CalmWave Blog

Fix Labor Costs by Retaining Your Staff

Becker’s Hospital CFO Report published an article this week, “Hospital CEOs get serious about cutting labor costs.” 

The reporter, Laura Dyrda, writes, “Labor costs have spun out of control in the last few years as inflation set in and hospitals relied on contracted travel nurses to combat nationwide workforce shortages. The secret to lowering labor costs now, hospital CEOs say, is putting a modern spin on a tried-and-true strategy: retention.”

We agree. Retention must be the top priority. If a staff nurse leaves, their replacement is likely a traveling nurse, increasing hospital labor costs by 3-5x. Thirty percent of all U.S. nurses quit their jobs in 2021. By 2024, estimates are that we will need another 1 million nurses globally, and projections show that we will need 13 million more nurses by 2030. 

Our VP of clinical success (and former Chief Nursing Officer), Peggy Pilon, BSN, MS, RN, wrote a piece on nurse burnout in [June 2023]. From Peggy’s post: 

Combating Nurse Burnout With Technology


Managing the stressful and noisy ICU environment remains one of the biggest, most concrete opportunities to decrease burnout and stress in ICU nurses. It is important to recognize that no other industry or work environment puts up with this relentless noise caused by false alarms. Nurses, patients, and their caregivers suffer in this corrosive environment as vital sign monitoring devices continue to beep with non-actionable alarms. We need to look to AI technologies, such as CalmWave, to manage this “noise pollution” that permeates every aspect of the ICU environment.


At CalmWave, we focus on retention – specifically of clinicians in the ICU – by first addressing the previously unsolvable problem of clinical alarm fatigue. We know that nurses are the backbone of healthcare and the ICU, and we are on a mission to help solve the nurse retention problem. We do this by leveraging AI to remove noise and stress from the nurses’ work environment, empowering them to focus on clinical care. We also provide hospital management with the first objective measure of clinical workload to facilitate improving retention. At CalmWave, we support clinicians so they have time to care for patients. We also help patients so that they have time to rest and heal.

It is vital to empower clinicians to focus on their work by eliminating the work environment stressors causing them to leave the profession. It is essential to recognize that no other industry or work environment puts up with these false alarms and subsequent auditory assaults. As vital sign monitoring devices continue to beep with non-actionable alarms, ICU RNs, and patients continue to suffer. We must look to new solutions, such as AI technologies, to finally fix this corrosive noise pollution that permeates every aspect of the ICU environment.

The CalmWave software platform utilizes the vital signs monitor and EMR data (crucial to recommending appropriate alarm thresholds across units and individual patients) to drive proper alarm management and objective scoring of clinician workload.  Their solution leverages ‘Transparent’ AI (AI designed for clearly explainable outcomes), generating insights leading to improved staff retention and patient outcomes.  If you would like a consultation with our expert services team to see how they can help your hospital increase retention, contact us.

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