Developing a New Staffing Management Model to Improve Patient Care

To maximize resources and improve patient care, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) continually assesses the efficiency of its operations. As part of these improvements, DHS is working to institute an innovative new return-to-work staffing management model, which will help manage and meet the needs of employees who have become disabled. FUSE Executive Fellow Anna Vold redesigned workflows to address operational weaknesses and ensure consistency within the Disability Compliance team, and she began work on digitizing the process. During the COVID-19 crisis, she pivoted to create an infrastructure for child care support for DHA frontline workers, while helping the Disability Compliance team transition to telework.

To redesign the return-to-work model, Anna engaged staff in the process, facilitating a change management workshop to bring them onboard. She transitioned the Disability Compliance teams to hospitals, which helped provide more timely service for these facilities, and she designed and delivered communication and soft skills training to improve the team’s skills. Anna also identified inefficiencies in the workflow of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) unit, performed workflow, data and procedure analysis, and designed digital solutions to streamline the process and allow FMLA to process requests faster and more efficiently. When the pandemic hit, she designed and led remote training on effective teleworking, and she set up new processes, key performance indicators, and tools to help the team adjust to remote working and communication. Anna also devised a DHS child care infrastructure, surveying families to assess child care needs among frontline healthcare providers and collaborating with the ChildCare Alliance of Los Angeles to connect families with available childcare providers and funding. Additionally, Anna helped establish onsite pop-up child care centers at DHS’s four hospitals and facilitated staffing of the centers by redeploying county workers from nonessential assignments. She pulled resources together to provide information about multiple child care services, such as those offered by libraries, parks and recreation, and online tutoring, and she launched and maintained a child care web page on the county’s sharepoint site. Her work allowed frontline healthcare workers to continue working and serving patients in the midst of a pandemic.

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