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5 steps to combining nursing and operations


Morristown (N.J.) Medical Center, the flagship of the Atlantic Health System.

Here’s a look, as reported by FierceHealthcare, at how nursing and operations were combined under one role within the two hospitals that make up the Atlantic Health System’s (AHS) (in New Jersey) western region.

The five-step method to do this was:

“Understand business strategy”

“For AHS-Western, the strategy included building the system brand within the community to leverage services across the care continuum and enhance its reputation as having the ‘safest’ hospitals in the region.”

“Align roles to execute strategy”

That’s because “the  two hospitals would now share one CNO/COO who oversaw nursing as well as operations” (which would include housekeeping, food services and transport among other things.”

A big obstacle was “that the operations staff was afraid to report to a CNO, seen  as someone who would favor nursing over their department.”

“Create success profiles”

“The process required a concerted approach to identify what the organization needed in an individual. To do so, the organization created a success profile that looked at what the role currently required as well as what the person would need to accomplish three to five years from now.”

“Apply success profiles ”

“This involved creating a committee and training them on how to conduct assessments and interviews, collect data and eventually select the right candidate.”

“Evaluate the impact on business results”

“In addition to the COO/CNO position, AHS-Western also consolidated departments to scale back the number of direct reports and created another management level and consolidated different operations.”

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