Kronos Survey Reveals Nurse Fatigue is Pervasive in the Healthcare Industry and Directly Linked to On-the-Job Errors

DENVER--()--A new survey titled “Nurse Staffing Strategy”, commissioned by Kronos Incorporated and conducted by HealthLeaders Media, revealed that nurse fatigue is pervasive in the healthcare industry and may negatively impact quality care delivery, patient and employee satisfaction, and operational costs. Sixty-nine percent of healthcare professionals surveyed said that fatigue had caused them to feel concern over their ability to perform during work hours. Even more alarmingly, nearly 65 percent of participants reported they had almost made an error at work because of fatigue and more than 27 percent acknowledged that they had actually made an error resulting from fatigue.

News Facts

  • The “Nurse Staffing Strategy” survey showed that current scheduling processes in hospitals are largely manual -- which can result in inefficient scheduling processes, a lack of visibility into the larger staff scheduling picture, little or no alerts to compliance with staffing policies or regulatory requirements -- leading to extremely high levels of fatigue and absenteeism that can be disruptive to operations.
    • The majority of survey respondents either considered current staffing levels as inadequate (39 percent) or unsatisfactory (38 percent). Thirty-four percent said they use manual processes such as whiteboard and paper and more than 20 percent use basic programs such as online calendars and Excel to schedule. Only 28 percent stated that they have the ability to self schedule.
    • Fifty-seven percent noted that they had witnessed inequitably distributed workloads in the last 12 months and 54 percent had personally experienced an excessive workload. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they currently use 12-hour shifts within their organization.
    • Ninety-six percent reported having felt tired at the start of their shift and more than 92 percent while driving home after working their shift, both of which may negatively impact patient care and employee safety.
  • Sixty-three percent of respondents agreed that nurse vacancies impact scheduling and staffing overtime more often than anticipated during a payroll cycle. Despite the fact that 79 percent said that they monitor key performance metrics for overtime, absenteeism, rest periods taken, and deviations between scheduled and actual hours worked, it is often after the payroll cycle and therefore not preventable.
  • Also, according to the survey, the majority of organizations have policies to regulate shift length, overtime, and on-call shifts. But more than 56 percent neglect policies requiring rest periods and nearly 65 percent have no policy on cumulative days of extended shifts.
  • Without a centralized, automated scheduling system, it is nearly impossible to proactively handle staffing vacancies in an optimized, cost-effective manner. Kronos offers the market’s most advanced, clinically focused workforce management suite that helps align labor with anticipated demand while consistently adhering to all organizational and regulatory scheduling policies. Supporting the premise that there is no such thing as a static schedule, Kronos offers paperless workflow, mobile applications, and self service to more effectively manage the modern workforce.

Supporting Quotes

  • Susan M. Reese, MBA, RN, CPHIMS, director, healthcare practice group, Kronos
    “With heightened scrutiny around the environment of care and need for safety, staffing is one of the most critical operational functions that nursing leadership must address. Nurse fatigue, patient safety, and revenue streams are inextricably linked. A centralized, automated workforce management solution that takes into account organizational policies, metrics, and nurse manager insights to create equitable workload distribution and intelligent schedules is a necessity today. This will enable healthcare organizations to further control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve productivity.”

Supporting Resources

  • Kronos made this announcement from AONE, the annual nursing meeting and exposition being in held in Denver from March 20-23. Kronos is exhibiting in booth #818.
  • About HealthLeaders Media.
  • Note to editors: Cite survey as the “Nurse Staffing Strategy survey conducted by HealthLeaders Media and commissioned by Kronos Incorporated”.
  • Connect with Kronos via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  • Subscribe to our workforce management blogs.
  • Take a look at the lighter side of workforce management in our Time Well Spent cartoons.

Survey Methodology
The “Nurse Staffing Strategy” survey was conducted by the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, powered by the HealthLeaders Media Council. The HealthLeaders Media Council comprises executives from healthcare provider organizations who collectively deliver the most unbiased industry intelligence available. In September 2012 an online survey was sent to the HealthLeaders Media Council. A total of 120 completed surveys are included in the analysis. The margin of error for a sample size of 120 is +/-8.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval.

About Kronos Incorporated
Kronos is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Tens of thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Learn more about Kronos industry-specific time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications at Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

© 2013 Kronos Incorporated. All rights reserved. Kronos is a registered trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


Kronos Incorporated
Indrani Ray-Ghosal, +1 978-947-3042


Kronos Incorporated
Indrani Ray-Ghosal, +1 978-947-3042