Because each patient isassigned at admission a progress pattern that outlines staffing requirementsthat may span days in the future, staffing managers can prepare and accuratelyschedule the most appropriate and qualified employees days in advance. "ClairVia Demand Manager will give us the ability to avoid under-staffing andover-staffing, and take a more efficient, and well-planned approach rather thanbeing so reactive," Spunt explains. "About 90 percent of our costs here are insalary and wages, and, much too often, we are scrambling to find extra help atthe last minute, experiencing too much overtime and premium labor costs." "In addition, the time and effort in managing day-to-day staffing in such aninefficient manner involving our charge nurses, managers and staffing office is immense. "We hope to achieve significant cost savings, through the use of ClairVia, inbetter managing our flex pool, our supplemental labor pool. This includes a verylarge number of PRNs that requires a lot of overhead to maintain. With ClairVia,we expect to utilize these resources much more efficiently according to meetingvery specific demand requirements. "Another area where we hope to gain cost savings is in our specialty units,where we have a lot of staffing costs," reports Spunt.
"We may be able to closesome nursing units on the weekend if we can get documented evidence to supportit. ClairVia Demand Manager will give us the data we need to better managestaffing in these areas." ClairVias integration with UICs acuity system to support more efficientstaffing and legislative complianceGiven that UIC has developed its own patient acuity system, it was essentialthat any new staffing software be able to seamlessly integrate. "Our nurses have a strong sense of ownership and belief in the acuity system wehave developed, so it was very important that it be able to integrate withClairVia Demand Manager," Spunt says. "The two systems really match togethernicely." ClairVia Demand Manager continually incorporates patient acuity changes aspatients are tracked through the healthcare enterprise. As health status changeand care events occur, patients corresponding workload requirements areadjusted up or down. Eventually, UIC plans to automatically transferpatient assessments from its Cerner clinical system to Demand Manager.
We expect that integrating our own acuity system with ClairVia Demand Managerwill lead to more effective, accurate staffing," Spunt says. "After all, thedownfall of any acuity system is a tendency of acuity creep. With the ClairViasoftware, we will be able to conduct audits, and have some checks and balances,and measure true acuity. This will support better staffing care." Spunt adds that the integration should also make it easier and more efficientfor UIC to address the requirements of Illinois acuity legislation "becausewell be better able to manage and predict our staffing levels." UIC to participate in national nursing research initiative focused on improvingpositive patient outcomesUIC is one of many leading healthcare organizations that have agreed toparticipate in a national research study sponsored by AtStaff that will examinethe relationships among nurse staffing, nurse-specific characteristics andclinical and cost outcomes. This will help pinpoint staffing andassignment decisions that lead to higher quality and safer care at lower costs. "There is very little documented data out therethat clearly reveals nursing intensitys impact on quality and safety, andanalyzes what truly works best in day-to-day nursing practice." To date, AtStaff has received letters of support for the research initiativefrom 62 separate AtStaff client hospitals, nine of which are academicfacilities, across 18 U.S states. "AtStaff is acutely focused on creating innovative software and moving nursingahead for the future," says Spunt.