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City of Hope hospital uses workforce analysis to keep nurses

Using Visier Workforce Analytics, the City of Hope research and treatment center gathers vital HCM data that helps reduce turnover of nurses and improve recruiting.

City of Hope, a research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, went live with Visier Workforce Analytics at the end of 2014. The workforce analysis tool includes data on 4,745 employees, including about 900 nurses and 2,100 additional medical center employees, and 900 scientists and researchers at the Beckman Research Institute.

John Freudenberg, senior manager of HR analytics and technology at City of Hope, based in Duarte, Calif., discussed the use of Visier Workforce Analytics with SearchFinancialApplications.

How many people use the workforce analysis tool?

John Freudenberg: Right now, it is a small group -- probably six or seven nursing directors, five HR strategic partners and myself.

How do you sum up what Visier does for your organization?

Freudenberg: First, it was a quick and easy implementation, and it is an easy tool to understand. It is also very visual. That helps a lot.

[Human capital management] data is critical. Our chief human resource officer (CHRO) reports directly to the CEO. Visier allows our CHRO and HR leadership to provide data and recommendations for programs based on actual human capital data. Visier helps the HR department make evidenced-based, informed decisions for the organization.

The power of Visier is to be able to connect multiple data sources. I describe it as an HR data warehouse. It can take practically any format and make it work. For example, we take recruitment data from Taleo, performance data from Cornerstone OnDemand, engagement data from Gallup and core human capital data from PeopleSoft, and load them all into Visier Workforce Analytics.

What is an example of using Visier for workforce analysis to help with recruitment?

Freudenberg: Visier is very good at visually showing historical trends and movement above or below those trends. For instance, Visier was able to show how the number of requisitions for job openings has almost doubled over the last two years, from 250 to 500. Before Visier, I don't think we even knew this number, or the fact that this number jumped significantly a couple of months ago and has stayed at that level. Visier also showed that the time to fill a vacancy was increasing, which makes complete sense, given that the number of requisitions had grown so significantly. The data reported out of Visier allowed the director of talent acquisition to have a candid conversation with HR leadership about getting more boots on the ground. We have hired additional recruitment staff and are now working on trying to bring down the number of open requisitions and the time it takes to fill a position.

What key performance indicators do you track regularly in Visier?

Freudenberg: On the dashboard, we track turnover rates by operating unit and by job level and tenure. We currently have approximately 13 operating units and are able to look at how each unit's turnover compares to established benchmarks. We look at the turnover rate for the trailing 12 months, the turnover rate among first-year employees, voluntary and involuntary turnover rates and vacancy rates.

I do this for each of the 13 operating units. Our plan is to have operating leadership review this data as part of their ongoing monthly operational meetings.

We also look at the movement of employees of City of Hope, the number of people who transferred into a unit and the number who transferred out. In nursing, for example, leaves of absence tend to be higher in number. Using Visier, nursing administration can track the number of leaves each month, how many are paid and unpaid, and the leaves in total, and adjust their staffing accordingly.

Are there any improvements on the horizon with the tool?

Freudenberg: Visier has also created a new platform specifically for healthcare. We expect to be moved to that platform in the very near future. When we get on that healthcare platform, it will be able to bring in Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores at a departmental level. These patient satisfaction scores are based on surveys that go out to patients who are treated at City of Hope and elsewhere. All hospitals live and die by patient satisfaction scores. With the new healthcare platform, we will be able to see if turnover rates correlate with Press Ganey scores, for example.

Have you used Visier Workforce Analytics to prevent nurses from resigning at City of Hope?

Freudenberg: For each employee, Visier shows a cost of exit and a risk of exit. The tool also tracks resignations. You can compare resignation rates in each department. In certain units, we have spoken with a manager that might be having issues, according to what the data [is] showing. In that case, yes, it is preventing other people from leaving.

What is an example of using Visier for workforce analysis to improve business outcomes?

Freudenberg: First, you need to be aware of a turnover problem, for example. The organization can than institute programs and take steps to address that problem. You continually need to look at your turnover metric to see if what you put in place is actually helping reduce turnover. Visier allows you to do that. On the recruitment side, are you spending money on agencies that are not producing for you because all your hires are coming from LinkedIn? Maybe you spend more on LinkedIn and less on agencies.

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