lean healthcare management Healthcare executives are continually on the lookout for strategies that deliver both cost savings and improved quality of care. Traditionally, staff layoffs were the go-to solution for reducing costs. But recent studies reveal that patient outcomes improve when the nurse-to-patient ratio is low. And under a value-based reimbursement model, it is critical to achieve the desired patient outcome as quickly and with as few mistakes as possible to achieve maximum return. Layoffs a Short-Term Fix Layoffs, as a cost cutting measure, should be implemented as a last resort, according to Mark Graban, Lean expert and author of “Hospital Kaizen.” While layoffs will lower operational cost in the short term, it may bring about bigger problems in the long term in the form of negative patient outcomes. Instead, many hospital executives are tearing a page from the manufacturing industry in the adoption of Lean healthcare management. Lean healthcare management is a process where inefficiency and waste are identified and eliminated from hospital processes to reduce cost and/or improve employee productivity. Graban explains, “Lean is actually the best alternative to layoffs. It’s all about encouraging everyone to participate in the process improvement. As well as finding creative and [+]

The U.S. healthcare system is going to have to replace approximately 555,100 nurses through 2022 just to replace nurse attrition, according to estimates from the American Nurses Association. That’s in addition to the 574,400 new nurses that will be required to adequately care for aging boomers and additional patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The ANA recommends federal action on a number of fronts including funding for nursing education to help in meeting the demand. Currently, nursing schools are turning away qualified applicants due to lack of nursing faculty and teaching facilities. In the meantime, many hospitals and their healthcare staffing agencies are scrambling to source qualified medical professionals to fill open positions as well as prepare a talent pipeline for the future. Sue Higgins, Product Development Manager at StayStaffed and Candidate Direct, has the solution to help hospitals and healthcare staffing agencies stay ahead of the game in a rapidly changing environment, “Our clients have been able to avoid many of the problems that others’ are experiencing in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. By using our vendor management system (VMS), clients gain access to the Candidate Direct Marketplace®, a national database of 400+ healthcare [+]

Nursing Staff Engagement Key to Retention and Performance Research consistently shows that sustainably engaged employees outperform their non-engaged coworkers. Even a small improvement in productivity can have a positive effect on your organization’s performance and competitiveness. ~ Towers Watson It’s difficult enough to keep employee engagement at high levels during the best of times, let alone in times of massive change. We’re now nearly five years into the Affordable Care Act and many healthcare employees are experiencing ‘change fatigue’ in addition to the normal wear and tear that tough economic times has on people. For many healthcare providers, it’s a good time to use re-engagement strategies to boost morale, retention, and performance. HR consulting firm, Towers Watson, has been studying workforce engagement in the healthcare industry for several years and has “consistently seen a strong relationship between higher levels of engagement and higher levels of retention.” Further, when employee engagement improves, so too does performance in the form of better patient outcomes, HCAHPS scores, and reduced safety incidents among other metrics.

Healthcare Reform

Highly Negative about Healthcare Reform In one Towers Watson study, nearly 90% of healthcare workers reported that they held highly negative emotions about the long-term [+]

If you’ve hired a newly-licensed RN, there’s a 1 in 5 chance they’ll leave within their first year on the job, according to a study by the RN Work Project. If they make it past the first year, you’re facing 1 in 3 odds that they’ll leave before completion of their second year of employment. By the 8th year on the job, only 40% of newly-licensed nurses will still be working for your facility. These are just some of the study results of the RN Work Project, through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to study the career path of newly-licensed registered nurses. The study began in 2006 to survey new nurses and track their career trajectory. The study ends in 2015. The goal is to understand the reasons behind nurse turnover so that healthcare providers can improve recruitment and retention strategies. Cost of nurse turnover The Cost of Nurse Turnover Registered Nurses play a pivotal role in the profitability of healthcare facilities. The financial cost for the turnover of each nurse is estimated to be twice their annual salary. For each percentage increase in nurse turnover, hospitals are estimated to lose $300,000 in profit. To give [+]

VMS Technology for healthcare staffing and recruiting For years now healthcare recruiters have been under enormous pressure to keep their own or client facilities fully staffed. With phones ringing all day from potential candidates, a bursting at the seams email inbox, and hiring managers clamouring to urgently fill open positions, it can be difficult for medical recruiters to stay organized and productive. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A Vendor Management System (VMS) that interfaces with a national marketplace of healthcare professionals can not only streamline your recruiting process, but open your candidate sourcing to the entire country. “We realized significant savings almost immediately. With our first FTE hired through Candidate Direct, we saved $6,200. Candidate Direct gave us more candidates to choose from at more competitive rates. I wish all systems were this easy to use.” Curious? Read on to see how healthcare facilities and staffing agencies can benefit. No Investment Required  Let’s begin by asking a question. If you were offered a no-cost, easy-to-use web-based IT solution to source, recruit, procure and manage contingent and direct hire needs, would you accept the offer? We’re not talking about a [+]

According to study author Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, there are unfounded beliefs among hospital executives that patient outcomes may suffer because temporary staff isn’t familiar enough with hospital protocol. The University of Pennsylvania 2012 study examined 1.3 million patient outcomes and 40,000 nurses at more than 600 hospitals in the United States.

Many industry-watchers, including those at Candidate Direct, agree that as hospitals move toward a value-based model of care, RN's and allied healthcare professionals will play an increasingly important role. Here's just a few of the trends that are expected to affect healthcare staffing decisions:

Citing burdensome reporting requirements, the Obama administration has delayed the employer mandate portion of healthcare reform until 2015 giving employers an additional year to comply with worker health insurance. Under the provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don’t offer affordable health insurance. Sue HigginsSue Higgins, Product Development Director at Stay Staffed supports the decision, “This change to 2015 will allow companies to better evaluate their options. Companies that are nearing 50 employees, where the employer mandate becomes effective, can supplement their workforce with contract or temporary workers and avoid the mandate. By setting up an effective vendor management or recruitment process outsourcing system, companies can continue to grow without going over the 50-employee threshold. The extra year will enable more companies to set up effective systems if this is a strategy they choose to take.” Many Companies Already Using Contingent Workforces One of the reasons for the boom in temporary employment is that many employers are utilizing contract workers to avoid the healthcare reform mandate. Temporary staffing jobs hit a record 2.68 million in May growing by 25,600 from the previous month. The temp industry [+]

It’s important for business to remain flexible in today’s economy in order to effectively manage risk and there are no four steps to staffing solutionssigns this will change in the foreseeable future. In addition, employing a contingent workforce is a strategy that an increasing number of employers are taking in this regard. Staffing Industry Analysts *, a global advisor on contingent workforces, reports that, "The contract labor force is growing twice as rapidly as the traditional workforce." In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that 35 percent of the national workforce will consist of contingent workers by the end of 2013. 4 Steps to Managing Your Workforce in the 21st Century As business moves towards a mix of permanent, temporary, and contract workers, the traditional approach to human resource management must shift as well. HR must partner with procurement Human resources have always worked closely with finance but the use of contingent workforces will see HR working closely with procurement as well. HR interactions with finance are normally a value-based approach to contingent workforce management whereas interaction with procurement provides a performance-based approach to vendor management. Managed properly, the resulting shift will create an opportunity [+]

With healthcare recruitment constantly in flux due to an aging population, an aging healthcare workforce, and the seemingly never-ending stream of government legislation, it’s more important than ever for healthcare providers to automate and streamline their staffing processes. Workforce management systems for the healthcare industry include options such as Managed Services Provider (MSP), Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), and Vendor Management System (VMS) providers. And if you haven’t taken advantage of the many benefits of these workforce management solutions, we’ve provided you with some Q & A to help you choose a reliable staffing solution. What you need to ask when choosing Workforce Management Solutions How can I be sure that your workforce management system will deliver suitable candidates for my healthcare recruiting needs? A VMS or managed services provider should have qualified contacts throughout the national healthcare industry. A nationwide job-to-candidate-matching process that delivers only the most qualified healthcare professionals based on your detailed job qualifications is important. Where will I see cost savings and efficiency enhancement from my Vendor Management System (VMS) provider?selecting the right VMS solution As your healthcare recruitment efforts become more streamlined through a vendor management system (VMS) provider, you should experience lower recruitment and HR [+]

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