Revamp Nurse Staffing Policies and Cut Costs

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , June 4, 2013

"There were no consequences for the staff who continued to do that day after day after day," she says. "We really need our policies in some cases to have a little more teeth in [them], and have more ownership on the employee side."

Other changes involved making sure nurses don't work too many hours. This helps to prevent fatigue and reduce overtime costs.

After revamping the hospital's policies, WellStar put together a communications strategy to alert nurses to the changes in policies. Shared governance groups were invited to explain the new policies to nurses at each facility to make sure that everyone was aware of and onboard with the changes.

Wesley acknowledges that there will certainly be "some folks who might not be too happy" with new rules. But she insists that so far, feedback from the vast majority of nurses has been positive.

Strong, streamlined policies means scheduling will be more organized and less chaotic. "We really believe that most of the staff are going to feel very relieved" by the changes, Wesley says.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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