Nurse Staffing: Resource Allocation Efficiency?

With over 99.7 million COVID cases and 5.6 million hospitalizations per the CDC, the pandemic and its indirect effects have resulted in several current challenges for health care organizations. Leading these challenges is a decreased nursing labor pool and skyrocketing contractor nursing costs. Hospitals are projecting a $86 billion increase in costs due to labor and a 37% decrease in operating margin in 2022. The 2022 NSI National Healthcare Care Retention & RN Staffing Report shows that 60% of hospitals are reporting a nursing vacancy rate of greater than 15%. The American Hospital Association reported that Agency Contracted Nursing usage increased to 38.6% of total hospital nursing labor expense in 2022, rising 213% compared to pre-pandemic rates (2019).

In light of these staffing shortages, hospital executives must ask themselves, “are we allocating our nursing resources efficiently?” Many hospitals still utilize their nurses for one-to-one patient observations, missing a key opportunity to implement a Patient Sitter department that would relieve nursing at a more efficient cost.

A recent report by Kaufman Hall highlighted that even the most optimistic projections for 2022 are showing a 37% decrease in hospital operating margins as compared to pre-pandemic levels (2019).

A strong Patient Observation Assistant (POA) program provides suicide and safety one-on-one patient observations through dedicated associates that can improve quality, regulatory readiness, and patient safety, while also allowing nurses to operate at the top end of their license. Such a program also decreases the need for Agency Contracted Nursing, significantly reducing labor costs for hospitals.

Patient Observation Assistants can reduce the expense that hospitals are currently providing for one-on-one patient observation by up to 50%, while also providing several indirect expense savings. Reduced patient falls, improved nurse staffing, reduced overtime, and increased nurse retention are just some of the positives of a well-implemented POA program.

Connect with us today for more information regarding how your healthcare facilities can reduce the expense, injuries and improve patient safety, through the utilization of Xanitos' POA Program.