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Large Healthcare Facilities Responding to Nursing Shortage Through Team-building Efforts, Survey Finds
ATLANTA, Jul 29, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Survey Suggests Technology is Underused to Respond to Shortage; Underscores Differences by Region, Function

A recent nationwide survey of human resources and nursing professionals who influence recruitment and supervision decisions within the nursing industry found that large hospitals are most likely to deal with the nursing shortage through team-building efforts leading to increased job satisfaction, Lawson Software (Nasdaq:LWSN) announced today. The survey also indicated that technology is underused in responding to the nursing shortage, and underscored differences in how HR and nursing professionals view and respond to this shortage. Lawson announced the survey results at ASHHRA's 38th Annual Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta.

The independently conducted survey included responses from HR and nursing professionals who influence recruitment and supervision-related decisions at group medical practices, surgi-centers, stand-alone hospitals, academic medical centers and nursing homes.

Responding to the Nursing Shortage: Team Building and Salary Increases

The survey found respondents at hospitals with more than 500 beds are more likely than smaller hospitals to deal with the nursing shortage by improving team-building efforts leading to increased job satisfaction. At these hospitals, 91 percent of respondents indicated they use team-building efforts between all clinicians to respond to the shortage of nurses. In contrast, only 67 percent of respondents at hospitals with less than 200 beds said they use team building for this reason. At hospitals between 201 and 500 beds, 85 percent of respondents said they use team building to address the nursing shortage.

Among total respondents, the number one action step to combat the nursing shortage and the challenge of finding qualified nurses was to increase salaries. More than four out of five respondents (81 percent) indicated they had increased salaries for this reason. Academic medical centers were most likely to have increased salaries (93.9 percent), and group medical centers were least likely to increase salaries (72.5 percent).

Technology Underused to Resolve Staffing Shortages

"This survey confirms that some of the technological tools that could help minimize the impact of the nursing shortage are not currently being used," said Charlotte Miller, RN, Lawson healthcare vertical market director. "For example, we know Web-based tools are an extremely efficient way to manage nursing schedules and to allow nurses to bid for schedules. And yet, respondents to this survey generally did not view this capability as being particularly valuable."

Only 18 percent of respondents ranked using the Web for schedule management "very valuable." Similarly, only 12 percent ranked the ability to bid schedules using the Web "very valuable."

"At the same time," said Miller, "respondents did say other technology-enabled capabilities would be valuable to help them manage and automate nursing functions."

For example:

    --  32 percent said the ability to base staffing on work rules
        regarding overtime use and shift rotation is "very valuable."
    --  32 percent said the ability to base staffing on employees'
        credentials at the time of schedule development is "very
    --  32 percent said the ability to flexibly change the hourly rate
        based on staff demand to work is "very valuable."
    --  30 percent said the ability to predict temporary staff use and
        automatically request staff is "very valuable."

Differences Between Nursing and Human Resource Professionals

The survey also uncovered differences in how nursing and HR professionals understand and respond to the nursing shortage. For example, 60 percent of respondents with a nursing title believe state governments should mandate staffing ratio laws, while only 31 percent of respondents with an HR title agreed with this. Similarly, nearly half (49 percent) of respondents with a nursing title said it is "very difficult" to recruit quality nursing professionals, compared to only 34 percent of respondents with an HR title. Those with nursing titles also were more likely (41 percent) than HR professionals (24 percent) to say that basing staffing on employee credentials at the time of schedule development is "very valuable."

Geographic Differences

Notable regional-specific results from the survey revealed those working in the West are most likely to agree that hospitals will endure greater nursing difficulties due to retiring baby boomers. Fully 100 percent of those working in the West agreed with this, compared to nine out of 10 respondents in other regions. Also, respondents in the East and Northeast regions (58 percent) were most likely to agree that it is necessary for state governments to mandate staffing ratios in hospitals and other medical facilities, while those in the Midwest (34 percent) were least likely to agree with this.

About the Survey

KRC Research conducted a nationwide survey of 250 HR professionals, services directors, supervisors and recruiters within the nursing industry May 8 to 15, 2002. Only influencers of recruitment or supervision related decision-making processes were included in the survey, and the sample consisted of the following job titles: Nursing Supervisor, HR Personnel Director, HR Personnel Supervisor, Nursing Services Director, Nurse Recruiter, Nursing Care Services Director, Nursing Care Services Supervisor and Nursing Services Director. The margin of error is +/-6 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Lawson Software

Lawson serves more than 500 healthcare industry customers representing more than 4,500 facilities, including seven of the top 10 integrated delivery networks. The company also serves managed care systems, hospitals, clinics, physician group practices, home healthcare, long-term care and other health services enterprises. Lawson solutions help healthcare organizations manage their business so they can focus on their patients, automate and streamline materials management for a better bottom line, and manage the challenges of labor shortages.

Lawson Software provides mission-critical enterprise software solutions that help services organizations in the healthcare, professional services, financial services, retail, public sector and other strategic markets achieve competitive advantage. Lawson's proven Internet solutions deliver unprecedented visibility to drive operational excellence in services automation, human resources, financials procurement, distribution and enterprise performance management. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., Lawson has offices and affiliates serving North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Additional information about Lawson is available at

CONTACT: Lawson Software, St. Paul: Terry Blake, 651/767-4766, or
Weber Shandwick: Tim Westermeyer, 952/346-6347,