Axsium conducted a survey a few years about staffing offices, and we created it from a completely neutral perspective in terms of the value of staffing offices. In other words, we tried very hard not to assume that it was better to have a centralized location for staffing across multiple units or worse that it just did not matter.
The results of the survey were very interesting in terms of issues, technology, and priorities. But when it came to centralizing staffing, the slight majority of hospitals were using a centralized office for that and it seemed pretty clear that it was the preferred model.
Being an industry analyst and consultant, that wasn’t quite the satisfying answer I wanted. I had data but did it makes sense? Was it consistent with other research I’ve done? Could I truly say that the research shows a centralized staffing office is better?
Here is what I considered:
1. Axsium’s research survey showed that a majority of hospitals, especially larger hospitals, utilize a centralized staffing office.
o My conclusion: This can be an indicator of a widely recognized preferred process, if other data supports the same conclusion.
2. Axsium’s research survey also showed that the hospitals with staffing offices have more complex issues that they are dealing with.
o My conclusion: Simple staffing issues are solved with a centralized staffing office.
3. In the past six months, I have heard or read about in completely discrete forums at least three hospitals who have implemented a centralized staffing office in the past year and none who have eliminated their office.
o My conclusion: When there is a trend, it typically means that there is a “best practice” foundation that is guiding the way.
4. When Axsium performs an ROI study for a hospital on scheduling and staffing, there are always multiple hard cost and soft cost benefits identified from the implementation of centralized staffing office.
o My conclusion: Not having a centralized staffing office results in lost cost savings opportunities.
5. Axsium is being asked by existing clients and new clients to guide hospitals through the implementation of a centralized staffing office, due to our expertise with both staffing processes and the technology of scheduling systems.
o My conclusion: Hospitals only bring in consultants for improvements.
With those five factors, I feel very confident that I can conclude:
For the majority of hospitals, a centralized staffing office is better for staffing operations and can draw significant value out of the scheduling system.
That’s my answer to the title question. I won’t go so far as to say it is absolutely right for every hospital, but it certainly is the right answer for most hospitals.
How do you, as a hospital, determine if a centralized staffing office is right for you? Well, we can help with that. I mentioned above that we do ROI studies related to workforce management, including scheduling and staffing, and we can work with you to assess your environment and determine what hard and/or soft cost saving you could realize with a staffing office.
If you’ve already determined that you need to implement a staffing office in your hospital and don’t know what to do, we can lead you through that as well. Axsium’s position as an independent consulting firm means that we can work with any scheduling system you have and go through the steps to build out a staffing office in your environment. Sometimes our clients know what to do and simply don’t have the available staff to put it together and sometimes they just don’t know where to start. Either way, we are flexible enough to partner with you and figure out together where we can best help you.
If you are interested, you can check out our website or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.