The Medely Team sat down with Felicia Karsos, MBA, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, at Hudson Regional Hospital. Located in Secaucus, NJ, Hudson Regional Hospital provides comprehensive care across northern New Jersey, offering the community a combination of advanced technology and exceptional patient care. They started using Medely when they needed Circulating OR nurses back in 2018, and years later, they still rely on Medely to help them improve their hospital staffing process, get control of their costs, plan ahead, and find experienced, verified nurses who can hit the ground running.

Check out our full interview with Felicia below, where we discuss the prevalence of burnout in healthcare, the history of their hospital’s staffing process, and how Medely has helped them manage fluctuating patient numbers to plan and book shifts ahead of time. And, learn about Felicia’s positive experience with Medely over the years and how it has helped her with cost control and staffing efficiency.

Prevalence of burnout in healthcare

We asked Felicia why she thinks burnout and turnover are widespread in the healthcare industry today. As a nurse with 40 years of experience, she has a unique perspective on the current state of the healthcare workforce. 

Felicia shares that post-COVID, there are different expectations in terms of the patient population, with an increasing number of patients requiring a lot of care. She explains that these issues become mentally challenging for the staff, and in her opinion, there isn’t as much appreciation on the part of patients as there was some years ago. Plus, she says, “the labor pool is not there.” There is a shortage of experienced nurses, leading to high turnover rates and new hires who need a great deal of training, which can also cause burnout and exhaustion for the staff.

She adds that it will be important to the future of healthcare staffing and a modern hospital staffing process to understand what motivates younger generations of healthcare workers.

Adoption of Medely at Hudson Regional Hospital

Their team first started using Medely back in 2018 after the owner suggested it. Felicia says that the owner mentioned that Medely was a platform that is easy-to-use and provides well-trained nurses. At first, they used Medely to get some OR nurses in for the days they needed them, but when COVID hit, they needed extra staff. Medely helped her book staff in ways that agencies could not.

“When COVID hit, we needed staff on the floors because our average census all of a sudden doubled, and there’s no way that we were going to have the staff to be able to handle that.” 

Efficiency and control with Medely

Felicia says that she used to have a dedicated team handling staffing calls with agencies, but now, she has managers handling their own hospital staffing process through Medely. She appreciates the control she has over the process and says that it makes the process easier.

Felicia Karsos, MBA, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, Hudson Regional Hospital

“When we were using an agency, I would have to make phone calls, and it would require somebody to be sitting by a phone. It was an all-day chore to get one or two nurses. Whereas with Medely, I can give people their own access, and they can post their own positions, and I can look at it. So, every day I’m on there, and I can see where we’re staffing and what units. It just makes it so much easier.”

Felicia explains that Medely has been helpful in giving her peace of mind when it comes to staffing at her hospital. If a nurse or health professional cancels or can’t fill the shift, she knows her and her team can lean on Medely’s easy-to-use platform to find the right person at the right time.

“Medely has been able to give peace of mind because even with the turnover, if somebody doesn’t work out, we have the comfort of knowing that we can post another position. Whoever came up with the idea of the platform – it’s just genius. I hope it was a nurse.”

Editor’s Note: Medely was founded in 2015 by Waleed Nasr, CEO, and Angie Nasr, CNO, a former NICU nurse and Director of Nursing who saw a need in the market to close the staffing gap in healthcare and empower healthcare professionals and facilities with flexible scheduling.

Gaining confidence with Medely professionals

Felicia says that the expectation with agencies is that nurses and health professionals come prepared and ready to work, but that was not always the case.

“We used a couple of other agencies as well to get more staff on an assignment. But, my experience with them was, I have to say, not great. We had challenges in their preparation and their ability to hit the ground running.”

However, with Medely, she says almost all of the nurses who come are extremely well-prepared. And, she likes that she can use our Favorites feature to keep those nurses coming back – an asset when it comes to working with surgeons who can be particular about their staff.

Hudson Regional's Hospital Staffing Process have improved the well being of their staff

“With Medely, 98 percent of the nurses come extremely well-prepared, and that’s just helpful. And, it was helpful to have the ability to get the same nurse to come back.

“That was a big plus, especially in the OR. Even if you’re a good OR nurse, you have to learn a particular surgeon’s routine. So, the fact that we could favorite someone and have them take an assignment, or if I know Dr. X comes every Thursday, and he always likes this person, I could send her an assignment for that day. We post it to them, and it makes it easy.” 

Scalability and cost control with Medely

In a facility like Hudson Regional Hospital, patient and case numbers can fluctuate, so planning and flexibility is critical when it comes to booking staff and optimizing their hospital staffing process as a whole. Felicia explains how they use Medely to manage their fluctuating census and plan shifts accordingly.

“It’s convenient because even now, as our census fluctuates, we can plan, I can change the shifts, and we have a fairly good success rate of filling most of our shifts on the floor.”

At Hudson Regional Hospital, they still offer overtime first to their permanent staff when shifts come up, but it’s not always cost-effective. And, booking staff with agencies that charged higher rates was frustrating for them, so they switched to Medely for better cost control.

“We will always offer overtime first. When I first went to the platform with Medely, it was just more economical than an agency. If you can get just as good if not a better product at a better cost. I mean, that’s quality, right? That’s when we started using Medely.”

Plus, Felicia says they can predict what shifts they will need to post on Medely and plan accordingly, staying ahead instead of falling behind.

“We can plan. We’re always a week ahead. So if I look at next week, I can already see who’s picked what shifts, if there are changes, then we can scale it down.”

Mixing in seamlessly with the team

Felicia explains that they have had a lot of turnover with new nurses, but working together with seasoned Medely nurses has helped. 

“We’ve hired a lot of new nurses, and half of our nurses had less than a year of experience, which is very challenging. We had some Medely nurses that were really good role models.

“You need that ‘Super Nurse’ that’s going to motivate you – that ‘this is what I want to be when I grow up’ kind of thing. And, I think having the more seasoned Medely nurses really helped with that.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

You can see how Medely has helped Felicia and her facility optimize their hospital staffing process and get the professionals they need when they need them. Interested in more stories from our customers? 

Learn more about how Medely helps Good Samaritan Hospital in Bakersfield, CA and Arizona Spine and Joint Hospital in Mesa, AZ and meet Stacia, an RN Administrator at an ambulatory surgical center. She says Medely fills her open shifts quickly with people who are very capable and knowledgeable. Medely gives her peace of mind knowing that her patients are taken care of with a high-quality staff.