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Hospitals find new ways to supplement staffs

Hospitals in Milwaukee, Wis., seek to save financial resources by using hospital-based nursing pools to supplement nursing staffs, in lieu of hiring staffing agencies. According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee suffers from some of the highest health care costs in the United States. Consequently, two large health care systems, Covenant Healthcare and Aurora Health Care, sought innovative ways to cut costs. Both hospital systems use an internal nursing pool to fill staffing deficits.


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The hospital systems experienced the following results:


[white diamond suit] The Covenant Healthcare hospital system has saved $500,000.


[white diamond suit] At Covenant's four hospitals, an internal pool of 145 nurses, up from 33, fills staffing gaps.


[white diamond suit] Covenant Healthcare officials report a savings of at least $10 per hour by using its own nursing pool.


[white diamond suit] Internal nursing pool members receive $5 to $8 more an hour than the rate they receive for their scheduled shifts.


[white diamond suit] Aurora Health Care officials estimate saving $1 million per year through this process.


[white diamond suit] Using its float pool of 200 nurses, Aurora Health Care reduced staffing agency use by 40%.



Source: Manning, J.: "Hospitals shifting nursing subs," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Jan. 19, 2004. Available online: