MARATHON -- Fishermen's Community Hospital has reduced work hours for some staff due to a drop in admissions during the summer.
Admission figures, however, are on the upswing, according to Lynn Mauck, chief operating and nursing officer.
"The numbers are back up now," he said.
Staffing levels are based on the number of patients in the hospital. According to Mauck, the ideal level of care per patient, based on an American Nurses Association measure, is eight to 10 hours a day. Most recently Fishermen's Hospital's level, due to falling admissions, was 14 hours per patient day.
"It's way too high," Mauck said.
To fall in line with the ANA standard, the administration stopped filling vacant positions and undertook a staffing study, which focused on productivity among other things, to determine which departments would face cutbacks.
Non-nursing departments with a low productivity rating were reduced from 40 to 36 hours a week, with no change in benefits, Mauck said. Departments with a high performance rating were not affected.
All of the positions affected were non-nursing and non-salaried, though Mauck did not provide the names of specific departments or positions.
Most of the patient care staff already works a 36-hour week, consisting of three 12-hour shifts, and their hours remain the same, he said.
"Rather than laying off employees, we decided to reduce staff hours," explained Mauck. "Marathon only has one hospital and we know people want to stay here, rather than moving somewhere else. Finding a job in another hospital is not easy.
"Several salaried employees have taken a week off without pay, at their request," Mauck added.
They did so in an effort to help the administration find cost savings.
In light of reductions to employee staffing, the administration decided to reduce its holiday expenditure budget by half.
"No one has been more conscious of spending than the administration," Mauck said.
The hospital still plans to hold its annual holiday party, which Mauck said doubles as the annual staff recognition party.
"It's where we hand out five-, 10- and 15-year pins," he said.
Three employees have volunteered to fund the cost of the party, so it doesn't impact the administration's budget.