Getting administration to let you hire more surgeons

Trauma center clinical leaders who want to expand the trauma staff often meet resistance from their hospital’s chief operating officer, chief financial officer or both. These executives typically manage labor costs very closely, and any proposal to add staff will be met with scrutiny. To overcome this hurdle, trauma leaders must demonstrate the need for additional physicians. There are two techniques:

External benchmarking. One approach is to benchmark your trauma staff against other trauma centers in the state or region. Calculate the ratio of relative value units (RVUs) to full-time employees (FTEs) for your program and others. Benchmarking is difficult, because you need to take into account differing service commitments and support structures. But done effectively, benchmark comparisons are an effective way to demonstrate staffing needs to hospital executives.

Volume analysis. The alternative approach is simply to run a report on trauma patient volume over the last several quarters and compare it to physician staffing levels. If you can show that case volumes have been increasing while physicians FTEs have not, you can make a strong case for expanding the trauma medical staff.

Need more help making the case? Trauma Ready, a trauma center consulting firm, can help you make a strong argument for adding medical, nursing and support staff.