Exempla Healthcare Selects ClairVia Software to Implement Staffing at Three Colorado Hospitals

— November 08, 2006

Exempla Healthcare has selected AtStaff, Inc. to implement its staffing software system at three Colorado hospitals. AtStaff is implementing the system at its three hospitals: Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, CO; Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, CO; and Exempla Good Samaritan in Lafayette, CO.

ClairVia is the first healthcare staffing system to deploy caregivers according to patient-specific workload requirements so that each patient receives the precise level of staffing care needed to achieve intended clinical outcomes.

“Our mission here at Exempla is to be the best healthcare provider in the nation,” states Ann Evans, RN, MS, MBA, Vice President at Exempla, and Chief Nursing Officer at Exempla ' s Lutheran Medical Center. “We strongly feel that ClairVia is the tool to support this overriding goal.”

All three Exempla hospitals are at various stages of implementing the ClairVia system. Exempla, Ms. Evans says, will be relying on the product to help it achieve these specific organizational objectives:

  • Ensure safe staffing levels by accurately aligning enterprise-wide staffing numbers, skills and competencies with patient needs and requirements.
  • Gain real-time productivity management and reporting to prevent both over-staffing and under-staffing.
  • Improve cost-effectiveness and quality by deploying and sharing Exempla employees through an enterprise-wide float pool.
  • Increase employee communication and satisfaction through Web-based self-service and messaging.

“As a nursing professional, I know the importance of matching the specific skills and competencies of the nurse to the needs of the patient,” explains Ms. Evans. “I' ve not seen any staffing software that can effectively track patient demand and align the right staffing resources to it to the extent that ClairVia can."

“A key strength of the product is its ability to capture real-time, event-driven workload, which we will expect will help us match staffing and staffing competencies to patient needs. That ' s essential to supporting not only quality and safety, but also the efficient use of your resources. After all, staff management is a constant balancing act. You ' ve got to be both effective and efficient.”

ClairVia ' s event-capture technology is facilitated by its real-time HL7 connectivity. HL7 interfaces enable the software to “time stamp” patient admissions, discharges and transfers (from ADT systems) as well as changes in acuity level and patient condition (from EMR patient assessments). This gives ClairVia an “as it happens” perspective of both patient-specific demand and staffing.

“I'm really looking forward to using the software ' s demand management capabilities," says Linda Kafer, Manager of Staffing and Resources at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital. “We anticipate that it will not only help us define workloads and better staff for patient activities, but also lead to better patient satisfaction and safety, not to mention our own staff satisfaction.”

Evans says Exempla plans to integrate ClairVia with the hospitals ' EMR products (MEDITECH and Epic) so that staffing plans seamlessly conform to the outcomes-driven progress assessments within the clinical information systems.

“ClairVia will also help us better address JCAHO requirements, and help us better track important nursing-sensitive indicators that impact the quality of care delivered to patients,” she says. “The evidence is getting stronger that nursing staffing has a tremendous impact on quality patient outcomes.

“Of course, JCAHO is very focused on how healthcare organizations track staffing indices and tie nursing-sensitive indicators, such as certain patient events and conditions, to staffing. It seeks a total perspective on staffing effectiveness, and ClairVia positions us well to address those requirements.”

“We needed a staffing system that could monitor and report real-time productivity on all of our employees, not just nursing,” emphasizes Davis. “Our previous software was nursing specific and was very limited in terms of productivity reporting. It couldn't measure staffing effectiveness or implement process improvements.”

Kafer agrees, saying that Exempla's previous staffing system “did not have the reporting structure that we need now to collect and report around all staffing and schedules. I am looking forward to using all the reporting capabilities available in ClairVia.”

With its enterprise design and event-driven workload capability, ClairVia will enable Exempla to actively monitor and manage patient demand, workload variability and employee status at its three hospitals.

“Productivity management for nursing is particularly significant given the department's size and influence of patient care,” Evans says. “A real-time perspective on staffing enables us to identify situations of high and low patient demand, make proactive adjustments, and prevent, at a system-wide level, instances of both over-staffing and under-staffing.”

Another benefit of real-time productivity management – tracking patient demand at all points in time – is that it justifies staffing plans and expenses to finance.

“Everybody, both those on the clinical side and financial side, can clearly see the value of real-time data available in ClairVia,” says Evans.

Because ClairVia delivers enterprise-wide control of staffing, it will allow Exempla to develop a system-wide float pool for personnel deployment and sharing among its three hospitals.

“We've lacked a way to shift employees from one facility to another to offset foreseen instances of over-staffing and under-staffing,” Ms. Evans indicates. “When we have been under-staffed at one facility, we ' ve had to resort to agency and contract labor. While we have low use of agency and traveler resources, you always want to bring that down to zero.

“You always want to have your own core staff taking care of patients for both quality nd cost reasons. ClairVia will help us do that.”

ClairVia provides customizable Web portals that give all staff members a single, front-and-center information point for scheduling and staffing processes.

At any time and Internet-accessible location, employees can view their and colleague schedules, participate in online shift requests and sign-ups, and receive important updates and messages.

“The Web-based dashboards are innovative design elements that give ClairVia a great advantage,” says Evans. “It's a great thing anytime you can make it easy and convenient for your employees to communicate with managers, submit requests and swap shifts with colleagues.”

ClairVia is designed to integrate with all enterprise-wide data sources in order to optimize system functionality.

Beyond planned interfaces with Exempla's ADT and EMR systems, ClairVia will also connect with Exempla's time-and-attendance (Kronos) system to capture actual work hours and eliminate manual daily entry and editing.

In addition, an interface with Exempla's Click2Learn system will provide up-to-date credentialing and licensure information to employees and managers.

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