulstrand, Vizient
As hospitals and health systems continue to confront the perfect storm of higher turnover, clinician fatigue and staffing shortages, Vizient has created solutions to optimize workforce demands. Here are a few recent examples:
The recent Vizient Clinical Team Insights report — an annual assessment from 34 provider hospitals and nearly 800 clinics — not only addresses the current state of the clinical workforce but provides guidance for healthcare organizations on how to recruit and retain quality Advanced Practice Providers (APP) while reimagining the healthcare delivery model.
"There's not enough physicians to fill the healthcare system's patient demand, so they have to change their models of care delivery,"said Christen Hunt, Vizient associate vice president of clinical team insights. "Adding APPs to the mix is the projected cost-effective solution, hence the job outlook. However, an APP's success is contingent on making them part of a cohesive clinical team."
In celebration of National Nurses Week in May, Dana Garcher, senior programmatic advisor for the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ (NRP), emphasized in her blog the value of nursing transition to practice programs for organizations to support newly licensed nurses with a focus on recruitment, engagement and retention.
"Recent discussions among the Vizient/AACN NRP team sparked an interesting debate: What are the key elements that distinguish successful NRPs? The team — eight nurses with a collective seven decades of NRP expertise across the U.S. — worked collaboratively to determine the following key elements, ranked in order of importance, which define a successful NRP," Garcher wrote.
Vizient released its latest Workforce Intelligence Report, which found that regular nursing hours have begun to stabilize but continue to be supplemented by overtime and contract labor hours at higher than pre-pandemic levels. The report, a collaboration between Vizient and Vaya Workforce, demonstrates how staffing shortages are negatively impacting hospital operating margins and potentially patient care. Access the Workforce Intelligence Report.
"The general downward trend is hopeful but the current levels of contract and overtime nursing hours are unsustainable and demonstrate that nurse shortages continue to challenge providers,"said Eric Burch, MBA, RN, FACHE, Vizient executive principal. "Some hospitals that are short-staffed have been forced to reduce services, including in surgical suites, and close beds. Lower bed capacity means fewer patients are getting the care they need, and when you add higher labor costs to lower patient volume, you find hospital operating margins are negatively impacted, hampering the ability to invest in key workforce strategies. It's a vicious cycle."
Nicole Gruebling, Vizient vice president of member connections, provides care and purposeful servant leadership to guide chief nurse, quality and medical executives national networks — and others — through the healthcare industry's choppy waters to improve lives.
"The scale at which I get to help bring people together to solve some of healthcare's most complex problems, leveraging Vizient's data and solutions, drives me every day,"she said. "I am super fortunate that my job is around building these relationships, making connections and then sharing those insights back with industry and our member providers. I'm grateful and privileged to be a part of it."