Developing an Appropriate Staff Mix for Anticoagulation Clinics: Functional Job Analysis Approach
Anticoagulation clinics (ACCs) are specialty clinics that manage patients with blood clotting problems. Since labor costs usually account for a substantial portion of a healthcare organization’s budget, optimizing the number and types of staff required was often the focus, especially for ACCs, where labor-intensive staff-patient interactions occur. A significant portion of tasks performed by clinical pharmacists might be completed by clinical pharmacist technicians, which are less-expensive resources. While nurse staffing models for a hospital inpatient unit are well established, these models are not readily applicable to staffing ACCs. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to develop a framework for determining the right staff mix of clinical pharmacists and clinical pharmacy technicians that increases the efficiency of care delivery process and improves the productivity of ACC staff. A framework is developed and applied to build a semi-automated full-time equivalent (FTE) calculator and compare various staffing scenarios using a simulation model. The FTE calculator provides the right staff mix for a given staff utilization target. Data collected from the ACCs at VA Boston Healthcare System is used to illustrate the FTE calculator and the simulation model. The result of the simulation model can be used by ACC managers to easily determine the number of FTEs of clinical pharmacists and clinical pharmacy technicians required to reach the target utilization and the corresponding staffing cost.