Whether due to extenuating circumstances like losses of funding, or a significant shift in a population of patients’ needs, it becomes time for clinical workers to restructure staffing models. Even without an apparent catalyst, revisiting staffing models at least annually ensures that clinical staff members are placed where they should be to meet the present needs. One of the unfortunate ramifications of the pandemic this year has been unavoidable layoffs due to a less consistent revenue stream. I want to share some information ahead of my presentation next week on maximizing clinical staffing in healthcare organizations.
Establishing the Basics of Care Management in an Organization
At Lightbeam, the clinical transformation team begins helping an organization with this basic equation:
Patient Complexity + Population Size + Program Goals = Optimal Staffing Model
A typical patient population requiring care management will be split into Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial members. If the organization’s nurses are a part of an ACO, the care is considered centralized. Understanding the patient population’s complexity and what outreach level offers the most significant impact is critical to staffing successfully and allocating nurses to where they are most needed. It is also important to establish the organization’s reimbursement goals early on. Simply put, creating thoughtful staffing strategies is putting the correct people in place based on the patient population’s needs without over or understaffing to achieve preset goals. With all of these factors in mind, organizations must ask themselves whether they still need the same level of licensed, full-time employees, or if it is worth considering hiring administrative professionals to manage the paperwork and organizational tasks, a well-known concept called working “top of license.”
Working Top of License and Proper Task Delegation
Working top of license is an important concept we stress in clinical transformation. With licensed nurse practitioners, their duties should be centered on the patient, not performing administrative tasks that rob patients of their full attention in a limited appointment time. To succeed at what Lightbeam calls “clinical transformation,” a care team must recognize that there are many administrative duties that do not require nurses to complete. By having additional employees that can work part-time and handle the non-clinical work, care managers can focus on the patients at hand and delegate those duties to other trained staff members at a lower cost.
Join Lightbeam Next Week
Staffing is an increasingly important topic with the events of this past year. On December 15, 2020, join me for “How to Maximize Your Clinical Staffing Model.” In this presentation, I will discuss Lightbeam Clinical Transformation’s process to help organizations determine areas of focus in their populations, where to best place clinical staff in a thought-out workflow that meets license levels, and how to ultimately restructure in the ways that make the most sense for the nurses and value-based care targets. There will be time reserved at the end for questions, and all registrants will receive a recording of the presentation afterward. For any inquiries about clinical transformation with Lightbeam, contact us at email@example.com.
Jessica Scruton, BSN, RN, CCM is Lightbeam’s VP of Clinical Transformation.