Healthcare is a complicated industry and that extends into labor management. Experts say internal labor audits may help hospitals and healthcare organizations navigate myriad labor laws, union contracts and other workforce issues.
J.P. Fingado, CEO of workforce management solutions company API Healthcare, and Lisa LaBau, API’s COO, talked toHealthcare Finance News, sister publication of PhysBizTech, to offer tips for getting a successful labor audit.
1. Standardization. Hospitals and healthcare organizations run on dozens of levels -- sometimes across several states or even internationally. It’s important that all departments and locations are running on the same systems, LaBau said. Technology is great at measuring different units, but if every organization runs on different systems, it’s impossible to make comparisons.
2. Compliance. Organizations not only deal with different legislation from state to state, they deal with varying union contacts. “When you look at these organizations that don’t have anything set in place, they take on huge risks,” said LaBau. Not following rules, regulations and contracts can be costly to the organizations. Fines and labor disputes add up. “It costs them a lot of money,” said LaBau.
3. Productivity. Making sure your workforce is productive and managed properly is underestimated by most organizations, said LaBau and Fingado. Many don’t have a plan or system in place to monitor productivity. “Previously it used to be reactive,” said LaBau. “You need to anticipate when there’s going to be a problem.” Advanced technology can measure time and attendance, as well as talent management to make sure staff are being utilized properly and efficiently.
4. Resource allocation. Healthcare organizations can save tremendously on cutting overtime across the board if resources are properly allocated. LaBau suggested evidence-based staffing is a way to help organizations be proactive in managing productivity and overall workforce needs. Fingado said hospitals can do simple things like using software and other technologies that better monitor scheduling. Also, they suggested, health organizations should utilizing staffing agencies to help with their staffing needs.
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