Beating the Nursing Shortage

By Wylie Wong  |  Posted 2009-01-23

Tired of spending $8 million to $10 million a year to hire nurses from outside employment agencies, St. John Health in Detroit decided to create an in-house nursing employment agency. The health provider has succeeded, thanks to ShiftWise, a Web-based staff-management application.

With seven hospitals, St. John Health relies on part-time nurses to augment its full-time staff. ShiftWise automates the staffing process, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes and paperwork, says corporate manager Nini Coury. Nurses log in and choose the jobs and hours they want to work. The application also checks nurses’ credentials and sends messages to those who need to renew.

Today, St. John’s in-house staffing agency employs about 300 nurses. Since it no longer has to pay outside employment agencies’ fees, the health provider has saved $3 million a year, Coury says.