Cost-Saving Tip

Save 20 overtime hours with videotaped meetings

Every month, up to 20 hours of overtime are saved in the ED at Paradise Valley Hospital in National City, CA, by videotaping staff meetings and inservices. Because staff can watch the videotaped meetings at their convenience, this prevents management from having to pay overtime, explains Stephanie J. Baker, RN, BSN, CEN, MBA/HCM, director of emergency services at Paradise Valley Hospital.

It also provides staff who are working, on vacation, or unable to attend with an alternative method of receiving mandatory or critical information, Baker points out. "Many times staff can watch the tape in the early morning hours," she adds.

All staff are required to watch the tape by the end of a two-week period and sign an inservice record that indicates they are responsible for the information provided, Baker says. "This method has improved staff compliance with mandatory meetings and inservices and reduced department overtime costs," she says.

An ED technician sets up a video camera on a tripod before the meeting, she says. The current month’s tapes are catalogued and kept in the lounge where staff can view them, and other inservice tapes are kept in the educator’s office and can be checked out as needed, she says.

More than $500 a month saved

If the meetings were not videotaped, the ED would have to pay about 10 regular hours at $30 per hour and five to 10 double-time night shift hours at $45 per hour, estimates Baker. "This equates to around $500 to $750 saved per month," she says.

Staff are expected to attend at least 18 of the 24 annual staff meetings in person, but they are allowed to watch six taped meetings annually to accommodate vacations and scheduling needs, Baker says. Staff participation in meetings and inservices is a factor for annual evaluation and clinical ladder requirements, she explains. "We also rotate the times of the staff meetings and inservices each month to better accommodate night and swing-shift staff, and we always try and have the meetings catered by a drug rep to entice them with food," says Baker.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Baker, RN, BSN, CEN, MBA/HCM, Director of Emergency Services, Paradise Valley Hospital, National City, CA 91950. Telephone: (619) 470-4386. E-mail: