A Vendor Management System (VMS) is a technology solution that provides a web-based application to help hospitals obtain and manage its contingency staff.
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Is Your Talent Bucket Leaking?
Talent leakage is one of the most emblematic challenges healthcare organizations face today when sourcing supplemental labor. Why? The answer mostly lies in our current economy.
As the economy recovered from the last recession, the supply and demand of labor flipped in favor of the talent, and that gap continues to widen. The challenges associated with sourcing and managing talent in an environment where candidates outnumber jobs are markedly different from when the opposite is true.
As a result, contingent clinicians have more choices. For example, when an ICU nurse is needed, your hospital is competing to fill that need with the hospital across town and, in fact, with hospitals across the country. This requires an accelerated hiring process. If a vendor management service is in play, it is prudent to understand how its fees and processes impact the willingness of suppliers to advance their best candidates. In this climate, staffing agencies have choices, too.
Casting a wider net to fill the talent bucket is the starting line. Then candidates who are truly a good fit for your organization must be filtered from those who look good on paper. The longer this process takes, the more likely it is for a candidate to accept a job elsewhere, revealing another hole in your talent bucket. The challenge is to shrink the time it takes from pre-screening candidates to making an offer, without sacrificing quality.
A big bucket of talent helps fill needs, but high fill rates lose their luster when candidates fail to complete assignments. For example, you may have five ICU candidates, but only two can take a fresh CVA because the other candidates worked in facilities where these patients were admitted to designated neuro ICUs. If your pre-screening and interview process fails to uncover this lack of experience, you may be headed back to the drawing board to refill that position.
Increasing your capacity to better match jobs to candidates improves completion rates. Higher completion rates position your organization to have more conversations about extending assignments and converting temporary help to permanent staff. From your patients to your core staff as well as the Travel Nurse and your facility, everybody benefits.
How to Choose the Right MSP for Your Facility
The number of staffing agencies offering managed service provider programs has exploded in recent years. With so many options, finding the right staffing partner can be a daunting task for hospital administrators. To help you get started, Medical Solutions Plus has 5 tips on how to choose the right MSP for your hospital:
- Expertise: You’ll want an MSP that offers clinical expertise. An MSP with experienced healthcare professionals on staff can get involved in your facility’s hiring process, and ultimately find ideal candidates for you based on your facility’s technical requirements and cultural values. Better job matches translate to higher fill rates, completion rates, and lower turnover. It also creates opportunities to convert proven temporary staff to permanent employees.
- Dependability: When evaluating an MSP program, it’s important to ask for references. Whom have they worked with before and for how long? An MSP’s client retention rate speaks volumes in terms of dependability. Find out which healthcare organizations, if any, have terminated their agreements with your potential MSP and why. In terms of risk management, you should ask to see the results of their independent audits from the last three years to better understand their processes for safeguarding your facility’s compliance.
- Customer Experience: Your MSP’s primary goal is to fill your open jobs. With that in mind, you should know how long your potential MSP team will hold on to a job requisition before they release it to their vendor panel. Depending on their answers, you can determine whether the MSP places your needs before its own interests. A true staffing partner will immediately release your open positions to its vendor panel so your needs are met on your timeline, not theirs.
- Technology: Does the MSP program you’re considering offer a technology system with round-the-clock access to your facility’s staffing activity? You’ll also want to clarify whether the software requires your staff to enter data, upload files, and monitor expiring credentials. Further, does it offer customized reporting? If you decide to use their technology platform, how much training is involved? Find out who will provide technical support should you need it.
- Sub-vendor Relationships: An MSP relies on its vendor panel or network of staffing agencies to help fill your staffing needs. Since Travel Nurses are in high demand, they tend to have multiple job offers from different facilities at any given time. Consequently, it is crucial to ask potential MSPs about their fees and submission processes. These factors can impact a sub-vendor’s willingness to submit their best candidates for your positions.
Why Your Facility Needs an MSP Now
A managed service provider, or MSP, is a staffing solution that can operate and simplify your facility's contingent workforce process through one central business partner. As the healthcare industry continues to change, the number of hospitals and other healthcare facilities using the services of a managed service provider has skyrocketed. Why? Simply put: managed service providers are a hospital’s best friend in this age of staffing shortages. In case you’re not convinced yet, we’ve listed the top 3 reasons your facility needs an MSP now:
1. Saves Your Facility Time and Money: MSPs, like Medical Solutions Plus, can manage your entire contingent workforce for you. When you use the services of an MSP, you’ll no longer have to spend your valuable time and limited resources searching for qualified healthcare professionals. Depending on the MSP, you’ll typically have only one point of contact, one invoice, and a streamlined process. When you find talent at the right time and at the right level, you’ll also drastically reduce costs associated with turnover.
2. Mitigates Your Risk: An MSP can help you increase your patient safety efforts and minimize your risk of hiring temporary staff. MSPs typically have a large database of medical professionals at their disposal, who must go through a rigorous screening process. MSPs ensure that these professionals are safe, qualified, and certified. That means an MSP is far less likely to place temporary staff at your facility who could create on-the-job medical errors. Certain MSPs, like Medical Solutions Plus, also provide clinical services as a resource for your facility. At Medical Solutions Plus, our team of full-time RNs will handle all the administrative paperwork for you, so you can focus on patient care.
3. Helps Your Facility Maintain Quality Patient Care: An MSP can also help you maintain your patient care standards. As the healthcare field shifts to value-based care, using a strategic staffing partner like Medical Solutions Plus just makes sense. Superior patient care begins with a highly skilled medical staff, and MSP has the best and brightest recruits. In fact, the Medical Solutions Plus team has a 95% fill rate and a 96% contract completion rate.
Not all MSPs are the same. You need to find a staffing partner that you can count on time and again. Learn more about us here.
Our Quality Approach To Healthcare Staffing
When it comes to ensuring your contingent nursing staff meets all regulatory and compliance standards, it pays to be proactive.
Fortunately, Medical Solutions Plus has you covered. When you partner with our MSP, you can remain efficient and confident knowing that our Quality Assurance Team is reviewing your nursing candidates’ credentials for you. So, you’ll never have to wonder if your temporary staff is certified, you’ll know.
Meet Stephanie K. As a Quality Assurance Specialist at Medical Solutions Plus, she’ll be the first to tell you that details matter.
Q. So, what does a Quality Assurance Specialist do?
A. We audit all Traveler files to ensure our Travel Nurses are in compliance with a multitude of regulations at the federal, state, and local levels.
Q. Why is this job important? How does quality assurance fit into a healthcare organization’s workforce strategy?
A. Believe it or not, we’ve had candidates falsify their paperwork before. So, our work helps protect a hospital’s reputation and reduces their risk of hiring temporary staff. Our Hospital Clients only see Travel Nurses who have successfully passed our screening process.
Q. Can you describe a time when you found an error during a routine Traveler audit?
A. We once discovered a Travel Nurse who had falsified her social security card — it turned out she had charges pending against her. Another individual stole a former co-worker’s BLS card and tried to pass it off as her own. We knew something didn’t add up when the signature and the printed name on the card weren’t the same. No one loves dealing with these situations, but it just proves that audits are needed for a reason.
Q. What is your approach to ensure that files are complete and error-free?
A. [As a department,] this is our main goal. We are consistent in following a set of protocols, which are even more strict than The Joint Commission’s standards. If a Traveler doesn’t meet our standards, we won’t even pass their resume on to the hospital.
Personally, I can be overly picky when it comes to dates. When I see a blurry copy of a document, especially around critical dates, I push back for a cleaner-looking document. I don’t want anyone at the hospital to struggle to read or guess when a Traveler’s BLS certification is set to expire.
Q. How are our quality assurance measures different from the industry’s standard protocols?
A. We go to great lengths to ensure a candidate is qualified with our two-step auditing process. Additionally, we are always reviewing best practices for background screening and CDC guidelines to stay on the leading edge.
Q. What’s a common misconception about your work?
A. Most people assume this job’s routine never changes, but I learn something different every day.
Q. What do you like best about your job?
A. I want our Travelers’ files to be perfect, so I love the challenge this job presents. I’m also lucky to work with some of the best people in the industry. We’re all passionate about our work because we see the big picture — these healthcare professionals could one day provide care to our loved ones.
You can learn more about our MSP’s multi-point screening process here.
VMS vs. MSP: Which Model is Right for You?
Many hospital administrators are seeking out vendor management systems (VMS) or managed service providers (MSP) to help manage their contingent workforce. If your healthcare facility is currently considering a VMS or an MSP, Medical Solutions Plus has provided the following infographic to help you determine which model is right for you:
medical solutions plus presents
Both vendor management systems (VMS) and managed service providers (MSP) offer hospitals efficiency improvements in contingency staff management, but which one is best?
If your healthcare facility is currently considering a VMS or an MSP, Medical Solutions Plus has provided the following infographic to help you determine which model is right for you:
SO, WHAT IS A VMS?
Since a VMS does not recruit candidates, it is considered vendor neutral. Consequently, hospital administrators evaluate candidates on their own.
This DIY model could be an asset to hospitals that do not have hard-to-fill vacancies or require direct communication from a staffing agency.
A VMS tends to be most effective when the supply of candidates outnumbers open jobs. Today, competition for quality candidates is increasing while the supply of labor is shrinking. Consequently, staffing challenges are more complex.
A VMS offers several benefits, including:
Detailed reporting capabilities
THEN WHAT’S AN MSP?
In contrast, a Managed Service Provider, (MSP) is a service solution that helps source and manage the short-term staffing needs of a facility through one central business partner.
The MSP model can be a cost-effective tool for hospitals facing severe staffing shortages, fluctuations in its staffing needs, or an EMR/EHR conversion.
An MSP can help your facility:
Recruit and onboard quality candidates
Improve fill, completion and extension rates
Consolidate contracts into one master agreement
Eliminate inflated bill rates
Streamline and simplify inefficient workforce processes
Increase vendor visibility
Reduce staff turnover and overtime hours
Leverage data to drive the planning process
According to Staffing Industry Analysts, 51% of all travel nursing revenue in 2016 was sourced through an MSP, while revenue through a VMS remained at 16%. Healthcare organizations increasingly recognize that the MSP model is the wave of the future.
To learn more about Managed Service, please contact Medical Solutions Plus at
Convert Your Contingent Clinicians To Perm Staff in 3 Simple Steps
Unlike most agencies, the Medical Solutions Plus team is thrilled to help our Hospital Clients find and convert contingent clinicians to perm staff whenever possible. That's because we are an active partner in your facility's staffing needs. As a result, we've provided 3 simple strategies you can use to convert your contingent healthcare providers to perm staff.
- Create a great hospital culture: A positive workplace environment can have lasting benefits for both nurses and patients alike. Multiple studies have shown a strong correlation between nurse job satisfaction and better patient outcomes, including higher patient satisfaction scores. So, hospital management should strive to create a culture that promotes nurse empowerment, wellness, and engagement. When your nursing staff is engaged, your facility’s patients will receive better care, your perm staff will be less likely to leave, and your facility will have a powerful tool for converting contingent clinicians to perm positions.
- Treat your Travelers like permanent staff: If your traveling healthcare professionals like your facility enough, they may consider joining your permanent staff. So, get your Travelers involved in your facility’s culture. Invite them to social events, and ask for their advice on where improvements could be made. Most contingent healthcare providers have diverse work experiences. They’ll be able to tell you what’s been successful at other hospitals and more importantly, what wasn’t. Plus, when you treat your Travelers like permanent staff, they’ll be that much more committed to your patients and your facility’s goals.
- Incorporate Travelers into your recruitment strategy: To that end, hospital leaders should view a contingent clinician's contract as a working interview. A typical 13-week assignment is the perfect opportunity to determine whether the healthcare provider in question is a good fit for your facility without a long-term commitment. Keep in mind that many contingent clinicians are likewise determining if they want to work at your facility full-time. So, it might not be difficult to persuade them to take a permanent position at your facility.
Perfecting the Phone Interview
Recruiting staff with the right clinical skills takes time. Unfortunately, as a busy healthcare professional, time is a luxury you don’t always have.
That’s where Medical Solutions Plus, a leading Managed Service Provider, comes in. We can help accelerate your facility’s hiring process and optimize your job matching. We have the clinical expertise and top-notch interviewing skills needed to find the best and brightest in the industry.
Our in-house Clinical Team of RNs will personally speak with your Unit Managers to identify specific hiring criteria and unit details. Based on your preferences, they can effectively pre-screen and interview candidates for you, so you can focus more time on your patients. Plus, our Clinical Team is available to your facility as a resource throughout your contract.
However, if you decide to interview your own candidates, Medical Solutions’ Clinical Nurse Manager Natalie Olson, BSN, RN, shares her tips for phone interviewing success in the video below: