Vendor management software ensures nurses today and tomorrow As healthcare employers, we would probably be better off to resolve ourselves to the fact that we live in a constant state of  ‘nurse  shortage’, a condition where every able bodied, qualified nurse is an asset and finding and retaining the best and brightest is an ongoingnurse shortage and healthcare staffing solutions challenge.  This way, when water cooler talk revolves around today’s or tomorrow’s healthcare staffing challenges and nurse shortage, you can say “All over it, especially since I started sourcing nurse job candidates with vendor management software.” Earlier in the month, the New England Journal of Medicine once again reminded us that another nursing shortage is just around corner. This one caused by an exodus of nurses leaving the profession as the economy recovers. Findings in the Journal estimate that approximately 118,000 FTE registered nurses will exit the workforce in the next three years, but because of a lack of how recessions affect RN transitions in and out of healthcare "employers and workforce planners are unable to anticipate how many nurses might choose to leave the workforce once a robust jobs recovery begins," reports the [+]

Physical and Occupational Therapists are in high demand. Candidate Direct aims to keep healthcare employers staffed. With millions more Americans gaining access to healthcare, how will employers maintain adequate therapist staffing levels amid a shortage of qualified allied health professionals? Sue Higgins, Product Development Director for Candidate Direct, suggests the first step to procuring and retaining staff is to engage a powerful web-based healthcare staffing tool. "This way, the entire recruiting process is handled through a single source. Reporting and tracking are consistent; regulatory compliance is a snap and automated features save employers hundreds of man hours a year." Here's how Candidate Direct works: Create an account to join the Candidate Direct Marketplace Jobs will be posted just to your specific selected agency pool Recruitment Agencies and other Candidate Direct national talent sources submit candidates for your jobs You select the best candidate for the job at the lowest rate There is no investment in hardware or software and there are no monthly fees to utilize the Candidate Direct Marketplace. Higgins summarizes five easy ways healthcare employers can begin to streamline recruitment, saving time, money and aggravation. 1. Evaluate Existing Therapist Recruitment Strategies Whether your facility utilizes therapy staffing agencies or handles therapist recruiting internally, [+]

High level of sanitation vital to patient safety and to lowering readmissions and morbidity A shocking story published in the Wall Street Journal* last month is enough to make your skin crawl. No, it wasn’t an article about substandard medical practices in remote third-world nations. It was about unsafe injection practices, improper medication preparation and the re-use of single-dose vials and needles right here in the U.S. Just when you thought those days were gone. The article serves as a reminder for healthcare employers and professionals to maintain a high level of hygiene and sanitation in all aspects of practice. Sadly, the thousands of patients who were potentially exposed to Hepatitis B, C, HIV and other serious infectious diseases in the article didn’t have to be. All that was required was for caregivers to acknowledge what one commentary referred to as ‘sterile techniques 101’: Don’t use needles twice, single-dose vials are just that – single dose; and always prepare injection medications in a sterilized environment. Though much has been done at the regulatory level over the past decade to improve safe medical practices in hospitals - outpatient clinics, as indicated the spate of cases [+]

The numbers are in. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported healthcare leading the nation in job creation the first nine months of 2011. September was a banner month, reports Labor, with healthcare employment taking 42 percent of new jobs created. By year’s end, job creation in healthcare is set to outpace all of 2010 by a third. “With more nurses, therapists and allied health professionals on-boarding at facilities of all types, effectively managing contingent labor, travelers and temporary help will be vital to operations,” said Sue Higgins, Director of Product Development at StayStaffed Technologies, a Florida-based vendor management firm. "Larger healthcare employers are back to hiring and the demand for nurse specialists and therapists with advanced credentials keeps growing." healthcare hiring increaseTo recruit, hire and process these highly-skilled healthcare jobs candidates, Stay Staffed Technologies provides healthcare employers with a virtual staffing Marketplace.*Loaded with automated features, this Internet-based vendor management marketplace enables the accurate matching of healthcare job candidates with posted job descriptions, promotes easy candidate review, documentation and credentialing, and establishes a foundation on which healthcare employers can build an internal workforce of talented candidates to call on in a moment’s notice.  The Marketplace requires no [+]

Of the 120 healthcare executives participating in a recent nurse staffing study, * 63 percent ranked quality as the number one reason they planned to hire more travel nurses and temporary labor in 2011.  Number two and three reasons were the immediate availability of travel nurses resulting in fast time to fill rates, and the reduction of non-productivity costs associated with hiring permanent staff, such as recruiting, payroll, benefits administration and others. BOCA RATON, FL July, 2011 – Effectively blending travel nurses and contingent workers with permanent staff can save healthcare employers up to 13 percent on staffing costs. Though during tough economic times hospitals may limit the use of travelers and temporary workers as a means of cutting costs, vendor staffing experts at Candidate Direct say doing so can have the opposite effect: too few travelers can increase staffing costs and reduce nurse efficiency. Last year alone, almost 90 percent of contingent staff users said costs would rise if they eliminated the use of temporary workers.  By increasing the ratio of travel nurses to permanent nurse staff hospitals can reduce costly overtime, health benefits, payroll taxes, pensions and paid time off. "With economic uncertainty on the horizon, investing in permanent staff [+]

Or will hospitals leverage healthcare staffing technologies in favor of the bottom line? With third-party payor reimbursements dropping below sustainable levels and healthcare reform shrinking Medicare and Medicaid, hospitals will find profits harder to come by. For some, better managing staffing agencies and using data to drive staffing decisions will do the trick. For others, outsourcing workforce management functions or re-evaluating managed care contracts will be sufficient to reign-in cost centers and boost profits. hospital staffing softwareStaffing, a healthcare employer's single largest expense, is probably where hospital cost reductions can affect profits most quickly. Patient census data and the benchmarking of hours worked per case allow for the flexible and accurate scheduling of part timers and travelers. This reduces staff down time, heightens productivity during peak times and is critical to not over or under staffing facilities, both of which adversely impact profits. Tightening vendor policies and diligently tracking the performance of staffing agencies can also improve the look of a P&L. Narrowing vendor relationships to only top performers and holding agencies accountable to competitive bill rates and timely submission of documents will save staffing managers time, money and aggravation; savings that can be converted to [+]

It all started on Florence Nightingale’s Birthday May 12, 1921. A Chicago magazine editor declared National Hospital Day to boost trust in city hospitals in the wake of the Spanish Flu. As more states adopted the event the holiday went weeklong in 1953. As you know, National Hospital Week is about awareness. It’s a reminder of the important role hospitals play in fostering community health, giving the sick hope and bringing new lives into the world. Without hospitals in America, it’s scary to think where we’d be. During this year’s “Champions of Care” event, celebrated by hospitals nationwide May 8-14, facility organizers will be reaching out to communities with health & wellness fairs, educational events, open houses, novelties and other promotions and activities to give thanks and encourage families to use hospital facilities. Hospital Week and staffing solutionsFor some hospital administrators, National Hospital Week signifies a "tightening up of the ship." A closer look at efficiencies and workflows, sanitation, patient safety and bedside care. It’s a time to reward top performers and send a message to nurse and referring physician communities that excellence begets recognition at your facility. Until recently, tracking workforce performance was a daunting task. Managers [+]

More healthcare employers hiring temporary medical professionals in wake of recession A recent employment survey conducted by the staffing industry’s leading job board suggests that temporary workers are back in vogue. Twenty-nine percent of companies’ surveyed from February to March said they hired temporary workers in the first quarter of 2011 and 26 percent said they would in the second quarter, reports Staffing Industry Analysts, a firm specializing in workforce management trends. Though the uptick in employment is great news for healthcare staffing agencies, healthcare employers must find an effective means of managing temporary and contract labor, or the inefficient on boarding and off boarding of employees will result in wasted staffing dollars and diminished patient care delivery. healthcare employer The survey, which included 2,800 hiring managers and 5,600 workers across a broad spectrum of industries and company sizes, also showed 28 percent of respondents hiring permanent employees in the first quarter – the biggest increase in three years. "With healthcare reform knocking on everyone’s door, telling hospitals and healthcare employers to ramp up patient safety efforts and increase care quality, a workforce management solution such as the Candidate Direct Marketplace enables administrators to manage both temporary and [+]

You may be familiar with Hospital & Healthcare Networks “Most Wired” survey. It measures the adoption of information technologies by healthcare providers aimed at improving patient care and safety. Now in its twelfth year, the survey has been redesigned to better gauge a provider’s commitment in using analytics and reporting to achieve "meaningful use." Put simply, meaningful use translates to efficiency: the efficient use and sharing of patient care information via electronic health records (EHRs) to enhance outcomes. Though some healthcare employers feel pressured by reform advocates to adopt EHRs prematurely, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, David Blumenthal, M.D., thinks many hospitals and independent practitioners have been waiting too long. "Can we make these changes expeditiously enough?" Blumenthal said in an interview with H&HN. medication scan for meaningful useThe good news is hospitals and independent healthcare employers are indeed making changes. The H&HN survey proves it over time. In 2006-2010, the number of physicians participating in a closed-loop medication system rose more than 15 percent, greatly diminishing the risk of 'right patient wrong medication.' Over the five-year period 2005-2010, the number of hospitals using barcodes or RFID (radiofrequency identification) technologies to track medications increased a whopping 33 [+]

Healthcare Employers Report Rising Demand for Contingent Workforce Patient boon and shortage of specialists cause for growth in healthcare staffing Though contingent workers were the first to go when healthcare bottom lines “bottomed out,” many are the first to return, as hospitals reconfigure healthcare staffing needs in the face of economic recovery and lingering uncertainty. Workflows need to be re-evaluated and nurses, physicians and therapists knowledgeable in healthcare information technologies need to be sourced to comply with pending government reform mandates. Just two years ago, millions of newly unemployed Americans lost their healthcare benefits as the worst recession in decades swept the nation.  The demand for medical services declined and margins for some healthcare employers sank below sustainable standards. Pay and hiring freezes were implemented and spend on staffing got so tight that even some of the most seasoned medical specialists lost their jobs. healthcare trackNow by granting 46 million more Americans access to healthcare they never had, healthcare reform promises to repopulate hospital floors and rekindle the demand for acute care and niche medical services. This boon in patient flow will call many back to work and result in modest growth for the healthcare staffing industry in [+]

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