Promoting Health Systems Through Improved Staffing Practices

The L.A. County Department of Health Services (DHS) is the second largest municipal healthcare system in the nation, serving well more than half a million people each year. DHS relies heavily on the use of contract workers, who make up 27 percent of the agency’s workforce. To help the agency understand the implications of contract workers to cost, quality, and consistency of care, FUSE executive fellow Nichelle Toomire worked to develop a staffing approach that helps employees make informed decisions.

Nichelle conducted a comprehensive assessment to understand the agency’s use of contract staff tracking usage and cost. Her analysis validated the need for a dashboard, pulling together contract labor data in a visually digestible format, and included recommendations to improve the vendor contracting process. Nichelle benchmarked best practices and identified opportunities to increase efficiency, including recruitment practices and contract labor reporting. She secured technical resources for the rollout of a dashboard to analyze staffing factors in real time and make informed decisions. She oversaw the first phase of the dashboard’s implementation and was retained by the agency for a second year to manage additional phases, as well as provide assistance with software acquisition and implementation planning efforts.