Staffing Models Paper GCU

Staffing Models Paper GCU

The realization of care outcomes that include safety, quality, and efficiency in healthcare is important. Healthcare organizations achieve these outcomes by adopting the best interventions that enhance care outcomes and the productivity of their staff. Factors such as organizational staffing are essential in ensuring that organizations achieve their desired performance outcomes. Organizations with the right staff-patient ratio can implement innovative care practices to address the actual and potential needs of their populations due to the elimination of issues such as burnout among caregivers. Staffing models guide the human resources-related decisions that organizations make. The models should not only address the immediate organizational goals but also the anticipated changes in the healthcare industry of an organization. Therefore, the purpose of this research paper is to examine the recommended staffing model that is appropriate for a 30-bed acute inpatient unit. The paper also explores the quality metrics that informed the effectiveness of the adopted model, its budgetary implications, and a plan for continuous monitoring of the effectiveness and efficiency of the model.

Staffing Model

Healthcare organizations are responsible for providing care that enhances care outcomes for diverse populations. The adoption of an effective staffing model is a crucial requirement for the realization of the desired outcomes in an institution. The adopted model should ensure the efficient utilization of scarce resources to achieve optimum outcomes in the patient care process. The appropriate staffing model for the 30-bed acute inpatient unit is the patient acuity model of staffing. The patient acuity model of staffing entails the consideration of patient care needs. The severity of patient care needs at any given period determines the staffing needs in the unit. The acuity-based staffing model ensures t

Staffing Models Paper GCU
Staffing Models Paper GCU

hat the management balances the staff needed in a shift based on the patient needs rather than numbers (Sobaski, 2018). The focus on the needs of the patients promotes the realization of quality outcomes and not quantity outcomes are seen when the emphasis is on patient numbers.

The acuity-based staffing model is appropriate for the 30-bed unit because of several reasons. First, the model balances patient safety and productivity of the healthcare providers while optimizing organizational costs. The effective use of the model ensures that healthcare organizations use effectively the scarce human and financial resources to address the crucial needs of the patients (Meyer et al., 2020). An example is reducing the number of nursing staff needed if the unit has 30 patients awaiting discharge. In doing this, the costs that could have been incurred by focusing on numbers reduce significantly while the anticipated quality, safety, and efficiency of care are maintained in the unit.

The acuity-based staffing model also provides the unit manager the enhanced ability to identify and monitor productivity trends in the

Staffing Models Paper GCU
Staffing Models Paper GCU

unit. Accordingly, the unit manager can use the model to measure unit productivity based on methods such as hours-per-work load recommendations and comparing it with the actual hours worked. They can also measure outcomes related to direct care and non-direct care outcomes related to the efficacy of staff in undertaking their roles. The assessment outcomes can be used to develop performance goals that should be achieved in the short, medium, and long-term in the unit (Dweik & Ahmad, 2018). Therefore, by measuring productivity, the unit manager can implement data-driven quality improvement initiatives to drive excellence in the unit.

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Quality Metrics

Quality metrics informed the determination of the acuity-based staffing model as appropriate for the unit. One of the quality metrics is cost. Healthcare organizations should ensure efficient utilization of financial resources in the patient care process. The scarce financial resources should be allocated with evidence-based data, which can be obtained when the acuity-based staffing model is adopted. Acuity-based staffing systems have been developed to provide managers with detailed insights into the costs that should be spent at any given time to meet the care needs of the patients (Penner, 2017).

The other quality metric that informed the selection of the staffing model is safety. The provision of care in the unit should ensure that patients are free from any form of harm. Often, provider and patient factors such as high workload, complex care needs, and burnout contribute to safety issues in the care process. Acuity-based staffing model ensures that the unit manager matches the prioritized care needs of the patients with the nursing staff (Ageiz & El-mageed, n.d.). As a result, risks such as work overload, burnout, decreased motivation, medication errors, and falls are prevented in the unit.

The other quality metric that informed the selection of the staffing model is patient and provider outcomes. Acuity-based staffing model enhances optimum patient and provider outcomes in the care process. Accordingly, the rate of satisfaction among nurses increases significantly since the model eliminates care issues such as high workload and burnout in the care process. The model also enhances nurse-sensitive indicators such as nosocomial infections, pressure ulcers, patient satisfaction, and pain management due to the enhanced focus on the realization of the prioritized patients’ needs. Patient outcomes such as patient satisfaction, empowerment, and healthcare costs also improve due to the enhanced focus on their care needs and not a generalized quantity of needs (Rodriguez et al., 2020). Therefore, the need for the realization of patient and provider outcomes in the care process informed the selection of the acuity-based staffing model.

Budgetary Implications

The implementation of the proposed staffing model has budgetary implications for the organization. One of them is the need to hire highly qualified and adequate nursing staff to meet the care needs in the unit. The hired staff should be able to address the care needs of the patients at all times irrespective of the changes in the acuity needs of the patients. The other implication is the need for the provision of opportunities for continued personal and professional development for the hired staff. Nurses working in the unit should be competent in addressing the care needs of their patients. They should be able to translate evidence-based practices into their clinical practice for optimum care outcomes such as safety, quality, and efficiency (Penner, 2017). Training and educational opportunities should be provided regularly to ensure that they possess the desired professional knowledge and skills in responding to the complex needs of their patients.

The implementation of the staffing model also requires the adoption of health information technologies to enhance its effectiveness. Currently, technologies that operate on the principles of acuity-based staffing have been developed to enhance the patient care process. The hospital will have to purchase the system to enhance the outcomes of the model used in the unit. The system will enable the unit manager to develop data-driven decisions that enhance efficiency, safety, and quality in the care process (Penner, 2017). The organization should be ready to provide training to the unit managers to ensure they are competent in using the system in determining the desired staffing needs at any given time.

Continuous Monitoring Plan

Continuous monitoring is important to ensure the acuity-based staffing model is effective and efficient in the unit. The plan will entail assessing model efficiency after every four months to provide insights into its effectiveness, efficiency, and improvement strategies needed. The assessment will focus on outcome measures such as quality and safety outcomes of care and costs incurred in the unit. The second approach to continuous monitoring will entail the acquisition of data about its effectiveness and efficiency from the unit manager and nurses working in the unit. Interviews, surveys, and questionnaires will be administered to them to obtain subjective views about the effectiveness of the model in promoting the desired outcomes. The results will inform any improvement strategies needed to enhance the effectiveness of the model (Meyer et al., 2020). The last approach to monitoring the model will entail the evaluation of patient outcomes. Patient outcomes such as satisfaction, empowerment, and incidence of safety and quality issues will be used to assess the model (Sobaski, 2018). It is anticipated that the adoption of the staffing model will improve patient, provider, and organizational outcomes.


Overall, the most appropriate staffing model for the 30-bed nursing unit is the acuity-based staffing model. The model matches the staffing needs with the acuity care needs of the patients. Acuity-staffing model drives quality, safety, and efficiency outcomes in healthcare. The budgetary implications of implementing the model include hiring adequate, skilled staff, ensuring continuous development of the staff, and purchasing a system to enhance model effectiveness. Continuous monitoring of the model’s effectiveness and efficacy will be done regularly to inform the needed improvement strategies.


Ageiz, M. H., & El-mageed, H. H. A. (n.d.). Nurses’ satisfaction related to implementing patient acuity tool-based assignment. American Journal of Nursing Research, 11.

Dweik, G., & Ahmad, M. (2018). Matching nursing assignment to patients’ acuity level: the road to nurses’ satisfaction. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 27.

Meyer, K. R., Fraser, P. B., & Emeny, R. T. (2020). Development of a nursing assignment tool using workload acuity scores. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 50(6), 322–327.

Penner, S. J. (2017). Economics and Financial Management for Nurses and Nurse Leaders: Third Edition. Springer Publishing Company.

Rodriguez, A. L., Jackson, H. J., Cloud, R., Morris, K., & Stansel, C. C. (2020). Oncology nursing considerations when developing outpatient staffing and acuity models. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 36(3), 151018.

Sobaski, T. (2018). Addressing patient acuity and nurse staffing issues in the acute care setting: A review of the literature. International Journal of Studies in Nursing, 3(3), 1.