The Harm of Unsafe Staffing Levels

The Harm of Unsafe Staffing Levels

Patient safety and staffing shortages should be the number one concern of every physician and hospital administration. But, could blowing the whistle and complaining about being short staffed get you fired? The answer unfortunately is “Yes!”

A physician blows the whistle on unsafe staffing

An emergency room physician in Missouri complained about unsafe physician to patient staffing ratios at his community hospital. On the night shift, he was scheduled to cover both the pediatric emergency room as well as the adult emergency room. After numerous complaints to his staffing company, they gave him the axe and fired him.

As you can imagine, a physician covering 2 emergency departments on his own would have to have superhuman powers to get the job done. Fortunately, the physician sued the staffing agency that fired him and won a 29 million-dollar settlement.

Safe patient care should not function like McDonald’s

Dr. Mitchell Li, an emergency room physician in Chicago states “the business model used by contract management groups is the same as McDonald’s: use the cheapest labor possible to churn out a mediocre hamburger.” Dr. Li believes that hospital administrators view physician expertise as a line item expense and makes patient safety take a backseat to investor profit.

Safe staffing and scheduling saves lives

A crucial ingredient for safe patient care in a hospital setting is better physician staffing and scheduling. Studies show that when a physician, in house attending intensivist, is staffed 24 hours around the clock in an intensive care unit (ICU) the decision to discontinue mechanical ventilation is usually shortened by 2 days. The same was found to be true when a decision was made to change a do-not-resuscitate code status (DNR).

There’s lots of research data geared towards safe patient staffing ratios focused on nurses.  More research studies needs to be done which is  geared towards physicians and staffing. One study suggests that physician to patient staffing ratios depend on many factors which include patient, hospital and specialty physician characteristics.

Workload, quality care, time and motion studies, complex patient care, service design/skill mix and an increasing frail patient population should all be taken into consideration when staffing. If a hospital or medical facility is understaffed, patients face a higher rate of mortality, higher risk of infection, increased postoperative complications and increased number of falls.

A physicians time is valuable. Safe patient care is imperative!

Intrigma is the leader in safe physician scheduling software. Distributing and tracking workload assignments and identifying staff shortages through fair workload tracking is made easy and manageable. The most complicated schedules can be tamed by just doing the math.

Through Intrigma’s software, schedules can be shared through many different departments. Centralized scheduling manages requests and provider contact information for multiple departments and/or hospital systems. Potential risks in patient safety, like only having one emergency room physician covering 2 emergency departments can be detected with Intrigma software.

Intrigma’s main focus is reducing costs, saving time, and improving staff morale for physicians, medical groups, hospitals and nurses.

Intrigma Earns SOC 2 Type II + HITRUST Certification

Intrigma Inc., the leading innovator for clinical staff scheduling software, today announced it has completed the Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type II + Health Information Trust Common Security Framework (HITRUST) certification. The certification demonstrates their commitment to the most rigorous security, availability, confidentiality, and privacy standards in handling customer data.

Created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in partnership with the HITRUST, the SOC 2 Type II + HITRUST certification is an internal controls report that captures how a company safeguards customer data and protects their health information. These benchmarks are based on certain Trust Services Criteria: privacy, confidentiality, security, and availability.

Companies that use cloud service providers, use SOC 2 reports in order to assess and address the risks associated with third-party technology services. The SOC 2 Type II + HITRUST compliance certification ensures that Intrigma’s customers’ data as well as the information of their scheduling ecosystems are protected at all times by strict compliance requirements.

“Our solutions help healthcare professionals and minimize their day-to-day staffing and scheduling processes with ease. This all starts with protecting their data and confidentiality to the highest industry standards by reducing any potential technical disruptions,” said Tal Eidelberg, CEO of Intrigma. “In today’s digital environment, protecting healthcare institutions from cyber attacks is essential to ensure continuity of high-quality care.”

As a SaaS company hosted by Amazon Web Services, Intrigma delivers a centralized, enterprise-grade level of security and control for Intrigma’s workforce scheduling users. Intrigma’s built-in security architecture enables more secure infrastructure and operations practices to reduce the risk of downtime.

By using Intrigma’s workforce scheduling application, clinical teams can centrally control schedules in a secure fashion and integrate with various other clinical IT systems. Through this approach, Intrigma customers are able to better comply with their own security policies and industry regulations.

Intrigma is dedicated to the security and privacy of its customers and has plans for additional certifications and measures in the future. To learn more about Intrigma’s commitment to data security and cloud application visit:

About Intrigma

Intrigma Inc. provides software scheduling solutions for physicians, nurses, staff, and other clinical healthcare providers’ that enable optimized schedules and deliver cost-effective, quality healthcare. Founded in 2004, Intrigma is used by thousands of medical facilities, including the most prominent names in telemedicine and urgent care, academic medical centers, community hospitals, and physician practices, both nationally and internationally. For more information, please visit, or connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

To read the full press release here.