Innovations in Real-Time Workforce Management with Texas Health Resources 

July 28, 2023

In today’s healthcare industry, a pressing set of challenges demand attention: labor expenses account for nearly half of health systems’ operating costs, leading to hundreds of staffing decisions daily. Unfortunately, these decisions are often made using incomplete and outdated data, resulting in suboptimal choices and considerable hurdles for leaders striving to optimize staffing. The current process is labor-intensive and ineffective, requiring multiple teams to handle data entry across various platforms and manage diverse expectations. This fragmentation makes it exceptionally challenging for leaders to establish a standardized care delivery system across the entire organization. Additionally, health systems lack a consistent and data-informed process for setting targets, establishing expectations and fostering accountability for performance. To address these critical issues, innovative solutions that leverage modern technology and real-time data analytics are vital. 

Collaborative Partnership for Enhanced Workforce Management 

Texas Health Resources (THR) is a faith-based nonprofit health system that serves more patients in North Texas than any other provider. Texas Health Resources has 29 hospitals, 130 primary care locations and 18 urgent care centers totaling over 395 points of access. THR and Strata partnered to bring the powerful modules already existing in Strata’s platform to THR to enable a highly integrated and automated user experience that allows the health system to better manage their high cost and most valuable resources through trusted data. The hope for the partnership would allow users, including front line managers and executives, to have access to the right data at the right time for more informed decisions, resulting in high quality care and high employee satisfaction. 

Balancing staff across the hospital is crucial for ensuring safe care, employee satisfaction and financial stewardship, but it comes with challenges. The process is laborious, complex and time-consuming, requiring access to multiple systems for informed decisions. To address this, Real-Time Workforce Management (RTWM) offers a streamlined solution, providing nursing leaders with a one-stop shop to gather essential information within 60 seconds or less. Despite hospitals implementing unique processes and tools like Excel files and paper-based systems, there remains a lack of consistency in documenting decisions and actions. Moreover, daily productivity reports, while essential for tracking performance to target, suffer from a 2-day lag, providing users with outdated data. Additionally, real-time data sources fail to offer insights into performance trends related to productivity and usage over time. Preparing for productivity meetings becomes a time-consuming task, requiring leaders to update incorrect clock-ins, review volume stats, recall decision rationales and gather necessary data. 

Real-Time Workforce Management Implementation: Key Players and Leadership Involvement 

When implementing Real-Time Workforce Management, a robust leadership team must be involved, with nurse managers playing a pivotal role in the decision-making process. Traditionally owned by finance departments, THR has strategically placed nurses in operational leadership positions to drive productivity processes. In addition to nurse managers, the following key members should be part of the implementation: 

  • Executive Sponsor: A senior executive responsible for project oversight, ensuring the availability of resources, adjusting scope as needed and mitigating risks. 
  • Steering Committee: Comprising senior vice presidents of corporate finance, entity financial officers and/or chief nursing officers, this committee will provide strategic design and deployment decisions, offer project oversight and guidance and remove potential blockers. 
  • Sr. Operations Leaders: Chief nursing officers will garner support from nurses, ensure clinical and financial resources are available and prepare front-line managers for training and adoption. Emphasizing that Real-Time Workforce Management is more than a finance tool to cut costs, these leaders will highlight its role as an operational tool to empower end users in real-time decision-making for optimal unit staffing.

Empowering Healthcare Organizations with Real-Time Data Insights for Informed Decision-Making 

Healthcare systems currently benefit from Strata’s platform and tools, gaining access to past data and information to analyze trends and outcomes. However, end users often find it frustrating when they encounter data indicating that targets were not met without having the necessary tools to address and rectify the issues. Responding to the needs of healthcare organizations, there is a growing demand for real-time data that delves beyond expense and productivity, providing valuable insights at the employee level. This level of detailed information can help healthcare organizations better understand their departments, strike a balance between productivity and patient care and ensure the delivery of optimal care. As a result, the industry is seeking a comprehensive tool that offers a forward-looking perspective, equipping healthcare organizations with data to make informed decisions today, tomorrow and beyond. This strategic data-driven approach will empower them to prepare for challenges proactively and deliver the best possible care to their patients. 

Strata is working diligently to integrate our performance management solutions, management reporting, productivity reporting and Real-Time Workforce Management through streamlined workflows, configurations and data sharing. While management and productivity reporting offer retrospective views, Real-Time Workforce Management introduces a futuristic perspective, providing users with up-to-date insights. This cohesive integration aims to offer an effective solution to streamline labor and staffing management for healthcare systems. 

Real-Time Workforce Management, a cutting-edge tool developed by Strata Decision Technology, serves a vital role in healthcare systems by optimizing premium labor expenses and enhancing care quality through real-time staffing adjustments across inpatient units. By diligently tracking patient volumes and movements, integrating time and attendance data and utilizing staffing grid information from nurses, alongside payroll engine data, Strata ensures a balanced approach to identify understaffed and overstaffed units. This holistic approach enables healthcare systems to gain an understanding of expected volume and scheduled staff, facilitating effective management of premium labor usage for optimal outcomes with a focus on humility and professionalism. 

About Strata Decision Technology

Strata Decision Technology provides a cloud-based platform for software and service solutions to help healthcare providers better analyze, plan, and perform in support of caring for their community and reducing the cost of care. Our customer base includes over 2,000 hospitals and over 400 healthcare delivery systems. Founded in 1996, our mission is to Help Heal Healthcare™. To learn more about Strata, explore the rest of our site or talk to our team today.