Staffing vacancy rates high but improving at state hospitals

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Staffing vacancy rates at Kansas state hospitals have improved amid efforts to boost morale and pay, although a top official acknowledges they remain too high.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck discussed the issue Monday with lawmakers.

The hospitals have fewer openings for mental health technicians than in January, when Keck took over. The rate dropped to 24 percent from 40 percent at Larned State Hospital. The rate at Osawatomie is even lower — 10 percent.

Larned has a physician vacancy rate of 60 percent currently, and a 28 percent vacancy rate for registered nurses. The figures are better at Osawatomie: 33 percent for physicians, 17 percent for registered nurses.

Keck says overtime pay also has been trending downward.


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