How Nebraska Medicine used AI to reduce first-year nurse turnover

Nurse turnover is particularly high during the first 12 months on the job.
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· 4 min read

Nebraska Medicine, an Omaha-based health system with two hospitals and nearly 70 health centers, reduced its first-year nurse turnover by 47% with the help of an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform, according to a case study shared with Healthcare Brew.

More than one in five nurses (22.5%) left their health system in 2022, according to the most recent data from nursing agency NSI Nursing Solutions—and a lot of that turnover happens in the first year on the job.

After Nebraska Medicine incorporated Laudio, a platform that uses AI to help hospital leaders better manage their teams and thereby reduce turnover, executives reported significant retention improvement within eight months, Kelly Vaughn, the system’s VP of operations, told Healthcare Brew.

“The reaction from our leaders here at Nebraska Medicine has been very positive,” Vaughn said. “The engagement with the system shows how effective it really is and how much the leaders really need that support from the software to help them do a good job connecting with their team.”

How Laudio works

Laudio first merges a health system’s disparate human resource systems into a cloud-based platform to make it easier for managers to access the information they need, such as when employees are clocking in and out or how often they’re missing work, Laudio co-founder and CEO Russ Richmond told Healthcare Brew. Then, the platform uses an AI-powered prioritization scheme to automate workflows and save managers’ time, he said.

For example, a nurse manager may get a notification from Laudio that one of their nurses has been the only experienced nurse on seven consecutive shifts, which is a burnout indicator, Richmond said. Using AI, the Laudio platform can quickly reconfigure the schedule to reduce the burden on that nurse, according to Richmond.

“We can save [managers] about six hours per week,” Richmond said. “It’s a massive efficiency gain for them, and it gives them time back in their pocket.”

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The Laudio platform also uses AI to help managers figure out how to prioritize tasks, Richmond added.

“On any given day, [nurse managers] can do hundreds of things, but what are the 10 that are going to drive the most impact?” he asked. “We have built technology that surfaces those, that not only cue to best evidence—to leadership best practice—but [also] are personalized to the leader themselves.”

Laudio also sends managers notifications for things like notable employee accomplishments, and nudges the manager to have a conversation with that employee to thank them for their work, which helps promote a positive work environment, Richmond added.

“Really making that personal connection between the leader and the staff was important for us,” Vaughn said. “That’s hard to do.”

By reducing manager workflows and fostering a healthy work environment, Laudio helps health systems reduce turnover rates, according to Richmond. Beyond maintaining adequate staffing levels, reducing turnover helps hospitals save millions of dollars per year, he added.

Around 25 health systems use Laudio, Richmond said, adding that any health system manager, not just nurse managers, can operate the platform.

Nebraska Medicine has expanded Laudio use to “access services associates,” who are the employees that help register patients, according to Vaughn.

“We’ve really focused on areas where there’s large spans of control for the leader or concerns with turnover or engagement,” she said.

Overall, Vaughn said the Laudio platform has been “amazing” in helping the health system reduce its first-year nurse turnover rate.

“Because we’re in a national nursing shortage, nurses have the availability to go anywhere and do pretty much anything,” Vaughn said. “Really making sure that we’re retaining our top talent in a way that’s meaningful to them has been important to Nebraska Medicine.”

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.