How to Implement Smart Staffing Strategies with Alan Dial MBA, MSQA

The Healthcare QualityCast

How to Implement Smart Staffing Strategies with Alan Dial MBA, MSQA

November 9, 2021

How to Implement Smart Staffing Strategies with Alan Dial MBA, MSQA

Meet today’s guest, Alan Dial, the President of StaffDx LLC, and a labor productivity subject matter expert. Starting with a career in the military in a nuclear power program and nuclear engineering, Alan later gained experience with Quality Assurance, from where he moved into the Healthcare sector. 

In this episode, Alan describes how healthcare has lagged behind other industry segments in the area of process improvement in quality management and shares practical tools with strategies that can be applied as a solution to this challenge. 

Top Takeaways 

[08:25] Critical concepts to know: There is a gap that needs to be bridged between the finance and clinical arms of health care organizations. Medical workers also need to understand the business and fiscal side of what they do. Lastly, leaders should operationalize change by investing in growing their technical acumen around change management. 

[12:20] Taking time out to understand the workflows in the clinical arm helps financial leaders also know how to implement decisions that improve productivity. 

[19:50] Lessons learned: A major lesson learned after an experience that resulted in laying off staff, is to always be ready for the enemy you don’t see. Secondly, don’t arbitrarily set a target to meet financial goals without understanding what the process is. 

[24:30] Tips for listeners connecting with productivity: When staffing to demand, appreciate that every day is not the same, particularly with jobs like nursing. It is also beneficial for leaders to be accountable for nonproductive hours like PTO, as well as productive hours since managing it can increase efficiency. 

[30:10] Financial leaders in healthcare need to plan on “Hiring Ahead” for more staff than the fixed bedside number. This helps to avoid burnout caused by staff shortages due to vacancies. 

[33:51] StaffDX, A recommended tool for leaders: The goal of StaffDx is to provide solutions for clinical leaders with real issues that have financial, patient experience, and employee quality impact. 

[40:11] The number one opportunity and number one challenge for upcoming healthcare leaders…We have to get innovative with change management particularly coming out of the pandemic, both personally and in the organization. 

[46:37] Best Career Advice: “There’s change management, and then there’s managing the pace of change” More than the technical acumen, you have to influence change by driving human behavior. 

[41:56] Key attributes for a productivity-centered healthcare leader: You have to meet department or unit leaders where they are; don’t expect them to understand your needs when you are not meeting theirs. It is critical to also equip them to be successful if you want better results. 

[51:11] Book recommendation: “The Class You Missed at Nursing School” by Alan Dial, being released chapter by chapter. 

[53:45] Advice to healthcare organizations: Start with some rhythm where senior leaders connect with their department directors, keeping workforce management in focus. Accountability is also critical; not punitive but in terms of working alongside department leaders. 

[56:41] Looking forward, Alan sees an emerging presence of ambulatory surgery and home health in the community, with StaffDx tailored to address the needs arising from it. 

Key Quotes: 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, anywhere will get you there” – Lewis Carroll 

“Money was never made in the board room, it’s made 


Find | Alan Dial LinkedIn – Alan Dial / StaffDx 

Twitter – StaffDx 

Email –

Send in a voice message:

You may also like

Top Health Podcasts. Delivered to Your Inbox and Eardrums.

Join Our Newsletter

Proudly supported by:

Episode #123 – Is It Getting Worse to Be a Nurse? John and David tackle the shortage, while exploring the implications it can have for our healthcare system as a whole.