In January’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced the inclusion of $100 million in the upcoming 2014 federal budget for research on a brain mapping project. While the announcement has been received relatively warmly on both sides of the political spectrum, there is some concern due to the federal budget sequester cuts. The overall goal is to enhance neuroscience research by focusing on epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer disease and traumatic brain injuries, and by doing so, it will create more jobs in healthcare facilities nationwide.. The infusion of cash into this scientific branch would be the catalyst for what appears to be a decade’s long project. Bipartisan Support Obama stated, “We can’t afford to miss these opportunities while the rest of the world races ahead. There is this tremendous mystery that is waiting to beObama brain project unlocked.” A spokesman for House Speaker, John Boehner, R-Ohio, states that the brain mapping project would be “exciting, important research” and that “it would be appropriate for the White House to reprioritize existing research funding into these areas.” Obama is adamant that United States researchers make the inevitable future discoveries in order to reap the economic returns rather than allow any [+]

The healthcare industry added another 32,000 job postings in February in addition to the 30,000 openings per month it has been averaging over the past year. Some healthcare facilities seem better prepared to keep up with the increased hiring demand while others struggle to fill positions or experience prohibitive costs when they can fill them. Sue Higgins - Product Development Manager Sue Higgins, Product Development Manager at Stay Staffed Candidate Direct, who has been monitoring the growth in healthcare staffing reports, “In the last 12 months our postings have increased over 340% - this is due to two things: 1) the growth in industry and demand for highly skilled candidates, and 2) the increase of clients using our Vendor Management System. We have had added significantly to our client list and these facilities are posting and getting jobs filled fast!” Clients utilizing the Candidate Direct VMS solution are experiencing improved fill rates, reduced overtime, fewer staff shortages, and an enhanced candidate matching process that results in lower turnover and greater productivity gains. VMS Client Testimonial: "Our facility was caught off guard when a key Nurse Practitioner announced she was taking an early retirement. Our staffing manager tried unsuccessfully [+]

Rapid change affects recruiting efforts in any industry. But when a patient’s health is on the line, as in the healthcare industry, it’s extremely important to make the right hires consistently. The ACA, the ARRA of 2009, and an aging population are all contributing to rapid changes in the healthcare industry. Add to that the ongoing workforce shortages and you soon realize why recruitment has become so difficult in the healthcare arena. But it doesn’t have to be. In addition to our many healthcare recruiting options, we offer three innovative IT recruitment solutions to help hospitals and other healthcare providers ease the burden of medical staffing both internal and external: 1. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

RPO services cover all aspects of the hiring process including sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, background checks, hiring, and on-boarding. Our 25 years in healthcare recruitment has provided us with the necessary tools to manage the hiring process in a way that delivers high-quality candidates at the lowest possible cost. In addition, you will receive access to one of the largest network of nursing, physician, and allied health professionals in the nation featuring active, passive and hidden talent pools. Candidate Direct’s RPO services offers a workforce solution that [+]

With two separate Medicare reductions taking effect in the first half of this year, it’s understandable that healthcare providers are lamenting the potential loss of healthcare jobs. It’s a big pill to swallow for most hospitals and healthcare employers. But as the outrage dims, healthcare executives are re-visiting their strategic plans to come up with cost-effhealthcare staff cutsective solutions to recover the revenue loss. Certainly, for some, healthcare staffing cuts are on the table. Rather than issue layoff notices, however, more innovative hospital executives are looking to generate additional revenue streams as well as streamline operational processes by eliminating waste and redundancies to better utilize their workforce. New Revenue Streams Part of the Answer Of course, additional revenue streams are the ideal solution. Some nursing homes, confined by minimum worker-to-patient ratios, are looking to new revenue sources as a solution rather than cutting healthcare staff. An October 2012 BusinessWeek article reported, “The chief executive of Brookdale (Senior Living), Bill Sheriff, told investors in the company’s most recent earnings call that Brookdale’s expansion into hospice care and outpatient services such as physical therapy has made an ‘attractive additional contribution’ to revenue.” Similarly, Richard Lechleiter, chief financial officer at Kindred, [+]

While the economy was unable to make any real advances in 2012, that was not the case with medical technology breakthroughs. The following are five medical technology advances that occurred in 2012. Brain-Controlled Mechanical Limbs The Boston Globe reports that quadriplegic, Cathy Hutchinson was able to reach for a bottle of water, bring it to her mouth for a sip, and return it to the table using a brain implant technology to control a mechanized arm. The implant, called BrainGate, is being adapted by researchers for use in prosthetic limbs as well as communication devices for those unable to speak. Defibrillator Implant While defibrillator implants are not new, Boston Scientific is the first to develop an implant that doesn’t need to touch the heart. The defibrillator implant, called the S-ICD, is placed just under the skin for easy access and sends electrical impulses to “correct abnormal rhythms.”  The device helps prevent sudden cardiac arrest and was approved by the FDA in September 2012. Turning Electronic Health Records into a Searchable Database    For those about to begin their EMR implementation, it’s good to know that technologies are being developed to improve reporting and search options. Beth Israel deaconess Medical Center has developed and launched a program [+]

Construction of new hospitals has flatlined somewhat in 2012 while healthcare executives measure the impact of the Affordable Care Act. According to Health Facilities Management magazine, “Industry insiders expect roughly the same amount of spending on hospital construction in 2012 as in 2011, with specialty hospital projects and infrastructure upgrades helping to offset the drop in acute care hospitals. The survey shows that the shift in priorities from traditional hospitals to smaller, neighborhood or satellite facilities is accelerating.” A study conducted by HFM in regards to healthcare expansion plans reported that, “Future projects most frequently cited by survey parti­cipants in response to reforms are emergency departments, by 17 percent; outpatient facilities in neighborhood settings, by 16 percent; medical office build­ing expansions, 16 percent; and primary care clinics and urgent care centers in neighborhoods, both 14 percent.” Trauma Center Openings on the Rise Since 2009, more than 200 trauma centers have opened across the country with an additional 75 hospitals seeking approval to add centers to their operations, according to Kaiser Health News. Leading the charge in trauma center development is HCA, a Nashville-based healthcare company. HCA has added, or intends to add, 20 new trauma centers to its network in southern states such [+]

Fueled in Part by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Healthcare Staffing isn’t always easy. Especially if a healthcare provider’s local labor pool doesn’t support the RN specialists patients require. To fill gaps in bedside care, the ER, OR, NICU and others; healthcare facilities nationwide rely on travel nurses to supplement their permanent staff. Their skills are just as good as staff nurses and in many cases better prepared to care for and communicate with disparate patient populations, indicate findings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As 30 million plus Americans gain access to healthcare through the nation’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, reports a Foundation study, traveling nurses may play a bigger role than ever in staffing healthcare providers that face growing patient populations and attrition by older nurses. And though an increase in the number of patients is bottom line news for any healthcare provider, headaches in sourcing qualified nurse candidates can be daunting and costly. Time consuming interviews, piles of paperwork and endless phone calls to onboard supplemental RNs for multiple units or floors can be drastically reduced with services of a healthcare vendor management web-based platform Fortunately, healthcare providers that suffer from in-house or regional nurse shortages [+]

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 [+]

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