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 [+]

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 [+]

Healthcare employers in the Northeast are no doubt aware of the Massachusetts Nursing Association's recent efforts in support of a referendum that enforces minimum nurse-patient ratios. nurse patient ratiosThe Lowell Sun reports that the proposed legislation calls for 1 nurse for every 4 med/surg patients. In emergency departments, nurses would care for between 1 and 3 patients depending on patient conditions. Nurses in critical care units would look after between 1 and 2 patients. Healthcare employers in violation would face a $25,000 per day fine. Nursing Association advocates can look to many studies that show that reduced nurse-patient ratios improve patient outcomes. Still other studies, such as a 2004 Review in the Journal of Nursing Administration show that improved patient outcomes are based on a constellation of factors, including medical staff skills, hospital management, and patient mix, as well as nurse-to-patient ratios. A similar conclusion was drawn in this 2007 study determining that lower nurse-patient ratios correlated with improved patient outcomes -- although the relationship was not necessarily causal. While Massachusetts state lawmakers have been reluctant to order a solution to the bridge the gap between nurses and hospitals, the nurses association says voters have supported [+]

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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