Analyze: Technology Snapshot: Workforce Management

HIMSS Analytics

Healthcare workforce management is a critical function for any hospital. With a complex range of employees across departments, specialties, locations and qualifications, healthcare organizations need to be able to schedule their workforce for the right coverage, with the right qualifications, at the right time — so, Excel just won't cut it.

It should come as no surprise, then, that workforce management software encompasses some of the earliest automated and adopted technologies in the healthcare industry. Within the HIMSS Analytics Logic platform, we've tracked the following workforce management technologies:

  • Nurse Staffing/Scheduling
  • Patient Acuity
  • HR: Payroll, and
  • HR: Time and Attendance.

Let's dive into the current state of this important technology in the healthcare industry.

Technology Snapshot: Workforce Management in the U.S. Hospital Market

Within the United States, most hospitals currently have some form of workforce management technology. The market is led by Kronos at about 30 percent, with Infor Healthcare, GE Healthcare and Oracle following behind. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of all U.S. hospitals have payroll or time and attendance systems. Nurse staffing/scheduling systems have also grown in popularity, with adoption rates of over 70 percent in 2018.


However, patient acuity systems have been slower to catch on. Patient acuity is an important part of effective hospital staffing, because it takes into account not only raw patient numbers-but also the nursing staff's background and credentials- and matches that with the needs of the patients currently on the floor. Adoption rates of patient acuity solutions have increased steadily over the past 10 years, but as of 2018, still less than 40 percent of U.S. hospitals have a current solution for patient acuity.

There's still plenty of greenspace for this technology, and it is predicted that adoption rates will pick up significantly in the coming years. Based on Logic Predict’s Prospective Buyers Score, over 120 hospitals have a high likelihood to purchase one or more workforce management solution in the near future, either as a first-time purchase or to replace an existing solution. In addition, 86 have indicated a high likelihood of purchasing a patient acuity solution.


The Takeaway: Patient Acuity Poised for Activity within Healthcare Workforce Management

It is clear that healthcare organizations are becoming increasingly interested in patient acuity technology. Businesses are still interested in healthcare workforce management technologies like payroll, time and attendance and nurse staffing/scheduling — 26 hospitals have a high likelihood or purchasing nurse staffing/scheduling solutions in the near future — but because adoption rates of these technologies are so high, interest has slowed.


Solutions like payroll and time and attendance have been popular for years, allowing hospitals to increase operational efficiency and cut overhead costs. Now, with the movement toward personalized, optimized patient care, patient acuity solutions will become more and more important. By taking into account patient needs while scheduling, hospitals can improve the quality of patient care while cutting unnecessary costs, all tracking toward the Triple Aim of improving patient experiences, improving population health and reducing the cost per capita of healthcare.

Vendors of patient acuity technology have a huge opportunity in this market, and they should take this increased interest into account when planning their sales and marketing activities. By targeting this newly active area of healthcare workforce management, vendors can spark timely, relevant conversations with the right stakeholders in the market.