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The Benefits of Using Staffing Performance Data in Senior Care

June 28, 2016 | Shelly Szarek-Skodny


Benefits of Using Staffing Performance Data in Senior CareLabor management and labor costs are what drive the senior care industry. Other key elements to success are recruitment, retention and productivity. As the CEO of Century Oak Care Center, a transitional care unit in Cleveland, Ohio providing private rehabilitation suites, cardiologist and pulmonologist services and physical, occupational and speech therapy, I know this to be true.

Keeping track of the right data points to fully understand your senior care staffing performance, however, can be entirely overwhelming. In order to target specific areas for improvement, you have to organize certain metrics across all functions and capture the complete picture.

But data can change your perception on your company’s staffing performance, giving you the opportunity to root out inefficiencies and excess costs. Software, like that from OnShift, can help your community better manage staff, control labor expenditures and increase service quality.

OnShift allows me to monitor overtime rates, cost of labor per unit of service and cost of non-productive labor—those are all items we have to balance out. OnShift lets me manage my business every single day down to the hour, and expand it for a global perspective, easily benchmarking us across competitors.

In terms of recruitment and retention, we can look at annualized turnover rates, the total time each hire takes and how much it costs on average to onboard a new employee. Using OnShift, we can assess our costs and turnover and make changes as necessary. For example, if we see a four-day orientation is a bit expensive, we can shift it to three days and see what impact that makes.

Data can also have a significant impact on productivity. When employees punch in ahead of a scheduled shift or out a few minutes after the end of their shift, or if they skip a lunch break, you’re paying for labor you didn’t necessarily account for originally. With OnShift, I can look at these discrepancies by position, shift and unit. Maybe one nurse has a heavier case load than others, causing him or her to skip lunch. We can then look at the case mix index and plan our staff accordingly. Or, we can identify a problem with an employee before it gets out of hand.

These are things we couldn’t have done as easily 10 years ago.

Of course, the extra money we free up by pinpointing and addressing these inefficiencies we can apply toward our business. We can put money toward hiring a registered nurse, instead of a licensed practical nurse. Some might go back to employee satisfaction through work events or celebrating nursing home week. If companies are hurting for additional revenue to take care of such activities or hiring practices, tracking this data has the potential to change that.

Since implementing OnShift, we have gotten punch variance and overtime under control. Our focus is now improving staff retention. We can use the software to communicate with employees and recognize them, and also to follow trends on retention and turnover to better inform our business decisions.

Discovering the ways in which data influences your perception on staffing can be a turning point for your company. And if you implement software like OnShift, that process is even more manageable, and you’ll realize tremendous outcomes.

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About Shelly Szarek-Skodny

Shelly is a guest author for OnShift’s blog and has over thirty years of long-term care and senior living management experience, with roles including CEO, COO, VP of HR, and Administrator in both for-profit and non-profit multi-facility organizations. Shelly’s background in human resource practices has led to quality outcomes including labor management controls and increased employee satisfaction. Shelly currently serves on the Person Centered Care Coalition for the State of Ohio.

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