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Survey: Hospitals Struggle with Nurse Scheduling and Staffing Problems as Many Are Using Outdated Tools - or None At All

October 13, 2016
Quality of Care and Staff Morale at Risk Due to Lack of Predictive Analytics

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nurse scheduling and staffing problems are widespread at hospitals and healthcare organizations, yet one in four nurse managers still use paper-based scheduling tools and nearly the same number don't use any tools at all, according to a survey by AMN Healthcare.

The survey report, Predictive Analytics in Healthcare 2016: Optimizing Nurse Staffing in an Era of Workforce Shortages, developed by Avantas, an AMN Healthcare company, is being unveiled at the 2016 Healthcare Workforce Summit this week. AMN Healthcare is the nation's leader and innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services.

The survey found that accurate forecasting of future patient demand and workforce needs, which can be accomplished using predictive analytics, would be very valuable in solving common nurse scheduling and staffing problems that negatively impact staff morale and patient care. But most clinical managers at hospitals and other healthcare facilities are unaware that such technology-enabled solutions are available to them.

"With shortages of nurses and other healthcare professionals becoming an increasingly chronic problem, optimizing your workforce is imperative," said Susan Salka, President and CEO of AMN Healthcare. "Knowing future patient demand so healthcare providers can accurately plan workforce scheduling and staffing is an invaluable asset for medical facilities. Fortunately, that information can be available and applied to workforce planning and management."

AMN Healthcare's benchmark report includes quantitative and qualitative research surveying nurse managers and interviewing nurse managers, finance managers, and registered nurses about scheduling and staffing challenges, as well as potential solutions. The report found common and persistent problems, including understaffing, last-minute schedule changes, assignment of non-nursing tasks, and imbalances of experienced and specialty staff.

Predictive Analytics Offer New Approach

Scheduling and staffing problems have a serious impact on hospitals and healthcare facilities, the survey found. Approximately three quarters of nurse managers say they are very concerned about staff morale due to these problems, while nearly 70% say they are very concerned about the impact on patient satisfaction. More than half say they are very concerned about the effect on quality of patient care.

However, 80% of nurse managers said they are not aware of technology-enabled solutions that could help them manage and solve nurse scheduling and staffing problems up to 120 days in advance of the shift.

"Although most don't know it is available, predictive analytics can take the guesswork out of nurse scheduling and staffing through accurate forecasting of patient demand months in advance of the shift," said Jackie Larson, president of Avantas, an AMN Healthcare company. "This saves time and frustration for nurse managers and registered nurses, so they can give all their attention to patient care."

Healthcare enterprises that have adopted predictive analytics and advanced labor management strategies have realized outcomes that include:

  • 97% accurate predictions of staffing need 30 days out from the shift
  • 75% of open shift hours filled more than two weeks in advance
  • Significant, measurable increases in RN staff satisfaction
  • 4%-7% savings in overall labor spending, often totaling millions of dollars

Further survey results will be presented at AMN Healthcare's 2016 Healthcare Workforce Summit in San Diego, CA, on Oct. 14, 2016.

To view and download the Predictive Analytics in Healthcare 2016 full survey, infographic and video, visit

About AMN Healthcare
AMN Healthcare is the leader and innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services to healthcare facilities across the nation. The Company provides unparalleled access to the most comprehensive network of quality healthcare professionals through its innovative recruitment strategies and breadth of career opportunities. With insights and expertise, AMN Healthcare helps providers optimize their workforce to successfully reduce complexity, increase efficiency, and improve patient outcomes. AMN delivers managed services programs, healthcare executive search solutions, vendor management systems, recruitment process outsourcing, predictive modeling, medical coding and consulting, and other services. Clients include acute-care hospitals, community health centers and clinics, physician practice groups, retail and urgent care centers, home health facilities, and many other healthcare settings. For more information about AMN Healthcare, visit

About Avantas
Developers of the HELM® methodology (healthcare enterprise labor management), Avantas helps healthcare providers better manage their workforce. Its proprietary approach to managing labor consists of workforce planning services and a scheduling and productivity solution, Smart Square®. This comprehensive approach provides its clients with tailored best practice labor management strategies designed to drive substantial and sustaining cost and quality improvements across the enterprise through automation. Avantas is a division of AMN Healthcare. For more information, please visit the Avantas website at

Media Contact:
Jim Gogek
M: (619) 609-6245
P: (858) 350-3209

Predictive Analytics for Healthcare Staffing


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Avantas is a leading provider of labor management technology, services, and strategies for the healthcare industry.

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