Responsive Staffing and Scheduling in Aging Services: A Systems REThinking Approach

September 20, 2016 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Common approaches to staffing and scheduling may lead to periods in which workload demands can safely be accomplished by staff on duty, but they also often lead to periods in which workload demands exceed the capacity of staff on duty or vice versa.

Figure 1. Workload and Staffing over 24 Hours, as Imagined represents an idealized 24-hour care cycle. This is what organizations often imagine as representing atypical day when planning, budgeting, and establishing staffing. But even this idealized model shows that peaks in workload for recurring, predictable tasks, such as those surrounding morning ADL care and mealtimes, can increase the risk of adverse events if staffing and scheduling do not flex to meet workload fluctuations.

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