A World of Innovation: Beyond Productivity at The Ohio State University Medical Center

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Labor Management

James Trzcinski
Management Services
The Ohio State University Medical Center

OSUMC has expanded productivity to meet the complex labor management needs of a university environment. Custom reporting solutions have evolved over the years and extended their value into the position approval and budgeting processes. Learn how OSUMC used its productivity system as the fundamental element of a major labor reduction initiative with multi-million dollar implications, and has no plans to use expensive external consultants.

In the 1980s and 1990s, OSUMC made several attempts to incorporate labor productivity monitoring into the overall performance management process of the organization, but with limited results. After suffering a multi-million dollar operating loss in 2000, due in part to poor staffing decisions, an escalating level of contract/agency use with no process to track and report it, and lack of manager accountability, they met the challenge by implementing a productivity monitoring system. Since then, it has been integrated into several key management processes including budgeting, new employee request approval, and an internally-driven labor cost reduction initiative which has resulted in multimillion dollar savings. Several highly innovative solutions were developed throughout the process.

For the last couple of years, productivity management has been among the key areas of focus for all levels of management as they successfully move to a culture of accountability and high performance. All 450+ departments are actively engaged in the productivity improvement process. The information is now highly valued and is effectively used to control labor costs and ensure that departments are adequately staffed.

Labor productivity and the related applications are among the key tools to help OSUMC meet its goals of being in the top decile of academic medical centers in the nation, and generating a healthy annual investment fund for medical center mission development. Through executive buy-in, strong technical support, flexibility, tenacity, and innovation, labor productivity management will continue to be a key factor in OSUMCs success.