Successful Workforce Planning Case Studies in Healthcare

July 13, 2022

In the face of nursing shortages, healthcare systems can no longer rely on traditional recruitment channels to stabilize their workforce. Strategic workforce planning has become imperative.

Taking a data-driven, forward-looking approach allows healthcare leaders to align staffing levels, competencies, productivity targets, and labor costs to strategic objectives. Workforce analytics provides the visibility needed to anticipate gaps, while talent pipelines ensure stability.

Partnerships with specialized healthcare staffing firms open access to wider talent pools, resources, and expertise. With effective workforce planning, hospitals can weather fluctuations in demand, reduce costs, and deliver optimal patient care.

Effective Workforce Planning Strategies

Strategic workforce planning sounds great in theory, but what do these strategies look like in practice? Let's take a look at some approaches.

Custom Solutions for Unique Needs

While nursing shortages may be widespread across healthcare, each facility faces unique challenges based on location, size, service lines, budgets, and existing talent capabilities. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to strategic workforce planning.

Expert partners like Health Carousel develop customized solutions based on analyzing an organization's specific pain points, objectives, and culture. After thoroughly evaluating nursing competencies, recruiting channels, care models, and staffing dynamics, the partner creates a tailored roadmap to workforce stabilization and cost reduction.

This can include blended localized, domestic, and international recruiting pipelines. Creative scheduling options that balance productivity with work-life add flexibility. Specialized training and upskilling improve provider effectiveness. Seamless technology enhances visibility into labor utilization and costs.

International Nurse Recruiting Through Partnerships

Another highly effective workforce stabilization strategy is developing international nurse recruiting and training programs through expert partnerships. With extensive global networks and streamlined immigration support, partners like Health Carousel access qualified, motivated nurses eager to practice in the U.S.

International nurses sign multi-year work contracts and undergo robust training, English fluency training, and cultural orientation programs before arriving onsite, creating high retention rates. The long tenures provide invaluable workforce stability for understaffed hospitals.

Building Successful International Nurse Programs

While international nurse programs deliver great talent to fill immediate openings, healthcare partners also focus on fostering welcoming, supportive environments that encourage community integration, professional development, and long-term retention.

Assigning peer mentors and navigators helps new nurses adjust to life abroad. Ongoing skills training and career mapping show nurses they are valued. Recognizing contributions publicly builds confidence. Most importantly, international nurses are treated as vital team members, creating true bonds and loyalty.

Southeast Health Case Study: Fostering Inclusive Culture & Integration

To see just how impactful workforce planning is, let's look at a case study with Southeast Health.

In 2018, Southeast Health was facing a looming nursing shortage. Their team realized that their recruitment strategies were taking too much time and resources, and they weren't effective. Between local and regional efforts, the Southeast Health team found their recruitment was not sufficient. This put a strain on their staffing needs as they struggled to fill specialized positions and deliver quality care.

In the midst of their challenges, Southeast Health turned to Health Carousel. Through this partnership, Health Carousel was able to craft an international nursing program. This program created long-term assignments for international nurses, allowing Southeast Health to create workforce stability and diversity. It also allowed them to bring their team closer together and make their staff feel like part of the Southeast family.

After seeing their successes with the help of Health Carousel, Southeast expanded its staffing solutions. This included adding a managed workforce program, utilizing innovative staffing technology, and incorporating domestic nurses. These efforts were powered by a Vendor Management System (VMS) designed for healthcare leaders like Southeast. Because of this addition, Southeast can now access information like cost-benefit ratios to make data-driven decisions. This gives Southeast greater control over its operating budget and staffing process.

The numbers don't lie: Since Southeast partnered with Health Carousel, they've expanded their international nursing team to 120 and complemented this with the use of domestic nurses. This has resulted in an 11% reduction in Southeast Health's contingent labor costs.

Through Health Carousel’s partnership, Southeast Health now has the in-house capabilities and access to the external talent needed to fulfill specialized community care demands today and in the future. Their workforce planning strategy delivered optimization across cost, care quality, and satisfaction goals.

To learn more about this incredible case study, watch the video about Southeast Health's success.

The Importance of Strategic Partnerships

Southeast Health is just one example of how a successful partnership can accelerate workforce planning in healthcare for continued success. When you enter into a strategic partnership, it's important to consider the benefits:

Shared Mission & Values Alignment

All effective workforce planning relies upon aligning with specialized partners with common missions and values focused on optimizing community healthcare. When values are aligned, all program development keeps the wellness needs of patients, nurses, and facilities integrated.

A disconnect in priorities quickly skews programs to misaligned goals instead of directly impacting stabilization and care excellence. Partners must dedicate equal passion to unlocking nurse potential and supporting smooth facility operations.

Leveraging Tailored Workforce Expertise

Best-in-class healthcare staffing partners invest significantly in building internal infrastructure spanning global talent networks, innovative technologies, and workforce analysts. Facilities leveraging these competencies from workforce partners will benefit from evidence-based planning models that understand the industry's nuances.

As a clinically led team, Health Carousel brings extensive resources and expertise to every situation. We use our decades of experience in healthcare to create custom and effective workforce management solutions for you.

Ongoing Support and Continuous Optimization

Healthcare moves fast. Patient volumes fluctuate. New service lines open. Reimbursement models evolve. Skills demand and labor supply shift. Rather than react when pressure peaks, facilities thrive from continuous workforce planning support.

Expert partners re-evaluate data, trends, and strategies regularly, ensuring forecasts still align. Check-ins assess what’s working well and what adjustments add value. Partners manage hourly labor variances so the facility focus stays on big-picture delivery.

This continuous improvement mindset powered by data, expertise, and accountability takes workforce planning success to the next level compared to point-in-time crisis response models. Partners like Health Carousel enable hospitals to achieve consistency in care excellence through continuously optimized workforce plans.

Read: Workforce Planning to Create Flexible Healthcare Staffing Models

Connect with Health Carousel's Workforce Experts

As nursing shortages grow across all healthcare segments, temporary fixes will no longer cut it. Margin pressures mean facilities can’t just throw money at the problem either. They need customized workforce planning tuned to their specific environment and priorities.

Health Carousel’s healthcare staffing experts partner to assess your current talent picture, identify future needs, blueprint integrated recruiting and retention programs, layer in specialized resources, consolidate staffing technology, and drive continuous optimization through advanced analytics.

Don’t wait for another staffing crisis. Be proactive by contacting Health Carousel to start building a strategic workforce plan optimized for your healthcare facility’s needs. Our passion for care-focused talent solutions makes us the right partner for your success now and tomorrow. Explore our staffing solutions today or learn more about workforce planning to optimize talent layers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a healthcare workforce?

An example of a healthcare workforce includes a range of professionals, such as doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, and pharmacists, who work together to provide comprehensive healthcare services to patients. This workforce also encompasses support staff such as administrative personnel, IT specialists, and custodial staff, all of whom play crucial roles in ensuring the efficient operation of healthcare facilities. These teams collaborate to deliver patient care, manage healthcare information, and maintain healthcare environments, ensuring that healthcare systems function effectively to meet the needs of communities.

What is workforce management in healthcare?

Workforce management in healthcare refers to the systematic process of optimizing the productivity and effectiveness of healthcare professionals and support staff to ensure the highest level of patient care and service. This involves strategic planning and execution of staffing, scheduling, talent acquisition, training, and compliance with healthcare regulations. The goal of workforce management in healthcare is to balance the needs of the patients with the availability of skilled professionals while addressing the financial and operational goals of the healthcare organization.

About Health Carousel

Health Carousel is committed to partnering with world-class healthcare facilities across the country, providing rewarding assignments for Registered Nurses and Allied Health Professionals, and attracting the best internal talent at all career levels.