Renfrey Memorial Hospital (RMH) is a 200 bed regional hospitallocated in the Midwest. It has been in existence for 32 years andwas named after a prominent philanthropist in the area, Mr. GilbertH. Renfrey, who made many financial contributions to projects inand around the community where Renfrey Memorial Hospital islocated. The hospital maintains the only 24 hour emergencydepartment in the area, as well as an “extended hours” urgent careclinic. The hospital is encountering a problem with nursing staffretention. Sixty-eight percent of the nursing staff is over the ageof 45, and facing retirement. The hospital commissioned a surveythat revealed many of the nursing staff finds the work toophysically demanding and many are feeling physically exhausted andreport emotional burn out as well. Several of the surveyrespondents report they are stressed to the breaking point caringfor aging parents in addition to working at Renfrey. In the pasttwo years, the hospital has seen an exodus of nurses. The hospitalhas been forced to use temporary pool nurses from an agency. Thishas driven up personnel costs and also resulted in decreasedrankings on patient satisfaction surveys. In addition, the nursingshortage is making it difficult to recruit replacement nurses forthe staff who plans on retiring within the next couple of years.Renfrey Memorial Hospital faces significant staffing challengesahead as it grapples with these issues and the hospital board isvery concerned. They know there must be some changes made in orderto prevent a major financial and human resources crisis in thefuture.
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