Staff Shortages and Workload Issues

February 2015

Question from Fontana Pharmacist:
“I am seeing many RNs being short staffed everyday on all floors. I have been hearing this staffing complaint from the RNs that I worked with for years. Why has not UNAC approached KP to address this constant shortage of staffing for its members?”

Over the past several months, inpatient staffing levels have not been capable of meeting the current high census. Since the first of the year UNAC/UHCP has been in discussion with Kaiser regarding the lack of appropriate winter planning and the resulting staffing shortages. Because UNAC/UHCP represents health systems outside of KP, we have been able to track the volume of patient census in the community.

To address the issue in the short term, UNAC/UHCP is close to reaching an agreement where Kaiser will pay a substantial bonus to inpatient nurses who sign up to work extra shifts. UNAC/UHCP has used this program before and it was highly successful. We expect the bonus incentive program to be in place next week.

And to address the issue in the longer term, UNAC/UHCP is in active discussions with management regarding new job postings to expand /open new units in the hospital and should reach agreement soon.

In sum, we are actively working to incentivize nurses to work extra shifts and to get the Company to post and fill additional positions quickly.