Porvoo Hospital centralized its resources for the first time back in 2016. All the ward secretaries were assembled in a single team that caters to all units. This allows them to focus resources where the need is the greatest.

“And that led to the idea of applying the same concept to the nursing personnel. In 2018, we introduced a centralized service for urgent absences. We can see centrally where there are shortages and whether can we make up for them with our own personnel or whether we need to get a substitute from Seure,” says Mia Karlsson, Customer Service Manager at Porvoo Hospital.

In 2019, the hospital introduced the ‘Nursing Services’ unit for centralized management of finding substitutes to cover anything from urgent absences to long term substitutions. The unit also handles all recruitment matters, which used to be the province of the nurse managers, who now have more time to manage and improve their respective units.

The function is based on operations-oriented shift planning, which provides real-time information on resources and competence needs in the various units.

Nursing Services handles recruitments

When a unit has a need for a substitute, the unit submits an order to Nursing Services, which posts a job ad or finds a substitute in its own personnel pool. Nursing Services handles all recruitment functions: interviews, hiring, general orientation training and receiving of a substitute.

Porvoo Hospital is currently the only HUS hospital with a centralized function for finding and training substitutes. Unlike in other hospitals, the substitutes are hired by Nursing Services, not by the units in which they work. Because of this, there is a centralized awareness of the people working at the hospital.

Centralization also serves the interests of the substitutes. When one stint ends, another may be arranged. According to the unit’s service promise, a substitute must be made aware of a continuation to a stint no later than two months before the end of the current one.

All potential applicants are interviewed in the recruitment process even if there is no work immediately available for them. This helps build up a pool of suitable substitutes.

Building a good employee experience

A feedback discussion is held with every new substitute two weeks after they have started work. Substitutes have given plenty of positive feedback about being well received and having their orientation smoothly arranged.

“We follow a checklist to ensure that everything we need to do in recruitment and orientation training gets done. Substitutes feel it is safe to come work for us, since everything is so well planned and handled,” says Karlsson with pride.

“This first year has been largely about tweaking the system. We are still thinking about things to improve. I believe that people are satisfied with the service and that no one would want to go back to what we had,” says Karlsson.