Book a Demo

Posted by Sarah Ramsey

  • Apr 17, 2024

Measuring What Matters Most - Key Metrics for RosterOps Leaders to Track

If you have been working in healthcare - whether it be a few weeks or even a few days - we’re betting you’ve already recognized there are important metrics for operations managers to track. In this post we’ll explore key operational metrics that RosterOps leaders need to be tracking. We’ll also explore why having instant access to this data is so important for workforce optimization.

Why Metrics Matter: How Data Powers RosterOps Excellence

Metrics may not be the most glamorous part of overseeing complex healthcare staffing operations, but they’re undoubtedly the most critical. Key metrics act like a radar for RosterOps leaders, signaling how workforce processes are faring. Without key performance indicators (KPIs), you’re essentially flying blind.


The right metrics distill chaos into clarity. They quantitatively capture vitals from hiring effectiveness to patient care quality into numerical insights. Setting KPI targets related to organizational goals creates a dashboard for quickly gauging wins and opportunities. Is clinician turnover inching upwards quarter over quarter? Metrics expose the hard truths necessary for data-informed roster moves.


It’s been said, “what gets measured gets managed.” Metrics breed accountability and urgency around closing performance gaps. If emerging clinician satisfaction scores show a dip, RosterOps leaders can pinpoint pain points like contracting lags. Metrics also fuel continuous improvement flywheels. Deconstructing the metrics behind monthly open shift rates shapes smarter approaches for filling holes proactively.


The bottom line? Metrics transform vague notions about operational performance into focused facts. This prevents knee-jerk reactions, instead enabling leaders to respond strategically. With clear KPI guardrails aligned to healthcare organization priorities via actionable data, RosterOps leaders can nimbly optimize workflows and decision-making to best support patient needs.


The RosterOps Leader Blueprint: 20 Must-Track MetricsThe-RosterOps-Leader-Blueprint-20-Must-Track-Metrics-Internal-Image-8-April-2024 

There are a number of key operational metrics that could be tracked in a healthcare organization. However, for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the 20 most important metrics for operations managers to track. They are:

  1. New Clinician Acquisition & Cost
  2. Clinician Retention Rates
  3. Days to First Shift (on-boarding, credentialing time)
  4. Start Date Attainment
  5. Shift Vacancy Status
  6. Target vs. Filled Hours/Shifts
  7. Projected Staff Hours vs. Needed Staff Hours
  8. Schedule Equity
  9. % Shifts Filled: Internal vs. External 3rd Party
  10. Clinician Satisfaction Scores
  11. Patient Volume (# patients, # encounters, #wRVUs)
  12. Acuity - wRVU/enc
  13. Productivity - wRVU/hour (by day, night and weekday/weekend)
  14. % Pay Corrections (# pay corrections processed / total clinicians paid)
  15. Total Workforce Spend
  16. Margin Per Hour (Net Cost per hour - Factoring revenue generated less spend/hour)
  17. Per Hour Labor Costs
  18. Total Shifts Bonuses Per Month
  19. Total OT Hours
  20. Travel Costs Per Hour

Now that you know what these 20 key operational metrics are, let’s explain them a little further so you can ensure you’re tracking what matters most.


New Clinician Acquisition and Cost

This metric tracks the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of recruiting and onboarding new clinical staff members. It includes measures like time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and recruitment source effectiveness. Monitoring this helps identify bottlenecks and optimize spending in the hiring process.



Total recruiting labor time + marketing/ other costs (software/boards)/ # new hires in the period


Clinician Retention Rates

Retaining top clinical talent is crucial for care quality and operational continuity. This metric measures turnover rates across different clinical roles, departments, and locations. It enables proactive steps to improve engagement, recognition, and reduce regrettable attrition.


Formula: (Total # clinicians at start of period - lost clinicians) / Total # clinicians at start of period)


Days to First Shift

We like tracking from the moment of submission to a job the total time it takes to go through the hiring/selection process. This metric clocks how long it takes for them to be presented, interviewed, credentialed, privileged, and scheduled for their first patient-facing shift. Excessive delays point to process inefficiencies restricting care delivery capacity.


Start Date Attainment

This measures the percentage of new clinical hires who hit their goal start dates without delays. It reveals problems like missing paperwork or delays in offboarding that disrupt staffing plans and care operations.


Formula: Count of New Hires that hit goal start date in a period/ total new hires in that period


Pro Tip: When you use a platform like Kimedics workforce relationship management software, you can minimize the time from hire to working a shift for clinicians.


Kimedics simplifies and streamlines the onboarding process. More on the software in a bit.


Shift Vacancy Status

Unfilled shifts create care gaps and drive reliance on costly temporary staffing. Tracking open shifts by timeline buckets (<30 days, 30-60 days, 60+ days) pinpoints chronic shortages requiring strategic action. Open shifts can be a major driver of burnout for teams that offer shift bonuses for coverage from their current teams. Open Shifts in the future can be an indicator that you do not have enough clinicians on your roster


Formula: # assigned shifts/open + assigned shifts


Target vs. Filled Hours/Shifts

Comparing staffing hours needed based on variable patient volume and goal productivity can highlight if you are effectively staffing the right hours to patient volume. Too few hours and you are risking patient safety and clinician burnout, too many hours and you will have a budget problem. 


Formula: (Actual hours - Target hours) / target hours (ideal value is +/-3%, if <-3% understaffed: too productive burnout risk, >3% overstaffed: budget risk - too much spend relative to volume)

Target hours = actual patient volume/goal patient productivity


Projected Staff Hours vs. Needed Staff Hours

This metric looks over the future 18 months all expected hours by staff member factoring in new starts, terms, and leave (i.e. sabbatical, maternity leave, conferences), and compares the projected staff hours to the needed staff hours. Values <0 show that there are not enough clinicians on the roster to fill the projected staffing needs and there is a need to hire, cross credential new clinicians, or find temporary clinicians for coverage. Values > 0 show that there are enough providers, values over >10% show potential over staffing.


Schedule Equity

We use ranking scores by day types (Weekday day, Weekend Day, Weekday night, Weekend night, holiday day, holiday night, etc) and compare total equity rank across clinicians to ensure non-ideal days are distributed equally across team members.


% Shifts Filled: Internal vs. External (3rd party)

One indicator of team risk and potential over spending is when a large proportion of the staff is temporary vs. full time. This is a particularly high risk factor for programs who also have a medical director vacancy and no medical leadership in the program.


Clinician Satisfaction Scores

Through survey data, this metric captures employee experience, engagement levels, and sentiment towards their workplace. It facilitates initiatives to improve culture, development, and support - key drivers of retention.


Related: Read our post about clinician satisfaction indicators.


Patient Volume (# patients, # encounters, # wRVUs)

Patient volume drives the majority of RosterOps decisions. How many hours do we need to staff relative to the patient volume? How many clinicians do we need to fill those hours? Do we have the right skills on our team to see the patient's acuity?



Acuity tells you the relative weight of each patient encounter. It is calculated by taking total work rvus/total encounters. Acuity can be driven by the severity of patient levels but it can also be driven by documentation or missed codes (like additional 30 minutes, or missing review of systems).



Productivity is the measure of the patient volume/total hours. Some measure this as encounters/shift, encounters per hour or wRVU/hr. We recommend using hours instead of shifts for the best apples to apples comparison of productivity because shifts can have different lengths. We also highly suggest breaking this down by day/night. For example, a clinician working exclusively nights will have much lower productivity than one working only days.


% Pay Corrections

Some organizations have a formalized correction payroll run because so many checks have to get fixed every month. Incorrect pay is huge for anyone, especially clinicians with nuanced pay structures. This metric will provide visibility into the pay calculation process and if it is working successfully. Anything higher than 0% should be evaluated to see how to prevent errors for clinicians.


Formula: # pay corrections processed/total clinicians paid


Total Workforce Spend

Encompassing expenditures on employed staff, contractors, overtime, and temp labor, this metric tracks actual workforce costs against budgeted labor spend. It enforces financial accountability and smarter workforce mix modeling.


Margin Per Hour

Because there are various economic drivers when it comes to RosterOps financial management. This is the single best indicator to point you in the right direction. This takes into account the (revenue generated - total clinician spent) / hour. We suggest using projected revenue because collections lag so much in healthcare to give the most up to date view of this. Finding outliers allows you to dig in on what is driving this across care teams: documentation issues driving lower productivity/acuity, coupled with higher cost per hour can really impact the bottom line.


Per Hour Labor Costs

This dissects worker compensation rates across roles, specialties, and labor categories (FTE, contractor, temp). It protects against unchecked cost escalation and enables data-driven compensation planning.


Related: Read our post about how to reduce premium labor spend.

Total Shift Bonuses Per Month

Another indicator of last minute scheduling or potentially a roster with too few clinicians. Shift bonus trends should be tracked to see the total financial impact per month.


Total OT Hours

OT hours are important to look at from a cost perspective as well as staffing design. OT must be evaluated to ensure OT hours are being used appropriately. If they are, it may be a sign that there should be an additional shift added to ensure the appropriate coverage and that teams do not get burnt out.


Travel Costs Per Hour

This metric should be looked at for groups leveraging float pools or locum clinicians. It is the most cost effective approach to choose locum clinicians that are closer to driving down expensive travel costs. Isolating the highest travel cost per hour can help ensure shifts go first to the locally available clinicians.


Translating Metrics into Transformative Roster Decisions Translating-Metrics-into-Transformative-Roster-Decisions-Internal-Image-8-April-2024

The metrics described so far provide definitive proof of workforce wins and woes. However, the numbers alone hold little value if leaders don’t harness insights for meaningful responses. That’s where a RosterOps team can come in handy! These pros have the ability to analyze trends, dig into what’s driving the data, and trigger wise actions.


Detecting Trajectories

Is clinician retention following a concerning downward slope, or are vacancy rates holding steady season after season? Chart metric data over multi-year time frames rather than reacting to latest month fluctuations. The long view reveals performance trajectories to quantify roster health.


Determining Root Causes

Say your departments reflect turnover spikes. Before jumping to solutions, drill down to pinpoint reasons why – where specifically do separations cluster? What’s causing job dissatisfaction? Analyze metrics in tandem with exit interview qualitative data for truth-finding.


Informed Decisions

Metrics form the foundation for major moves like compensation restructures, vendor changes and workflow redesigns. For a health system struggling with ballooning temporary clinician spending, for example, data could show overreliance on premium agency partners. This fact base prompts tough but essential decisions on building internal float pools.


With an inquisitive, analytical approach, RosterOps leaders can follow metrics that act like breadcrumbs to major opportunity areas. They invest time in deciphering trendlines to grasp the root of problems. This data fluency and contextual understanding fuels better policies, wiser resource allocation and impactful transformation.


Metrics Matter: The Prescription for Data-Driven Decisions

If you take nothing else from this post, we hope that it will be why tracking important metrics for operations managers is so critical. For RosterOps leaders tasked with strategically managing intricate healthcare staffing, a metrics mindset is mandatory. Quantitative data acts as a navigation system, showing what’s working and what’s not to guide better decision-making. Rather than vague guesses at operational health, key performance indicators on clinician acquisition, retention, scheduling efficiency and costs condense actionable insights.


The bottom line? Ignoring metrics leaves healthcare organizations vulnerable to urgent staffing crises otherwise preventable through earlier awareness. Embracing data-driven roster management paves the way for smarter forecasting, controlled costs and optimized clinical deployment. With clear KPIs providing diagnostic clues and solutions focused on improvements, RosterOps leaders ensure their talent roster receives the nurturing it deserves to deliver superior patient care.


The Best Tool For Measuring Key Operational Metrics is Kimedics

While tracking key operational metrics is crucial for effective RosterOps management, having the right tools in place is equally important. Kimedics’s comprehensive workforce management platform provides healthcare organizations with a centralized solution to monitor and analyze critical performance indicators across the entire clinical workforce lifecycle.


With Kimedics, you can easily track metrics such as new clinician acquisition and cost, retention rates, days to first patient shift, start date attainment, shift vacancy status, schedule fill rates, clinician satisfaction scores, total workforce spend, per hour labor costs, and third-party spend – all from a single, user-friendly interface.


Kimedics's advanced analytics and reporting capabilities enable you to visualize and understand these metrics in real-time, empowering you to make data-driven decisions and respond proactively to emerging trends or issues. The platform's intuitive dashboards and customizable reports provide a clear, actionable view of your organization's workforce performance, helping you identify areas for improvement and implement targeted strategies to optimize operations.


Moreover, Kimedics seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, ensuring a streamlined flow of data and eliminating the need for manual data entry or consolidation. This not only saves time and reduces the risk of errors but also ensures that your workforce management decisions are based on accurate, up-to-date information.


By leveraging Kimedics's powerful workforce management capabilities, you can streamline processes, enhance collaboration, and gain valuable insights that drive continuous improvement in your RosterOps efforts. With Kimedics, you can confidently navigate the complexities of healthcare staffing, ensuring that your organization has the right clinical workforce in place to deliver exceptional patient care.

Contact us to learn more about how Kimedics can empower your organization with the tools and insights needed to measure and optimize your key operational metrics. Schedule a demo today.

New call-to-action


Recent Posts

See All