The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


James K. Stoller, MD, Lucy Kester, MBA, RRT, FAARC, Douglas Orens, MBA, RRT, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

Background: Retention of Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) is a desired institutional goal that reflects department loyalty and RCPs' satisfaction. Cost considerations also favor retention because training new employees incurs costs. Despite the widely shared goal of minimal turnover, neither the annual rate nor the associated expense of turnover for RCPs has been described. Study Purpose: To establish the rate of RCP turnover and the costs related to training new staff members.

The Cleveland Clinic Health System (CCHS) includes 9 participating hospitals (in Cleveland, Ohio) ranging from small community-based institutions to large tertiary care institutions. To elicit information about annual turnover among RCPs throughout the CCHS, we conducted a survey of key personnel in each of the Cleveland CCHS Respiratory Therapy Departments. To calculate the costs of training, we reviewed the training schedule for an RCP joining the Respiratory Therapy Section at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital. Cost estimates reflect the duration of training by various supervisory RCPs, their respective wages (including benefit costs), and educational materials used in training.

Table 1 presents the rate of RCP turnover (excluding PRN staff) by participating hospital. Table 2 presents the cost of training for each RCP at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF).

Table 1: Respiratory Care Practitioner Turnover Rates Over The Past 3 Years
Hospital Number of Beds Number of RCP Staff Annual Turnover Rate Averaged Over 3 Years Average Number of Staff Leaving Per Year
Lutheran 204 12 3% 0.3
Marymount 279 32 NA NA
Hillcrest 360 34 3% 1.3
South Pointe 364 22 10% 2.3
Euclid 371 20 15% 3.0
Huron Road 379 13 18% 2.3
Lakewood 400 23 9% 2.0
Fairview 478 35 5% 1.7
Cleveland Clinic 1192 96 9% 8.2

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Table 2: CCF Costs Associated With New RCP Orientation
Day Activity Personnel Wages $
1 General hospital orientation New orient $188.48
2 Hospital tour & Section policies Orient, Supervisor, Education Coordinator $431.04
3 CliniVision training Orient & Ed. Coordinator $431.04
4-8 Training with an RCP Orient's wages x 1/3 RCP's wages x 5 $1,523.39
9-11 Orient takes 1/4 workload 3/4 orient's wages x 3 $424.08
12-14 Orient takes 1/2 workload 1/2 orient's wages x 3