Increased overtime and utilization of agency per diem nurses are two most common measures used to prepare for this increase
Nursefinders, Inc. today released the latest findings of its Quarterly Nurse Staffing Survey. The survey finds that approximately 51 percent of healthcare facilities are currently experiencing a marked increase in patient census, and another 37 percent will see an increase in patient census between December and February. According to the survey, facilities on average will see a 15 percent rise in patient census and utilize increased overtime and agency per diem nurses most often to prepare for this fluctuation. These are just a few of the survey’s major findings.
The survey also found that the increase in patient census lasts between 10 and more than 14 weeks, or approximately one full quarter, for the majority (60 percent) of facilities. Further, 58 percent of facilities don’t begin to prepare for this increase until sometime between August and October.
The most common measures facilities take to prepare for increased census are:
Bob Livonius, CEO of Nursefinders, commented, “When you consider that half of all hospital emergency departments are already at or over capacity, the ability to effectively manage and prepare for any marked increase in census is crucial. Increasing the use of overtime appears to be the most common measure taken by facilities to help manage these fluctuations, despite the high costs and potential pitfalls that are often associated with this tactic.”
However, Livonius notes, among the large majority of facilities that rely on increasing their use of agency per diem nurses in response to rising census, more than one-quarter (26 percent) maximize the costs and effectiveness of this measure by alerting existing staffing partners in order to create a proactive plan for staffing.
“Creating a proactive plan for managing census fluctuations can deliver tremendous returns on staffing investments and safeguard high levels of patient care for facilities,” says Livonius. “For example, alerting existing staffing partners or securing one well before the rise helps ensure facilities will work with a provider that knows their clinical and cultural requirements, and alleviate any surprises in cost, compliance or service quality that can result from last minute contract execution.”
The Nursefinders, Inc. Quarterly Nurse Staffing Survey is conducted with a panel of healthcare executives (112 respondents), each representing unique healthcare facilities which vary in revenue size and number of beds, including hospitals, long-term acute care and others, from across the country.
Based in Arlington, TX, Nursefinders is a leading provider of healthcare staffing and home health services and the largest provider of Vendor Managed Services (VMS) in the United States. Nursefinders offers comprehensive healthcare staffing solutions to include allied health professionals and physician recruitment and locum tenens (contract physicians), in addition to nursing, through its sister companies Club Staffing and Linde Healthcare/Kendall & Davis. Founded in 1974, the company has a system-wide network of more than 100 offices and serves approximately 4,700 hospitals, nursing homes and clinics across the country. Nursefinders' Patient Care Division provides home health services for all age groups from newborn care to senior living services from 25 locations nationwide. For more information on the company, visit www.nursefinders.com
Senior Director of Corporate Communications, AMN Healthcare
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