Creating a Flexible Position Control Process--Linking Management Engineering and Human Resources

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Financial/Human Resource Performance

Sandy Yanko
Director, Management Engineering
HCA - Far West Division

Having a flexible position control system plays a key role in productivity management. As a staffing tool, flexible position control provides department managers, administration, and human resources the ability to plan for the right people, in the right place, at the right time. And it also controls the amount and type of labor resources.

HCA has integrated flexible position control into their productivity management tools to help answer the question: How do you avoid having too few FTEs or too many FTEs, thus missing your target? The three keys to productivity management include: 1. Good management: staffing and scheduling, flexing 2. Good information: productivity, benchmark, department operating reviews 3. Good planning: budgeting, staffing grids, position control

As a planning tool, flexible position control (FPC) identifies positions required during times of low (core), average, and peak workload volume. As a control system, FPC reports only authorized positions to be filled and identifies positions best filled with full-time, part-time, PRN, overtime, and temporary or contract labor.

As the tool was developed and managers were trained, the Management Engineers worked closely with the hospitals chief staffing officer and human resources to develop a process for requisition approval and job posting. As a result of the process, job postings have been streamlined, more part-time and flexible resources are available, and lower labor costs have been achieved.

Lessons learned include: " The link with management engineering and human resources is invaluable " Having constant attention and constant focus is a must " Having a consistent process for all positions whether new or replacement helps to control labor spend