December 23, 2016 – Healthcare is one of the most challenging industries in the nation, with many hospitals both big and small struggling to succeed; Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is no different. The nursing department at GRMC is responding with adjustments in staffing models and patient admissions. The primary patient care area affected by these efforts is the medical – surgical units. Based on data gathered from the average daily census over the last three years and the burden of staffing two physical locations, GRMC made the move to admitting their in-patient admissions to one unit versus two. This has allowed for more efficient utilization of staff covering the same number of patients and allowed the hospital to absorb staff into other units, eliminating the dependency on travel nurses. There have been 24.5 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions reassigned due to this initiative directly impacting four caregivers.
"There were four individuals that were affected by this redistribution" said Peggy White, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Gila Regional. "Two individuals have been reassigned to other nursing positions within the organization; one has opted to retire and the third is considering their options, whether to retire or take a different position. There were no layoffs as a result of this effort, and the savings due to this redistribution are considerable."
One of the largest expenses that GRMC endures in order to maintain quality care under the current staffing model is paying for travel nursing staff to perform duties in critical un-filled nursing positions. This redistribution allows GRMC to reassign their nursing staff into positions currently held by travel nurses.
"By eliminating these travel nurse positions and utilizing our own nurses more efficiently, will lead the hospital toward a projected $1.5 million yearly savings" Mrs. White added.
Other initiatives that are currently being explored will potentially increase services to GRMC's Labor and Delivery/OBGYN Department as well as improve the flow in their Surgical Services Area.
"These changes will improve efficiency and revenue in the long-term" said Mrs. White.
Even in the toughest financial time in healthcare's history, Gila Regional is doing the best it can to continue to delivery 4-Star Quality Care to the community in Grant County and the surrounding counties it serves.
(Pictured: Peggy White, CNO at Gila Regional Medical Center)