How this company’s AI-powered tools are reducing nurse turnover for hospitals

By April 13, 2024 May 8th, 2024 News

Laudio helps frontline managers keep their nurses and find ways to improve their experience—from birthday wishes to shift management.

In 2017, Russ Richmond was hospitalized for three months after a ski accident. As he got to know his care team, he was horrified to find out that while they took excellent care of him, most of them wanted to quit their jobs. Their sentiments, it turned out, are fairly common—and contribute to high rates of nurse turnover.

According to a report from Nursing Solutions, the 2023 nurse turnover rate was 18%. It’s a vast improvement from the mid-pandemic all-time high of 27% in 2021, but each employee who leaves costs a hospital around $56,000 in added overtime costs for people who stay, salary increases, and critical staffing pay. The report found scheduling, workload, and working conditions were three of the top ten reasons nurses listed for quitting.

As a physician by training and a former McKinsey consultant, Richmond wanted to help reduce nurse turnover, and he identified overwhelmed frontline managers as a target for the tools that ended up in Laudio, which launched in 2018. Nurse managers in hospitals often have 50-plus direct reports and have to manage information on disparate systems, with very little time and few tools to help them keep track of their subordinates.

At the same time, frontline managers can have a tremendous impact on an employee’s experience—from creating shift schedules to recognizing individuals for a job well done. Given that many of these factors for turnover are out of a frontline manager’s control, it’s important to focus on what can be controlled: scheduling and the work environment.

To make it easier for managers to connect with their direct reports, Laudio integrates data from different HR and operational systems, including Microsoft 365, into one platform. Since its launch, Laudio has been deployed in 150 health facilities. Two health systems in the past year have incorporated it and noticed results.

With more than 9,000 employees, Nebraska Medicine wanted to improve retention among first-year nurses. Last July, Nebraska Medicine rolled out Laudio to a group of frontline managers who had large numbers of direct reports. Within nine months, nurse turnover among first-year employees had decreased by 47%, and Laudio had become a key part of their workflow.

“Staff went from using it once a week to checking it every morning first thing,” says Kelly Vaughn, Nebraska Medicine’s chief nursing officer. With adoption high, she adds, “We’re getting requests to add more features.” Possible contenders include analyzing the impact of nurses communicating with patients on patient satisfaction, tracking performance reviews, as well as how recognition impacts engagement. In March, Nebraska Medicine expanded its first group of users to add a second batch, bringing its total users up to more than 5,000.

Laudio’s secret weapon is its ability to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze scheduling data as well as tenure lengths to calculate who is at risk of burnout. Laudio found that if employees have one purposeful interaction (that is, specific to the employee and their work or behavior) with their manager per month, retention rates increase by 7%. For example, an experienced nurse working with a team of new hires will likely be doing more mentoring and is probably at a higher risk of burnout. Laudio can flag this for the senior nurse’s manager, and nudge them to check in and commend them or make a schedule change.

These simple interactions can get lost in the busy day-to-day of a hospital that can be particularly difficult if managers need to keep track of more than 50 people and their shifts manually. “A lot of the work frontline managers have to do is repetitive and administrative,” Richmond says. To make that easier, Laudio automates and tracks things like birthdays, work anniversaries, and return dates from vacation and parental leave.

With post-pandemic competition for employees high, Long Island, New York-based Northwell Health implemented Laudio at its Peconic Bay Medical Center in April 2023. “We’ve always had a high retention rate compared to the rest of the industry,” says Maxine Carrington, the health system’s chief people officer. “Post pandemic, all of the demands on healthcare, changes in the environment, all the pressures . . . how do we better support and equip our leaders? It’s an opportunity.”

With Laudio’s help the medical center’s nurse turnover rate dropped by 10 percentage points. The company says it also brought cost savings of more than $1 million. In addition, Northwell got several requests for other features. “We want it to connect to more of our systems over time and give us faster insights,” Carrington says. Going forward, Northwell plans to expand Laudio to 20 more hospital sites.

“In the business we’re in, we have to get it right with our workforce, she says. “If we’re selling healthcare and our workforce isn’t healthy and well, then what are we selling? Who is going to believe it?”