Date of this Version
Streich, Z., Gentry, N., Parker, G., Tran, K., & Weber, E. (2023). Clinician Staffing Dashboard. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Hospitals often struggle to hire enough nurses to meet their patients’ needs, so they rely on travel nurses to fill in the gaps. Travelers work for hospitals on a temporary basis and are frequently used to meet urgent staffing needs. Medical Solutions connects hospitals with a network of thousands of travel nurses and other clinicians, streamlining the hiring process. Unfortunately, hospitals find it difficult to determine how many travelers they need and when they need them. It’s a reactive process that produces poor care and stressed nurses.
The team addressed this problem by building an intuitive and extensible dashboard targeted at hospital directors and executives. The dashboard enables leaders to make data-driven staffing decisions by visualizing data related to travel nurses and other clinicians. Previously, detailed staffing data was only available to leaders on a quarterly basis; however, this dashboard enables instant access to insights. By interviewing several potential users, the team identified key metrics (headcount and spend) and effective ways to communicate those metrics. Additionally, the team engineered the dashboard for easy future expansion.
While building the dashboard, the team also conducted extensive research on machine learning methods for predicting future staffing needs. This research was packaged into a document outlining potential obstacles and promising strategies. Medical Solutions plans to use the team’s findings to produce accurate projections that are displayed on the dashboard. Leaders can use these projections to ensure their hospitals will be appropriately staffed in the future.