How One Health System Slashed OT Costs

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media , September 30, 2013

"By providing that information in real time, a manager can make immediate adjustments. With systems in the past you didn't have this data, and you find out you have issues in the pay period, two weeks beyond being able to do anything about it."

The scheduling system Ellis uses from an outside vendor allowed all departments and employees to have access to the same scheduling data through a coordination of its HR, IT, and finance departments. After running the pilot in the inpatient units, Ellis rolled the system into nonclinical areas, including food services and environmental care.

The three-hospital system and teaching facility was able to reduce compensation costs for its 3,300 employees by 40% without understaffing any units, all through managing, and reducing, unnecessary overtime costs over a six month period.

Over the first year of implementing the system, Ellis cut overtime hours in half. This resulted in a savings approaching $2 million for overtime compensation, not to mention unseen costs saved in the patient safety arena due to a fatigued workforce.

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