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The Geography Lesson (Spotlight Poster)

‐ Mar 14, 2023 9:00pm

Credits: None available.

At a large academic medical center with 80+ clinics dispersed throughout a large urban area, multiple new clinic locations have opened in the past five years. With this constant expansion, the demand for direct patient care staff including nurses and medical assistants has grown to match. Each clinic has its own geographic location and unique onboarding requirements associated with the clinical specialties housed there. To address this staffing need, the ambulatory care float pool (AFP) stepped up to the plate to deliver staff that were ready to respond in multiple physical locations and clinical specialties. Pre-intervention request-to-fill rate was at 48% and current request-to-fill rate is 68.5%, an increase of 20.5%.
In May 2021, the recruiting and hiring process was modified to target candidates that could service various regional sites. The goal of this intervention was to maximize the flexibility of staff by tailoring the hiring and training processes within the department to support specific groupings of locations and specialties. One of the greatest challenges to the implementation of this plan was the increased demand for trained personnel, both locally and nationally, created by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Burnout, early retirement, and travel opportunities have also contributed to the reduction in the availability of qualified applicants.
To optimize the available staff, the AFP divided the service area into separate “regions” to provide a geographical visualization on where staff was in highest demand. Coverage was then grouped and prioritized based on the team member’s geographical location. This allowed the team to tailor onboarding and training to maximize coverage in the most specialized clinics within each assigned region.
By using this hiring process and the associated geographical location map to guide the allocation of direct patient care staff to various requesting clinics, the AFP was able to substantially increase the amount of assistance provided to the satellite areas. This model has improved direct patient care staff coverage of satellite clinic locations by 20% for fiscal year 2022 as compared to fiscal year 2021. With multiple new clinic locations projected to open over the upcoming fiscal year 2023, the need for the regional recruiting and staffing model has become more important than ever. As a next step, the AFP will analyze historical request volumes to project future staffing needs by region. Based on this data, the AFP will then slow recruiting in lower-demand geographical areas and focus recruiting on high-demand regions of care.
By dividing AFP staff into geographical regions, the institution can be ready to respond to future staffing needs in each physical location.


Credits: None available.