A healthcare organization’s most precious resource is its people. Healthcare workers serve on the frontline of caring for others. Their well-being directly impacts patient care, the workplace climate, and an organization’s financial success. Thus, when hospital administrators and other healthcare industry decision-makers prioritize the well-being of their individual employees, the overall health of the organization improves. One critical way to understand how best to support employees is to gather data. Details about when, where, and how incidents of workplace violence in healthcare occur can inform administrators about how to support their workers and prevent future incidents of violence. A healthcare safety plan that includes an effective way to gather data provides administrators with the insight required to allocate resources in a way most likely to keep caregivers safe, healthy, and satisfied with their workplace.
What Does Resource Allocation in Healthcare Look Like?
Resource allocation is the process of strategically selecting and assigning available resources to a task or project in support of an organization’s objectives. In a healthcare organization, caregivers are the organization’s “resources.” Administrators seek to assign caregivers to the tasks and locations that facilitate the best possible outcomes for patients. Ultimately, this leads to high levels of patient satisfaction and increases profits. Given that incidents of workplace violence in healthcare are on the rise, administrators are also increasingly allocating resources to keeping their employees safe. Violence in the healthcare workplace inhibits job satisfaction, negatively impacts patient care, and harms healthcare facilities’ reputations. It also results in added costs, including Worker’s Compensation, lawsuits, and costs associated with employee turnover.
Some of the hallmarks of effective resource allocation include:
- Dividing work evenly among all resources to prevent staff burnout.
- Ensuring employees have the skills, knowledge, and training necessary to complete allocated work.
- Matching the right employees to the right task at the right time to maximize engagement performance.
Each of these elements requires detailed knowledge of the daily inner workings of a clinic or on a hospital floor. Administrators who seek to gain this level of knowledge must have access to data about employees’ specialties, schedules, training, and skills. They need access to data that can instruct them where support is most needed. In response, they can execute this level of resource allocation. As a result, providers feel supported, and are less likely to suffer the effects of burnout and stress that are common to the profession.
More Data Means Increased Efficiency
Ideally, resource allocation in a healthcare setting not only protects employees and promotes their success, but it also functions efficiently. The concept, in economics, of the “efficient market” is instructive: this refers to the degree to which market prices reflect all available, relevant information. In a healthcare setting, the level of care would reflect all available, relevant information: administrators would have a variety of data at their disposal which they could use to make strategic decisions about how to best utilize their employees’ skills and meet their patients’ needs.
On a hospital floor, for example, this information includes not only statistics about patient outcomes, overhead costs, and salaries, but also information about employee safety and well-being. An administration with access to all relevant information, including details about incidents of workplace violence in healthcare, can create a system in which patients are both well cared for and employees are safe. Importantly, as the quality and amount of information increases within a market, the market becomes more efficient, increasing the opportunities for buyers and sellers to buy and sell without incurring transaction costs.
How Data Informs Resource Allocation
An efficient healthcare setting is one in which lots of high-quality data informs policy decisions that ensure patients receive excellent care while minimizing “transaction costs.” In other words, using data to inform policy improves an organization’s execution of its mission.
In order for organizations to most effectively allocate resources, they should do the following:
- Know the scope. Is this a large or small project? Does it require many or few resources?
- Identify resources. Who is available? What spaces are required?
- Know resource dependencies. Is one resource being over-relied upon? What is the contingency plan?
- Use tools to track data. Where are more resources needed? What are patterns that need fixing?
- Don’t over-allocate. Would re-distributing resources improve our performance?
- Use resource reports. What do reports reveal about the effectiveness of resource allocation that has already occurred?
- Know your resources. How well do administrators know their team? What information would help administrators distribute team members more effectively?
A wealth of accurate data can inform administrators and managers as they execute these elements of effective resource allocation. Data provides a bird’s-eye view of an entire team or organization, which allows decision makers to pinpoint places where resources are needed. Good data provides a feedback loop by which administrators can continuously improve their resource allocation practices and improve outcomes in their organization.
Using Data Against Workplace Violence in Healthcare
A healthcare safety plan that includes the ability to monitor incoming data gives administrators a valuable tool in the battle against workplace violence in healthcare. The CENTEGIX CrisisAlert system features a powerful Analytics Dashboard which gives administrators the moment-by-moment information needed to understand what’s happening on their campus. CrisisAlert features a wearable emergency button that allows caregivers to call for help from anywhere on campus. The CrisisAlert system monitors safety alerts from anywhere within a healthcare facility, as well as from parking garages and other locations where personnel may be vulnerable.
CrisisAlert customers have immediate and easy access to campus data via the CrisisAlert Dashboard. The CrisisAlert dashboard equips leaders with actionable data to understand how to best support their staff and, by extension, their patients. CENTEGIX CrisisAlert data can be broken down in various ways that yield vital information to administrators. For example, the dashboard can indicate the reasons for alerts, their locations, or the times at which staff members used their badges to summon help. Digging into this data enables administrators to understand precisely when, where, and often why incidents occur in their facility. They are then able to allocate resources accordingly.
Optimize Staff Performance with CrisisAlert
Certainly, the data generated by CrisisAlert can inform administrators about how to allocate resources to mitigate incidents of violence or aggression. But this data can also inform strategic decisions to optimize employee performance. Resources can be allocated based on a caregiver’s specialty and experience, as well as department needs. Monitoring CrisisAlert data allows managers to prioritize scheduling so patients’ needs are met and caregivers’ skills and abilities are fully utilized. The information yielded by CrisisAlert makes healthcare facilities safer and facilitates the optimization of the workforce. Ultimately, smart resource allocation based on data analysis can improve staff retention and patient satisfaction.
CENTEGIX is the leader in incident response solutions. Our CrisisAlert platform is the fastest and easiest way for staff to call for help in any emergency, from the everyday to the extreme. CENTEGIX enables safer spaces through innovative technology to facilitate rapid response during an emergency situation. Leaders nationwide trust our safety solutions to provide peace of mind. To learn more about CENTEGIX, visit www.centegix.com.