In light of the increasing pressure on hospital margins, organizational leaders are seeking to reduce costs wherever possible. Increasingly, the focus turns to the high cost of turnover and vacancy, as an area for potential improvement and cost savings. However, many organizations lack relevant data or industry standards and are unable to target their efforts to the areas of greatest opportunity.
To assist leaders in prioritizing recruitment and retention efforts, the HR Investment Center collects data annually from more than 200 hospitals to calculate national benchmarks on a series of turnover, vacancy, and premium labor metrics. Metrics are presented overall as well as by demographic characteristics including hospital type, bed size, and case mix index to allow for valid comparisons of your hospital’s performance to the benchmarks.
Key findings from the 2010 report
Following the collection of the calendar year 2010, Center researchers unearthed several key trends:
Turnover rates continue downward trend into 2010
Continuing the downward trend observed between 2008 and 2009, all turnover metrics decreased from 2009 to 2010. For example, overall median turnover declined from 14.2% in 2009 to 13.1% in 2010. Likewise, the percentage of turnover attributed to employees with less than one year of tenure dropped to 21.7%, a near historic low. No doubt, these higher levels of employee loyalty are due in large part to continued economic uncertainty.
Far greater fluctuation in vacancy within nursing ranks
While the difference between overall vacancy rates, as measured by requisitions, at the high and low end of our cohort is notable, the gap in nursing vacancy performance is far greater. The median overall vacancy rate (3.3%) and the median nursing vacancy rate (3.4%) are nearly identical. However, for the bottom tenth percentile of organizations, nursing vacancy is much larger than overall vacancy (8.1% vs. 7.1%). Conversely, for organizations in the top tenth percentile, nursing vacancy percentage is half that of overall vacancy.
Significant variation in turnover across the country
Comparing turnover performance by geographic region reveals significant differences among hospital employers. Hospitals in the Northeast United States are experiencing far less turnover than other parts of the country, while hospitals in the South consistently exhibit the highest rates. The same pattern emerges when studying overall turnover, turnover of full-time staff only, nurse turnover, and first-year turnover.
Learn more and submit your organization’s data
HR Investment Center members can access all previously published benchmarking reports, including last year’s data, from the benchmarking initiative page here. Members are also encouraged to submit their organization’s data for the 2011 calendar year report. Those who submit data will receive a customized benchmarking report comparing their performance to the overall cohort.
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