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SCF Measure of Productivity Analysis Paper

One measure of productivity is “nursing care hours per patient days”. Nursing care hours are the total hours for a specific time period worked by nursing personnel of a designated unit, including RNs, LPNs, and UAPs (unlicensed assistive personnel). The most common time period is one month, but hours/PPD (hours per patient day) may be calculated on a daily, weekly, or pay period basis.

Patient days is the sum total of days charged per patient within the same time period. Variance is the difference between actual and budgeted events such as dollars expended or a calculated productivity measure.

The table below provides a set of data for a high-acuity, medical-surgical unit for the previous year. Data included are the number of budgeted and actual patient days, total directed budgeted nursing care hours, and the actual hours of paid nursing care. Included are columns for the calculated productivity measure (actual nursing hours / actual patient days) and the variance ([budgeted nursing hours / budgeted patient days] – productivity) per month. A positive number indicates the number of hours you are over budget, while a negative number indicates the number of hours you are under budget.

Table: Productivity Data for 40-Bed Medical-Surgical Unit

Month

Actual Patient Days

Budgeted Patient Days

Actual Nursing Hours

Budgeted Nursing Hours

Productivity Measures

Variance

January

1,116

1,116

10,965

10,044

February

1,030

1,008

10,209

9,074

March

974

896

8,060

8,064

April

876

960

8,560

8,640

May

930

868

7,739

7,812

June

864

840

7,553

7,560

July

942

868

7,840

7,812

August

831

868

7,993

7,812

September

888

840

7,868

7,560

October

967

868

8,013

7,812

November

996

960

8,642

8,640

December

1,091

896

10,238

8,064

Total

11,505

10,988

103,680

98,894

Questions:

  1. Given the information in the table, complete this table. Calculate the total hours of direct nursing care delivered per patient day for each month and for the total year. This indicates the unit’s productivity, and goes in the column marked “Productivity Measures”.
  2. Assuming that the productivity standard for this unit is 9 hours per patient day, calculate the variance for each month.
  3. Discuss the trends you see in this data from month to month, but also for each quarter and the overall year.
  4. How can this information be used by the nurse manager to budget more efficiently for the upcoming year? What are your suggestions for change?
  5. If you were the nursing manager, what other information might you request to better calculate productivity in your unit?

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