Many times, nurses are promoted to the manager level with little to no previous experience in leadership roles. In some cases, nurse managers can end up feeling overwhelmed and overworked, which can trickle down to their nursing staff.
So, in an effort to educate new nurse managers nationwide, the American Nurses Association is launching a new two-day seminar, called “New Nurse Managers Workshop: Your Roadmap to Success” on November 7th and 8th in Silver Spring, Maryland. This class aims to arm nurse managers with the necessary leadership and business skills they need to succeed.
According to the ANA’s Leadership Institute website, at the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
- Synthesize essential skills of nursing leadership and their impact on staff and the work environment
- Translate performance gaps into implementation strategies
- Design a roadmap to achieve leadership success
- Describe key competencies for nursing managers
Keynote speakers Joyce Batcheller, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN and Rose Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN will cover a range of topics and issues facing nurse leaders today, including nurse fatigue, budgeting, staffing concerns, communication skills, and leadership roles.
If you or someone on your hospital staff would like to learn more about this workshop, click here.
Travelers Conference 2016 in Las Vegas is just around the corner. This year’s weekend-long event, held September 25-27th, helps Travel Nurses connect with travel agencies around the country. But Travelers Conference isn’t just for nurses — it’s also an excellent opportunity for hospital leaders to learn more about the traveling healthcare profession. So, here are the top 3 reasons why healthcare leaders should attend Travelers Conference 2016:
- It’s in Las Vegas: Travelers Conference is the perfect opportunity to mix business with pleasure. From its brightly-lit casinos to its various show-stopping performances, Las Vegas offers fun experiences for just about everyone. When you think about it, Travelers Conference could also be ranked right up there as one of the city’s main attractions — but that’s probably just for the folks in the traveling healthcare industry. This year’s conference will host speakers and other participants, including RNs, nurse managers and educators, staffing company reps, writers, travel industry experts, and financial advisors.
- Debunk any myths about hiring travel nurses: You’ve probably heard one or two rumors about hiring Travel Nurses. For example, Travel Nurses are unreliable or they take too long to train. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Many travel staffing agencies have a rigorous application process, so your facility only interviews the best of the best candidates. When you do hire a Travel Nurse, you’ll find that they are capable healthcare professionals who truly want to work at your facility.
- Find a travel staffing company: That being said, you’ll want to work with a respected staffing agency to help you find the most qualified Travel Nurses. It’s not always easy to determine which agency to work with, but attending a networking event like Travelers Conference is a step in the right direction. Plus, you can stop by and chat with Medical Solutions’ experienced staff!
It’s not too late to register! Click here to learn more about Travelers Conference 2016.
Healthcare staffing and scheduling are complex issues, and with the ongoing nurse shortage, these issues haven’t gotten any easier to address. But what if you could help your hospital improve the scheduling process, reduce staff turnover, and increase the quality of patient care?
According to Dr. Karlene Kerfoot, BSN, RN and Chief Nursing Officer at GE Healthcare, everybody wins when hospital systems use a collaborative approach to staff management.
“Collaborative staffing allows managers to get the right nurse in the right position at the right time with the right patient,” says Dr. Kerfoot. “It takes the chaos out of staffing and scheduling.”
Unlike the traditional, top-down staff management style, the collaborative staffing method allows nurses and nurse managers to work together to cover shifts. For example, GE Healthcare’s cloud-based, scheduling software, called ShiftSelect, allows nurses to view and fill open shifts across multiple units. The results of a collaborative staffing style for hospital employees and patients are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, these top three benefits make the case for collaborative staffing:
- Increased staff and patient satisfaction: With more than 30 years in the nursing profession, Dr. Kerfoot has a passion for finding hospital staffing solutions. “The most common reason why people leave hospital work is the schedules,” Dr. Kerfoot says. “This technology empowers nurses by giving them the opportunity to fit their work schedules around their lives.” Dr. Kerfoot added nurses tend to stay in jobs where they feel engaged and valued. In turn, this engagement can lead to overall better patient care. “Patients can tell when their nurse is stressed,” she says. “Happy nurses equal happy patients.”
- Enhanced staff development: Under a collaborative staffing model, nurses also have more learning opportunities when they volunteer to cover shifts in various units. But it’s also important to remember this method isn’t just great for nurses — managers benefit from it too. “This system takes away a huge amount of work from the nurse managers,” says Dr. Kerfoot. “Instead of spending time dealing with staffing issues and complaints, these managers can now focus on the professional development of their nurses, and ways to improve patient care.”
- Improved staff productivity: In addition, a hospital’s scheduling process also becomes more streamlined. According to Dr. Kerfoot, there are usually fewer open shifts because nurse managers can post open shifts on the system early. “So nurses know ahead of time what the open shifts are,” she says. “It’s a friendly approach to staffing, and it makes all the sense in the world.”
With so many benefits to this staffing style, Dr. Kerfoot believes it’s only a matter of time before more hospitals adopt it. “Collaborative staffing is the wave of the future,” she says. “So many nurses love collaborative staffing.”
You can read more about the collaborative approach to hospital staff management here.
With the world of medicine and technology constantly evolving, no one healthcare provider can possibly remember or know it all. Fortunately, your medical staff can stay informed on all medical issues and improve patient care no matter where they are with the help of medical apps.
For your benefit, Healthcare Staffing Blog has reviewed the top 3 apps all healthcare professionals should be using now. The following list of apps can help your nurses and physicians save valuable time and improve their patients’ quality of care:
- Medscape: Powered by WebMD, this free mobile app is the go-to resource for many healthcare professionals. The app’s constantly updated medical database can help your nurses and physicians find quick and accurate clinical point of care answers. Medscape users also have access to several other tools, including a drug interaction checker, medical calculators, procedure references, and medical news updates. It’s like having a deeply experienced colleague working side by side with your staff every day!
- UpToDate: This aptly named mobile resource from Wolters Kluwer can help your medical staff stay current on the latest peer-reviewed clinical developments. UpToDate earned its reputation in the healthcare industry as a website long before it launched a mobile app in 2012. Both the website and the app are currently subscription-based. However, since so many healthcare providers rely on this resource, many facilities simply pay the subscription fee for their staff. UpToDate also allows its subscribers to earn free CME credits each time they use it.
- Epocrates: This tool is best known by medical professionals for its extensive drug database, and according to Manhattan Research’s 2015 Taking the Pulse survey, Epocrates is the most popular clinical app used by U.S. physicians. That’s probably because this app includes drug information such as adult and pediatric dosing, contraindication/cautions, pharmacology, and medication identification with photos. Access to the basic app is free, but the paid version has several upgrades, including an ICD-10 code lookup, a compilation of clinical treatment guidelines, and a diseases database with medical information on a range of conditions.
As a healthcare professional, which medical app is your favorite? Please share in the comments below!
U.S. News & World Report just released its 2016-17 Best Hospitals rankings. Only 20 hospitals out of nearly 5,000 evaluated earned the exclusive distinction this year. Last year, just 15 hospitals made the cut.
The publication recently revamped its honor roll process this year. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s website, hospitals now not only received points for how high they ranked in the 16 Best Hospital specialties, but also for how many “high performance” ratings they received on the nine Best Hospital procedures and conditions.
Below are the top 10 hospitals:
1. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)
2. Cleveland Clinic
3. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
4. Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)
5. UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
7. UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco)
8. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago)
9. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (Philadelphia)
10. NYU Langone Medical Center
You can view the complete Best Hospitals Honor Roll as well as a breakdown of the specialties and procedures they scored highest in here.
Did your facility make the list this year?
Thanks in large part to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, healthcare providers have had to increasingly ensure that their patients leave feeling satisfied with their hospital stay. For better or for worse, these patient satisfaction survey scores are tied to Medicare payments to hospitals.
Recently, several healthcare industry leaders have attacked the survey’s star rating system as flawed. In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced plans to change certain aspects of the survey. Despite these proposed modifications, it appears that the HCAHPS and its payment scoring calculations are here to stay.
So as a hospital leader, how do you adapt? What do you tell your staff? Medical Solutions’ Clinical Director of Nursing Amber B., RN, shared her 5 strategies to increase your hospital’s HCAHPS score and patient satisfaction below.
- Practice hourly rounding: Patient satisfaction begins with quality patient care. So, Amber suggests management should introduce an hourly rounding practice for your front line staff. Hourly rounding allows nurses to be proactive in their jobs instead of reactive. It also increases patient satisfaction since they feel that the staff is more accessible.
- Implement leadership rounding: Leadership rounding helps management monitor the daily activity of your front line staff and allows your administrators to interact with the patients themselves. This type of rounding can help your management team spot problems early or discover ways to improve patient satisfaction. As an added bonus, leadership rounding also improves employee engagement.
- Train your staff: Your staff will need to understand the purpose of the HCAPHS survey. It was designed to publicly measure patients’ perspective on their hospital experience. Amber believes management should reassure their staff that this survey was not intended to compare individual units or nurses, but the hospital overall. You should identify and communicate with your staff the survey’s strengths and weaknesses.
For example, the HCAPHS measures:
- how well nurses and doctors communicate with patients
- how responsive hospital staff are to patients’ needs
- whether key information is provided at discharge
- how well patients understood the type of care they would need after leaving the hospital.
The survey does not take into account:
- a patient’s understanding of the hospital bill
- the comfort of waiting areas
- the timeliness of appointments
- the quality of food
- Educate and prep patients on the survey: Likewise, Amber recommends hospital staff should educate their patients on the survey throughout the patient’s stay. If the patient understands why they are being asked about their hospital stay, they are more likely to respond. Likewise, if you remind them about it over the length of their stay, they will remember it better when asked about it days or weeks later. Your front line staff should focus on letting the patient know that both positive and negative feedback are welcome. Many times, people who are satisfied with their care do not feel the need to respond to the survey.
- Remember, it’s not personal: At the end of the day, Amber notes it’s important to remind your staff that you can’t make everyone happy. Some of your patients will have a negative experience for reasons that are out of your staff’s control. In spite of this challenge, your nurses should continually strive to provide quality care to all patients.
Increasing the quality of patient care and satisfaction while raising your HCAHPs scores aren’t mutually exclusive goals. In fact, they can go hand-in-hand. With these 5 strategies you can increase your HCAHPS score and improve patient care. Learn more about the HCAHPS survey here.
It’s no secret that the nurse shortage has rocked the healthcare industry in recent years. With a growing elderly population, high levels of retiring nurses, and a shortage of recent graduate nurses, many hospital staff managers are left scratching their heads. Although your hospital can’t change some of the factors that led to this shortage, you do still have the power to recruit quality staff and maintain superior patient care. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Here’s are the top 3 nurse recruitment strategies for hospitals:
- Create a great hospital culture: Your current nurses can be one of your best resources to attract new talent. If your employees love working for your hospital, then they will tell other nurses. Use this word of mouth to your advantage. Create an inspiring work culture at your hospital, and you’ll not only recruit new talent to your staff, but also retain your current nurses. What does that look like? Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Start with appreciation. Nurses work hard and their work deserves recognition. A little recognition goes a long way, and it can be pretty easy to do with week-long, annual events like National Nurses Week. Everyone wants to work where they know they are valued.
- Hire temporary nurses. Temporary staff, like Travel Nurses or Per Diem Nurses, also help increase staff morale. They can help reduce the amount of stress on permanent staff and prevent burnout. As an added bonus, your patients also receive better care.
- Combat nurse hazing. Nurse bullying has been a hot topic lately in the healthcare field. With a strong anti-bullying policy in place, you can prevent this kind of culture at your hospital. Strong leadership is key, so you’ll have to hold employees accountable when necessary.
- Offer Professional Development: Cushy benefits packages are great incentives to offer nurses, but they aren’t always everything. Some nurses are willing to work for less if your hospital offers professional development. Ongoing training allows your nursing staff the opportunity to sharpen their skills and provides a path to advancement within the hospital system.
- Revise your hiring practices: As a healthcare staffing manager, you want to hire the right people for the right job. Sounds simple in theory, but it can be hard to execute in reality. You might want to consider hiring Travel Nurses, or better yet, a healthcare staffing agency. Medical Solutions, one of the nation’s leading Travel Nurse staffing companies, has a MSP division known as Medical Solutions Plus. Medical Solutions Plus will handle the tedious hiring process for you and solve your nurse shortage with high quality short-term contract nurses. Medical Solutions Plus’ Multi-Point Screening Process will also ensure that your hospital has only the crème de la crème of recruits.
When all is said and done, you want your hospital to have a well-functioning staff and provide quality patient care. Even in this era of dramatic nurse shortages, you can stay ahead of the staffing curve. Just follow the above top 3 nurse recruitment strategies for hospitals, and you’ll be on your way!
When more than 4,000 Minneapolis-based Allina healthcare nurses went on strike Sunday, the news made national headlines. Fortunately for their patients, 1,400 Travel Nurses stepped in as replacements during the planned week-long strike. Unlike the 2010 Allina strike, where 12,000 nurses walked out of 14 different hospitals, this strike affects only five area hospitals in the Twin Cities area. Although this strike is on a significantly smaller scale, it can still place a burden on hospitals and their patients.
There are many reasons why a nurse strike like this one can happen. Some factors could include health insurance costs or nurse/patient safety issues. Whatever the reason, nurse strikes may be costly, stressful, and possibly interfere with patient care. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. If your hospital is ever faced with a labor dispute from your nurses’ union, you can rely on Nurse Bridge to help find qualified replacement nurses during a strike.
Nurse Bridge, Medical Solution’s strike division, has been supporting hospitals and healthcare systems with replacement workers since 1998. In fact, Nurse Bridge recently sent approximately 500 nurses to the Allina strike last week. Nurse Bridge takes away all the stress of finding replacement staff for you. They can help you do the following:
- Recruit replacement staff from their national database
- Manage the screening process
- Coordinate the transportation and scheduling of temporary workers
- Provide quality control by reviewing assignments, patient insight, and worker fatigue levels during the strike
As a hospital administrator, you never want to sacrifice quality patient care during a labor dispute. While we hope you never experience a strike at your hospital, Nurse Bridge can offer you a seamless transition with a replacement staff. Want to know what hospitals think about Nurse Bridge? You can read their testimonials here.
Has your hospital staff ever gone on strike? If so, what steps did you take to ensure your patients received adequate care?
Hospitals have always played a vital role in providing essential medical care during disasters. Depending on the nature of these tragedies, the demands placed on hospital facilities and their staff can be overwhelming. However, with the right emergency response, hospitals can potentially save more lives in spite of these critical events. In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, it’s important to review your hospital’s emergency response plan. Here’s a handy checklist to help you make sure your facility is fully prepared for anything!
- Review Your Command and Control System: As part of a command and control system, there should be a hospital incident command group, with representatives from each department within the hospital. Each person in this group should be trained to coordinate their respective emergency response tasks. Create a command center or area in your hospital that can be equipped to handle emergency response activities with an effective means of communication.
- Communicate: In times of crisis, communication is key. You’ll need to brief hospital staff on their roles within your emergency plan. You’ll also want to make sure your public relations department coordinates hospital communications to the public, media and health authorities and has a designated location to hold press conferences. Last, but not least, make sure you have reliable primary and back-up communication systems, i.e. phones, mobile devices, internet connection, etc. and access to an updated contact list.
- Maintain Safety and Security Procedures: Develop a security team and ask them to help identify potential security and safety risks within the hospital. From this list, implement a plan to ensure these security measures are clearly identified and addressed.
- Organize a Triage and Surge Capacity Plan: There should be an experienced triage staff member in charge of all triage operations during an emergency. In the event of mass casualties, determine how your triage area will receive these patients, and identify a separate waiting area for wounded patients able to walk. Depending on the disaster, your hospital staff may also have to expand beyond its normal capacity to meet the increased demand. So, determine how you can expand hospital areas for patient overflow. When necessary, work with local authorities to find additional sites that may be converted to patient care units.
- Ensure Continuity of Essential Services: Even during a critical event, essential hospital services must continue, so identify these services and the resources needed to maintain them. You may also want to coordinate with the local hospital care network to ensure that provision for these services are continuous throughout the community.
- Coordinate Human Resources and Manage Supplies: A hospital is only as good as its personnel. This is especially true during an emergency. You may have to call in off-duty staff to help with the increased demand, so it’s important to have a current contact list. It’s a good idea to have a contingency plan to handle the potential longer shifts, and be able to provide for food, water and living space for the additional personnel. Make sure you’ll have the necessary equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals needed, or have a plan in place on how to maintain these supplies during the crisis.
- Post-disaster recovery: Inform your staff the crisis has ended, and the hospital can resume normal operations. After such a critical event, your staff may need access to counseling or family support services, so it’s wise to provide a post-disaster recovery program. Don’t forget to acknowledge and appreciate your staff’s hard work after the event as well.
We hope your hospital will never have to enact an emergency response plan, but it’s better to be prepared. These actions can help save more lives in the event of a catastrophe. For additional resources on hospital emergency response plans, please click here.