The Client Challenge
A large rural academic medical center (AMC) was facing an untenable situation. Employee turnover was relentless — over 25% turnover among executives — and the national competition for staff risked deteriorating their financial situation, below their $160 million annual operating loss pre-COVID. Managers hadn’t been held accountable for meeting labor budget or performance expectations. And there was a lack of clear ownership, performance management tools, and education.
THE COSTS OF UNOPTIMIZED WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT:
- Increased burnout
- High employee turnover
- Growing labor expense
- Declining operating margin
- Unsustainable performance pressure
Navigating to Next: The Solution
The Chartis Group partnered with the AMC to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the medical center’s operating expenses. In their flagship hospital, Chartis identified between $13 and $17 million in potential workforce opportunity alone.
Interviews and observations made it clear that the organization lacked consistent labor management systems that would support a culture of accountability and performance improvement. Furthermore, departments had developed their own staffing guidelines. The resulting lack of transparency led to distrust between executives and staff.
Chartis collaborated with executive leadership to prioritize departments, and ultimately provided implementation support across five areas: position review committee refinement, productivity management tools and analytics establishment, span of control assessment, staffing model development, and management education delivery.
Specifically, staffing models were developed for all inpatient nursing units, the Emergency Department, Perioperative Services, and Radiology. Front-line leaders received tailored training to cultivate their management skills. Standardized processes cultivated transparency and trust between clinical staff and executive leadership. And clear communications enabled nimble decision-making to address organizational need. The exact approach was tailored to each area, initiative, and leader.