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Vila Health Nurse Staffing: The St. Anthony Medical Center

Introduction

The nursing profession is one of the most crucial parts of healthcare and comprises the largest section of this vocation. Today, there are more than 3 million registered nurses who work in American facilities, and this number is expected to increase by 7% in the next decade (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2020). However, many nurses believe that the problem of nursing shortage cannot be ignored as it continues to spread across the country.

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This is associated with high rates of dissatisfaction and job burnout that present a risk to the health system, influencing the quality of patient care, provoking stress, and causing nurses to leave their jobs (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2020). The St. Anthony Medical Center (SAMC) faces the challenge of nursing shortage as characterized by the high patient-to-nurse ratio, impeding its delivery of quality care. As a leader at SAMC, I have to explain the worth of human resources changes as a part of a staffing plan to create a competitive advantage and identify future demands.

Comparison of Current Workforce to Future Needs

Current Workforce Analysis

SAMC is one of the largest medical facilities in Minneapolis that offers high-quality care to vulnerable populations and serves as a teaching hospital in the region. Like many American hospitals, this medical center is challenged by nursing shortages and revenue shortfalls. Jackie Sandoval, the Chief Nursing Officer, observes staffing problems during different shifts and the lack of professional caregivers to respond to emergency cases like a chemical spill by a train derailment. Health workers are often overworked, and the institution has to depend on the services of other agencies. While there are numerous potential solutions, the leaders admit the impossibility of improving the budget and hiring new employees, which provokes new issues in patient care quality and nurses’ satisfaction with working conditions.

Needs and Gaps

To determine the future needs of nurses, it is essential to examine the existing systems and identify the complicated tasks. Sandoval observes that the diabetes center that had been opened did not help in reducing the workflow. Persons with diabetes-related symptoms are only one segment of the overall traffic and do not benefit this facility. In addition, there is a need for multilingual health professionals who can deal with different persons from distinct cultures. In the scenario, the need of aggressive effort on hiring nurses is required for vulnerable populations. The cultural gap also has an impact on staffing relationships, which requires improved competency and cooperation.

Staffing Plan and Competitive Advantage

Ideal Staffing Plan

The ideal staffing plan should utilize the top-down approach. It is a standardized and mandatory technique based on the nurse-to-bed ratio when nurses feel empowerment and support (van Bogaert et al., 2016). The methods utilized involve comparing different hospitals and determining the population’s needs. For instance, a hospital may assess the number of inpatients to illustrate the service capacity, and then relate this to the number of health workers per bed. This is a vital first step that helps in establishing whether a health facility requires a review.

In St. Anthony Medical Center, there are more patients than nurses, and this implies that the quality of care is threatened. The Chief Nursing Officer explains that she often has to hire additional staff for most units in the hospital. She explains that even after doing that, there are still beds that lack any health attendant. The current pool of nurses is forced to work for long hours to cover the shortage of staff. The institution identifies caregivers from other facilities during emergencies, but it is not a long-term solution, and the management has to hire more people to improve the services.

One of the possible steps in the staffing plan is benchmarking. It encompasses expert judgments to determine other facilities that can be used to compare with St. Anthony Medical Center. The downside of this approach is that it is similarly prone to subjectivity. Specifically, evidence suggests that initial staffing levels are based on an institution’s history, as opposed to the patient requirements (Ball et al., 2019). Benchmarking aims at managing and comparing an organization within the offered measurement tools and enhance improvement as per the current needs (Ginter et al., 2018). Nonetheless, this will contribute to determining whether there is enough staff in the organization.

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One more significant method to strengthen SAMC staffing is the patient classification system to divide patients according to their needs and other vital criteria. To ensure that this step is comprehensive, the hospital will make use of bespoke categorizations. These are more appropriate considering that the classifications are premised on acuity levels (Griffiths et al., 2020). This is highly effective as it gives a clearer and more specific picture of the staffing levels required against the existing ones. Overall, the analysis based on this approach will help determine the nurses that should be recruited to satisfy the demand.

Measures to Evaluate Success

There are several measures that have to be recognized to understand if the offered staffing plan is successful or not. For example, staffing numbers have to be properly identified to see the number of people hired, fired, and those who quit on their own. The right number of staff is a considerable measure for this improvement plan (Griffiths et al., 2020). Staff satisfaction surveys represent another measurement to identify the effectiveness of the ideas (Paulsen, 2018). Finally, productivity levels must be measured to see if the organization creates goods for nurses and their task performance (Ginter et al., 2018). All these indicators help leaders to compare the past achievements and the current situation in regard to a newly developed staffing plan.

Plan Failure Implications

Human resource (HR) management in health care is highly complex compared to other industries owing to the intensiveness of labor and the fact that the professions in this field are well-established (Kharti et al., 2017). HR plays a fundamental role because it is capable of influencing the behaviors of the workers. The clinical outcomes of St. Anthony Medical Center are dependent on the HR capability. If the workforce is unable to support the needs of the staff and accommodate the offered plan, the quality of care could be dramatically challenged and get worse with time. Today, more than ever, patients and their families expect to receive the best services. For this to happen, leaders in the field must ensure that the workforce remains highly motivated and committed to providing quality care.

Another implication for the organization is related to the number of nurses who are ready to leave their jobs because of the impossibility to find good working conditions. The current turnover rate for this profession is up to 37 percent, which means that there is an insufficient number of employees to fulfill all patients’ needs (Haddad et al., 2020). Health workers in the organization are exhausted and choose turnover as the only available solution. If the staffing plan is not supported, it would negatively influence SAMC and provoke the growth nurse shortages.

Human Resource as a Competitive Advantage

Health care leaders primarily rely on the HR department to influence the level of employees’ commitment. This is because human resource is responsible for determining the type and intensity of training for the professionals as well as the appropriate compensation (Kharti et al., 2017). These factors play a crucial role in improving the engagement and satisfaction levels of workers. An organization that addresses these issues is likely to witness high customer fulfillment. This implies that a hospital that provides quality care due to high levels of HR capabilities has a competitive advantage.

In this scenario, the HR department may consider training the existing nurses and using the already defined strategies to improve their morale and care quality. Competitive advantage is the organizational strength that allows an organization to perform services better than its competitors can (Ginter et al., 2018). SAMC’s competitive advantage is focused on vulnerable populations and the necessity to offer high-quality services, which attracts the attention of patients and investors at the same time.

Conclusion

The volume of literature on nursing shortages has grown tremendously in the past decade. It is projected that it will worsen in the coming years, and it is a risk to the entire health system. In the SAMC case, the existing workforce is being overworked, and the leader has to hire temporary staff. HR has the potential to improve the working conditions through improving employees’ commitment. A new staffing plan should be employed that puts into consideration the need for multilingual caregivers, and this ought to be evaluated through professional judgment, benchmarking, and a patient classification system. Overall, the number of nurses in the hospital has to be increased and redistributed to improve the quality of care.

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References

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2020). Fact sheet: Nursing shortage. AACN. Web.

Ball, J., Barker, H., Griffiths, P., Jones, J., Lawless, J., Burton, C. R., Couch, R., & Rycroft-Malone, J. (2019). Implementation, impact and costs of policies for safe staffing in acute trusts: Report to funders. Southampton: University of Southampton.

Ginter, P. M., Duncan, W. J., & Swayne, L. E. (2018). Strategic management of health care organizations (8th ed.). John Wiley.

Griffiths, P., Saville, C., Ball, J., Jones, J., Pattison, N., & Monks, T. (2020). Nursing workload, nurse staffing methodologies and tools: A systematic scoping review and discussion. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 103. Web.

Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2020). Nursing shortage. StatPearls Publishing. Web.

Kharti, N., Gupta, V., & Varma, A. (2017). The relationship between HR capabilities and quality of patient care: The mediating role of proactive work behaviors. Human Resource Management, 56(4), 673-691. Web.

Paulsen, R. A. (2018). Taking nurse staffing research to the unit level. Nursing Management, 49(7), 42-48. Web.

Van Bogaert, P., Peremans, L., Diltour, N., Van Heusden, D., Dilles, T., Van Rompaey, B., & Havens, D. S. (2016). Staff nurses’ perceptions and experiences about structural empowerment: A qualitative phenomenological study. PLoS One, 11(4). Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, June 23). Vila Health Nurse Staffing: The St. Anthony Medical Center. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/vila-health-nurse-staffing-the-st-anthony-medical-center/

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