Saturday, March 11, 2006

Can You Say: Show me the money!--4/21

If they can do it there, why not here? This is an Essent Hospital!

Nashoba Valley Medical Center First Hospital in New England to Implement Software that Puts Nursing Shifts Up for Bid

Ayer, MA, August 26th 2004 - Nashoba Valley Medical Center (NVMC), is using an eBay-type system to fill open shifts, where nurses work the vacant slot at a pay rate that they themselves set. The medical center is the first hospital in New England to use eShiftT, a Web-based flexible staffing tool, to help clinical managers meet their fluctuating staffing demands in an effective and affordable manner.

eShift allows hospital staff to self-schedule online to meet their weekly or monthly commitments. Unfilled shifts can be re-posted as auctions for staff to bid on the hourly rate, with the lowest qualified bidder being notified by e-mail when the auction closes (usually 2 - 10 days in advance of the shift).

The medical center is having great success using eShift: The program allows nursing professionals to have more control over their own hours and work schedule, giving them more flexibility.

The main benefits of eShift for nurses include improved access, flexibility and control to accommodate nurses' lifestyle priorities, and the opportunity for increased hourly wages, some at incentive rates. eShift also gives nurses the ability to manage personal career objectives, and they like receiving fewer calls asking to work on days off. eShift has helped motivate staff making them better able to meet their personal income objectives. eShift is also easy for nurses to use either from home or at their stations provided by NVMC.

Chief Nursing Officer Carol A. Conroy said, "It allows us to have our own Nashoba Valley Medical Center nurses caring for our patients and is a strategy to decrease our dependence on temporary-agency nurses." NVMC Human Resources Director Wanda Edwards says that even people who are intimidated by computers find the process to be simple and they enjoy using it. She says the program has been a successful recruitment tool. "eShift is a real innovation for nurses.

When potential hires find out about eShift, they become very interested in NVMC as an employer. It's helping us recruit nurses into our system," she said.

Lynn Arsenault, RN, a frequent user of eShift at NVMC had this to say about her experiences, "eShift is very convenient to my lifestyle, but what I love most about it is having the option to pick an extra shift on my terms and convenient to my busy schedule."

According to Karen Tomasetti, RN, who works as a "per diem" nurse in the NVMC Emergency Department, price bidding works smoothly. "Someone can come in and underbid, but most of the time, I get what I bid for," she said.

The eShift process is simple:
After initial scheduling of staff nurses, open shifts are posted online, with a maximum hourly rate that the hospital will pay. Only qualified nurses can bid on the available slot. Nurses then put in bids at the maximum rate or below. The qualified nurse at the lowest bid price wins the open shift. It's like eBay in reverse.

NVMC Andrei Soran said that he is implementing many innovations at the hospital, eShift being one of them. "We want to give our nurses more choices and more flexibility. In the end, that's what's best for our patients," he said.

How much for your women??

"We are pleased with the success of eShift at Nashoba Valley Medical Center," says Rod Hart, President of Flexestaff, which owns and markets eShift. "It shows that a creative and flexible solution like eShift can provide value to an innovative hospital of any size."

Some interesting resources are: Mass Nurse


Anonymous said...

That is AWESOME ! That is an inovative way to get around the agency thing. It will probably take 10 years to get to this part of the world.

Anonymous said...

If it was sooo good, why wasn't it implemented here? Could be because they tried to cheap-out the top price and it didn't work?

The article was from over a year and a half ago, so if it was good for the nurses, it probably wasn't good for E$$ent--and NVMC is an E$$ent hospital. Consistency between the hospitals is not their forte.

Anonymous said...

John Belluchi's "How much for your women???" could be appropriate, or the old punchline of "we already know what you are, we're just negotiating the price..."

Didn't know refridgerators cost that much....

Anonymous said...

You know, when I worked ER at PRMC, we had the same schedule on nights. It was a tough schedule, but everyone worked 5 on, 5 off 2 on and 2 off.

The days that were not covered for some reason or other, were covered by volenteers of the ER. The ones that wanted the overtime.

Everybody won on that situation. The hospital was still getting out cheaper than it cost for an agency nurse. We rarley had to float people to the ER on night shift, because we had it covered, and with people who knew where things were.

What made me mad is that they were griping about the overtime. Ok, lets get real here. If you don't have enough nurses to cover vacations, holidays, sick time etc... then someone will either have to work overtime, or you are going to have to pay an agency nurse.

They were coming out cheaper the way we were doing it. Why gripe? Do they expect no one to take a holiday, or vacation?

Another reason they griped about overtime, was the matrix was stretched to the bone. If someone called in sick, and we worked short, or even if we had a busy night, we would have to stay over and chart. They didn't even consider that they were still coming out cheaper for the time we spent in overtime, because we were one or 2 people short.

None of us wanted to stay over to chart, I can assure you. We were exhausted.

I felt like they should have been greatful that we worked like that, instead of accusing us of milking them. That was a slap in the face.

Anonymous said...

I just read the want ad for PRMC asking nurses to "Come Home." Ok PRMC, and I know the powers that be are reading this blog---put your money where your mouth is.

Let's negotiate the Teamsters way.

I want a contract that says PRMC will do the following;

1. The people that have stuck it out through this merger---its time to pay up. Give those people what they deserve--a raise and a good one. They have been through hell and back.

2. The people that have quit during the hell of the merger, you will pay the salary they had before they quit.

3. You will respect your employees, and if there is a voiced concern, you will least act like you care as well and try (or act like) you will try to fix it.

4. Harassment policy---Have you read it? When an employee is having problems with abuse from a doctor/ unit secretary/ nurse/administrator/ or director, you promise to investigate, and find out the problem, instead of coming to your own conclusions from a one sided point of view.

Some sort of agreement of respect would be nice.

4. If we have to work short, You will split up the salary of the person we are short, and add it to our hourly wage. If we are an RN Short, split it up and give it to the ones working. If we are a unit secretary or aid short, split up the money between those working.

5. Reconsider the matrix. If you were to luck out, and get away from agency, keep your employees by not working them to death. Ask the employees what is needed to give the patients good care.

6. Face it, if you need good employees don't threaten to send them home when its slow, and then try to get them back when things pick up. Sometimes you have to pay people to be there. You are paying for their knowledge, as well as their work. The cath lab people need 40 hours a week, the ER needs 40 hours a week to keep them. Send them home, they will walk. Try to get them back 10 min. later and you are S.O.L. buddy. You can't have it both ways.

I know there is more, but that was my biggest beef, and unless you are willing to fix those issues for sure, don't waste your time and money paying for want ads. You will need your money to pay for agency.

Anonymous said...

7. They also need to employ a nursing staff advocate, to take greivances to administration. That way, you don't have to go to the director, or someone complaining all of the time. Someone is working out a fair deal.

8. All directors, charge nurses, and administration has to go to the ANA workshop on nurse friendly work place, and apply for Magnet status. It may take years, but it is a goal to work for.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but that nice little article on the Ebay bid system. Isn't the East coast embedded with UNIONS?????? Seems to me if that's the case, it could be it was successful because the Unions had a look at them and countered with "We'll try it, but these are the dollar amounts (lowest to highest) that are acceptable. And if this article is over a year old, is it still in action, or long gone? No one ever puts the bad comments with the good..........there is always a flip side. I've never been a proponent of unions, but after working under Essent's leadership, I will be the first in line to sign up with a Union. I'd love to do a little heel-grinding on the backs of management.

PS-loved the "How much for your women" appropriate-HA!

Anonymous said...


Let's print this and post it on Administration's door!

Anonymous said...

The following was a seminar done by Debbie Steward, RN, Director of Nursing for Advance Magazine. Arlington Job Fair-2006.


1. Skilled & Open Communication - management LISTENS to everyone, with no fear of reprisals, or "I don't want to hear that".

2. True Collaboration-One department (managmenet & employees)indulging in teamwork to solve problems or issues.

3. Effective Decisionmaking - defining true issues, making a game plan that is advantageous to all involved.

4. Appropriate Staffing - covering lack of personnel at specific times, there will always be a time when you are shorthanded, but by careful planning, you can bridge the most crucial gaps. Easing stress and strain on existing employees.

5. Meaningful recognition - this doesn't mean roses or taking someone to dinner, by no means, a kind word, thank you, or simply buying a soft drink for everyone when the day is crazy, and all have pulled together to make it work out.

6. Authentic Leadership- Be real,attentive to pertinent details, genuine when dealing one-on-one, and most important of all, KEEP YOUR PROMISES!

It would seem that on all fronts, Essent has failed miserably.

Basic concepts with proven results with every successful company.

THIS should be the mantra that Essent management should live by and aspire to on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

I personally agree with Debbie Steward. I don't think it's asking too much, in fact, I think that much is owed.

I don't expect to be coddled by any means, but I do expect respect. I give it, and I want it back.

Anonymous said...

I had a director that really tried to do the things that MRS. Steward suggested. They got rid of him, and hired the anti-Christ for his position.

My director is much happier now, and so am I after leaving PRMC.

Their idea of a good director is a person who will give up all of their values, all of their pride, all of the care for patients and staff, for a few extra bucks, and a sick sence of power.

It's almost like the brain washing that occurs from a cult.

The employees that don't brain wash so well are the ones that have to be broken down.

Anonymous said...

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:13

If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house.

Anonymous said...

The thing about Debbie Steward's article is that it is down to earth, common sense thinking. It also would equal higher patient volume and thus more $$$. Why is that not understood by E$$ent?

It is so simple...

Anonymous said...

Therein lies the rub my friend..........simple AND effective. A thought process beneath the powers that be!

AND if it didn't originate with them...........not worth considering.

Anonymous said...

This was promised at PRMC 3-4 months after Essent came in. (I was at the meeting where it was discussed) It was supposed to be up and going by August.

Anonymous said...

We have associates that got a nickel raise. Some that were told that they had hit the ceiling and got nothing. Some got 4%.

Now, I can really see incentive to do a good job. It was apparently all done to appease the angry mobs...Let them eat cake...comes to mind....

Can you hear the cries of, "The guillotine, the guillotine...."

To implement this form of scheduling, you have to have a staff that is close to even, not down 30-40 nurses. Otherwise, it's like a Dutch auction at eBay with too many items: they don't get taken, and the price is not what the seller wants. (Except in some situations, it would go for the limit ceiling each time.)

Blanco said...

I posted this earlier, in another section of this blog...Seems important to put this where people might see it! Funny thing, an employee told me this week that about 5 months ago E$$ent told staff at a medical meeting how to deal with any unions that might try to come in to PRMC, what to do to keep "them" out...go figure.

There is a union that is more than willing to represent PRMC employees, the UFCW (United Food & Commercial Workers), Local Union 540.

They have represented 2 local businesses, Paris Packaging, Inc., and Campbell Soup, for years.

Their Union rep is Chip Serrano, (214)328-3515, ext108, or 1-800-282-0714. Fax# (214)327-6614.
The address is 11041 Garland Rd., Dallas, Texas, 75218.

Every PRMC employee questioned has been in favor of a union due to the fact that unless Essent sells PRMC, they have no other choice.

Go online and check out Essent's union agreements with their hospital in salaries, employee breaks and staff/patient ratios.

Imagine having a job (at PRMC) where your meal breaks are constantly interrupted because of the short wonder people take "smoke breaks" so they can even have one!!

Come on people...ORGANIZE!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds good! Come on nurses let's work together!

Anonymous said...

I can't help on the union deal, because I'm an ex--employee, but that would be the only way I went back to PRMC.

I don't know what's stopping you. You have an advocate, you have someone to take grievances to, that are on your side, they have to negotiate a deal on grievances. It might not be 100 percent of what you want, but it beats 200 to the negative side.

Starting pay for nurses here is at least 4 dollars an hour below average.

Hey, somebody call the firefighters, EMS and PD and see if they could do it too.