News | March 19, 2013

Penn State Hershey Medical Center Goes Live With Avantas For Healthcare Enterprise Labor Management Solution

Magnet-Designated Medical Center and Physician Group Uses Avantas Consulting Services and Technology to Automate Staffing and Enhance Communication, Transparency Across Enterprise

(AONE Booth #626) - Avantas, a leading provider of strategic labor management technology, services and strategies for the healthcare industry, recently announced that Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and its associated Medical Group have implemented Avantas' consulting services and Smart Square, Avantas'

proprietary labor management software, to create a paperless, automated labor management system across the entire university-based enterprise. 

Starting with its inpatient facility, Penn State Hershey has begun implementing all of Avantas' Smart Square modules, which will provide a transparent view of staffing, scheduling, and productivity at the enterprise level. Penn State is also leveraging Avantas' HELM (Healthcare Enterprise Labor Management) methodology, a proven set of strategies combining the science of workforce planning, demand forecasting, and operational best practices with a complete set of scheduling and staffing tools.

"When we chose Avantas as a partner, our objective was to create increased efficiencies and cost savings across our entire enterprise," said Sherry Kwater, Chief Nursing Officer, Penn State Hershey. "Before using this automated labor management technology we didn't have an effective way to post and fill staffing needs. Smart Square allows us to have a paperless, precise, and timely staff needs posting, creating enterprise transparency and consistency, allowing us to provide cost-effective quality care to our patients."

The Penn State Hershey Medical Group is also implementing Avantas' business intelligence tools and Smart Square dashboards across its more than 70 practice sites, providing in-depth analysis of the entire health system's labor workforce and operational practices. This includes identifying utilization trends, designing strategies based on demand information, outlining the workforce demographic, identifying trends in staff dissatisfiers, and quantifying high-margin opportunities. 

"Our industry is facing unprecedented change and health care organizations will be continually challenged to get the most benefit from every dollar spent," said Sherri Luchs, Chief Administrative Officer, Penn State Hershey Medical Group. "Through our partnership with Avantas, we intend to gain greater flexibility and increased efficiency to achieve maximum value to effectively meet the staffing needs of each of our practices." 

"As healthcare professionals, we took a clean slate approach to building comprehensive strategies and tools for our clients - something very different from the 'mega-suite' solutions adapted to healthcare from other industries," said Chris Fox, CEO, Avantas. "When our HELM strategy is deployed at this level, and has strong buy-in from our clients, it quickly improves employee satisfaction and results in significant cost savings."

HELM represents a disruptive innovation for the healthcare industry, challenging organizations to rethink what is possible with regard to labor management in all departments. Avantas has leveraged unique client experiences across large, multi-site healthcare organizations to detail effective methodologies that help them rise above departmental silos and implement a consistent and effective way to integrate labor across the enterprise. 

To learn more about Avantas and its industry leading labor management solution and services, please contact Jessica Cohen to schedule a meeting at the 2013 American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) 46th Annual Meeting & Exposition in Denver, CO from March 20-23, or visit the company at booth #626.

About Penn State Milton S. Hersey Medical Center
Founded in 1963 through a gift from The Milton S. Hershey Foundation, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is one of the leading teaching and research hospitals in the country. The 491-bed Medical Center is a provider of high-level, patient-focused medical care. The Medical Center campus also includes Penn State College of Medicine (Penn State's medical school), Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, and Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital-the region's only children's hospital.

The Medical Center campus is part of Penn State Hershey Health System, which also includes the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital, and other specialty facilities.

About Avantas
Developers of the HELM methodology (healthcare enterprise labor management), Avantas is devoted to serving the healthcare industry. Its proprietary approach to managing labor consists of consulting services and a scheduling and productivity solution, Smart Square. This comprehensive approach provides its clients with tailored best practice labor management strategies designed to drive substantial and sustaining cost and quality improvements across the enterprise through automation. For more information, visit

Source: Avantas