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Texas Health Fort Worth Pilots New Staffing Model
08/27/2009

FORT WORTH, Texas — The idea of working 26 weeks out of the year is something that many nurses and clinical staff only dream about. This dream has become a reality for one nursing unit at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Hospital administrators adopted a new staffing model, the 7/70 staffing model, in effort to provide better work-life balance for the clinical staff and improve the continuity of care for patients. The first of its kind in North Texas, the 7/70 staffing model is being piloted on the new palliative care unit. The clinical staff work seven 10-hour shifts for per week and enjoy seven days off.

“We value our staff and want to ensure that they are able to create an ideal work-life balance for themselves,” said Kirsten Drake, nursing director of the medical surgical renal oncology area. “Our staff can look forward to leading healthier lifestyles with their families as well as improving their working relationships with coworkers, patients and families.”

This model was adopted from the Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Employees there said that this staffing model created a greater sense of teamwork with coworkers and higher levels of trust with their patients. Work-life balance and an appreciation for the employees’ personal life were also among the benefits.

With this staffing structure, patients benefit from having the same care providers for seven consecutive days. The 7/70 model allows for improved continuity of care as nurses’ shifts overlap to accommodate patients during peak hours when the unit is most busy.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to provide employees with a flexible work environment that values their personal life,” said Ashley Hodo, manager of palliative care unit at Texas Health Fort Worth. “Patient satisfaction has and will continue to increase as a result of this staffing model.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 724-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Fort Worth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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