Mark Figgitt Dec 6, 2021 11:57:06 AM 5 min read

Struggling to manage nursing staff rosters effectively?

Why nurse staffing solutions will save healthcare organisation time, money and improve patient care

Nurse staffing is a significant challenge across the healthcare industry, from hospitals and clinics to assisted living and other types of senior living facilities. Too many organisations view reducing nursing staff as the answer to their financial problems, when the reality is that this approach is costing hospitals money, not saving it.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that reducing full-time nursing positions will have a detrimental impact on patient care. Nurses spend the most time with patients and play a significant role in how each patient feels about their experience. If patients haven't received the attention, time, and care they needed, this can have serious implications, from patient satisfaction to the outcome of their treatment.

Reducing nursing staff also places additional pressure on the remaining roster - and these nurses are very likely to already be under strain. They often experience burnout due to the long hours and high patient loads. And the reality is that in many cases, these nurses are not only pressured, but expected to work overtime.

Recent studies have found a connection between the number of patients a nurse has under their care and an increased risk of illness or death. One study found that patients on an understaffed floor had a 15% higher chance of developing a hospital-acquired infection. Another concluded that adding a nurse to a shift decreased patients' risk of mortality by 14%.

Failure to properly manage nursing staff has a number of other trickle-down effects, including:

  • Increased errors - the more patients a nurse has to care for, the higher the risk of them making a mistake
  • Job dissatisfaction - a tough working environment can turn toxic
  • Reduced teamwork - when nurses are burned out and pushed beyond their limits, co-operation across the entire team will suffer

How a workforce management system will address nurse staffing issues in your healthcare organisation

So what's the answer? If your healthcare facility is dealing with budget issues and you're wondering how to cut costs, don't start by reducing your nursing staff - start by implementing a workforce management solution designed specifically to meet the challenges of nurse staffing. The right healthcare management solution for nurse workforce scheduling will save your hospital money and create efficiencies.

To help you gain a better understanding, we've developed a new eBook, The cost of poor nurse staffing. It details why many healthcare organisations have learned the hard way that reducing their nursing staff is not the answer to their financial challenges, and demonstrates how you can use innovative technology to meet those challenges with a proven nurse staffing solution.

The eBook these key areas:

  • Labour costs vs. cost of turnover – how much hospitals are losing in revenue due to high nursing staff turnover
  • Overtime and burnout – how does this impact on the organisation and its patients?
  • What happens when a nurse leaves – the costs of onboarding new staff
  • Total cost of care – why hospitals can’t afford to ignore nurses’ impact on a patient’s total cost of care
  • Why happy nurses mean happy patients - a look at ShiftWizard’s workforce management software

Labour costs, direct and indirect, are obviously impacted by staffing but the ‘cost’ of poor nurse staffing reaches well beyond just payroll, impacting your healthcare organisation in a number other areas. Overcoming these challenges means bringing nurse scheduling software on board.



Mark Figgitt

Mark Figgitt is the Executive Director for HealthStream Capacity Management in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to his Executive and General Management role, he is also responsible for the global product management and development of Capacity Planner™, and Capacity & Resource Advisor™.