How to fill the gaps when staff go on leave

Emily Boudreau, Analyst

Leaves of absence (LOAs) are a difficult challenge for executives and managers alike. Many LOAs are unplanned, so when an individual takes leave, it's often abrupt. Hospitals frequently fill sudden gaps with help from staffing firms, which can provide traveling nurses and flexible staffing solutions.

Dignity Health in Southern California found that their unexpected need for premium labor often came at a premium cost. They analyzed LOA trends at the Dignity hospitals in the region and saw that there were several units where they had predictable numbers of LOAs year over year. Using their analyses, they projected LOA staffing needs for a full year across the system.

Using this data, they established preferred vendor contracts with three staffing partners, including Cross Country Staffing. In return for an increased portion of Dignity's business, these staffing partners work with Dignity to fill a specific portion of their projected LOA needs and source quality candidates for the system.

I sat down with leaders from one Dignity Health hospital in the region, Gail Daly, Chief Operating Officer, and Ann Karaim, Director of Performance Improvement, as well as Elizabeth Byrd, Director of Business Development for Cross Country Staffing, to learn more about their new staffing partnership for LOAs in the Southern California region.

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