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Use This Staff Demand Calculator for COVID-19 Surge Planning

We’ve created an e-book to help you navigate the three stages of a crisis with the right workforce questions and data analysis. Download it here. You may also find this checklist on Key Questions to Answer During a Crisis handy. Check it out at this link. Looking for more resources to guide you through crisis management? Visit our Crisis Management Resource Center.

Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) has released a COVID-19 Clinical Staff Projection Calculator (note: clicking this link will immediately download the Excel document to your desktop) with hope that it can be of service to all communities in need. This calculator takes your estimated bed counts and staff ratios and produces the size and type of workforce needed to care for an influx of critical care patients. The tool is geared toward healthcare facilities that are preparing for the possibility of a surge of COVID-19 patients in need of critical respiratory care.

Gary Russo, Director of HR Workforce Intelligence at PSJH and author of the tool, encourages HR and People Analysts from all industries to explore and determine how they might bring value back to their own organization.

The calculator has been made available in an unprotected Excel document for complete transparency about the calculations and for assurance that no data entered into the form is being stored externally. In the spirit of community partnership, Gary, PSJH, and Visier would love to hear stories about your success with this tool or with the inspiration it may have given you. Please share your stories in the #AskVisier LinkedIn Community.

Click to download COVID-19 Clinical Staff Projection Calculator (note: clicking this link will immediately download the Excel document to your desktop)

Important Note: This tool does not address any applicable laws and/or requirements in collective bargaining agreements on staffing ratios (if any).  We recommend that you consult with your legal counsel and/or HR leadership team to ensure that the tool is utilized in a way that reflects any legal and/or other contractual obligations. Your use of Staff Demand Projection Calculator is subject to our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Statement (see disclaimer below for more information).

Applications Beyond the Bedside

The calculator uses core principles of productivity measurement to estimate future needs. In this case, the number and type of caregiver roles required (input) needed for 24/7 coverage of a critical care bed (output) is multiplied by the number of beds.

This type of staff ratio planning is equally useful for other employee types (e.g. call center operators) and services (e.g. calls handled). You may use a single staff ratio to assess the impacts of growth/contraction of the output/service, or you may compare multiple possible staff ratios against a stable output/service.

Many jobs have been impacted during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Using this ratio-based approach may help your organization think through next steps.

For example, setting preliminary ratios for a heavily in-demand online service may confirm a labor shortage in that arm of the company–and then would also suggest the size and type of training/redeployment program you would need to fill the gap.

Furthermore, as you look forward toward the “new normal,” this ratio-based approach may help you ground conversations about future services, whether they exist today or are brand new.

The most common obstacle will likely be how you define the “right” ratio for any given amount of work. Close collaboration with teams across your organization will be critical for your fast and accurate progress. For example, budgeting teams may already be using similar productivity ratios that you can pull into your own work, Legal and Human Resource teams may be aware of local laws or negotiated agreements that set guidelines around staffing requirements, and operations and line leaders can provide critical feedback about the factors that influence how and when staff numbers need to change.

About Providence St. Joseph Health

Providence St. Joseph Health is committed to improving the health of the communities it serves, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. With 51 hospitals, 829 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 119,000 caregivers (employees) serving communities across seven Western states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington. With system offices based in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif., the Providence St. Joseph Health family of organizations works together to meet the needs of its communities, both today and into the future.

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Author Photo
Gary Russo |
Dr. Gary Russo is the Director of Workforce Intelligence at Providence St. Joseph Health, where Gary drives successful, world-class people analytics and workforce planning supporting >120,000 employees. Gary creates concrete value through executive and operational stakeholder management; ethical, scientific project design; and analytics advocacy. Gary has been named a People Analytics Trailblazer, among other distinctions in the field. Gary holds a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology (Neuroscience) from the University of Arizona.