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Float Pools- Are they working the way you expect?

Posted by Tim Teague on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 @ 10:51 AM

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If your float pool or staffing bank is not providing the results you need, you are not alone. One of the great challenges in the acute care setting is the ability to meet the challenge of daily staffing expectations. Two of the major drivers in this challenge can be the random “call-offs” in an already short-staffed cost center, coupled with a census that is becoming more and more volatile.

From a budgetary perspective, what I call “just-in-time” decisions for staffing don’t seem too onerous on that day, but as days turn to weeks, and weeks to months, these daily “quick fixes” can grow out of control.

Just as I tell my kids to scrape the last bit of peanut butter from the jar before throwing it away, too many staffing departments are “buying” new jars before they have truly utilized what is available.

The solution to maximizing a float pool is most often a technical solution. There are a few basic questions that can determine if the float pool is really being maximized.

During the development of the pool, were all affiliated offices, facilities, and units informed of the intent?

  • Are there any “crossover” competencies from participants that might be of use? (Maybe an L&D nurse has had come ED experience.)
  • Is there a true “search and find” function that quickly uncovers all possible matches that include-
    1. Availability (granular down to the hours available)
    2. Matching competencies
    3. Current credentials
    4. Location (within established distances)
    5. Prior experience and amount of time worked (if any) in the requesting unit.
  • Is there a true “interactive” system of delivery and response to needs that incudes text message response to accept or reject?

We find that those facilities that are answering “yes” to these questions are truly “getting every last bit of peanut butter” from the jar and are maximizing available resources while minimizing cost.

Tags: Healthcare, medical staffing, VMS, hospital float pool,, staffing

Healthcare Staffing a Great Place to Be

Posted by Tim Teague on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

The growth or contraction of the healthcare staffing industry has typically followed the direction of the economy.13 Since hospital census typically takes a dive when unemployment spikes, the need for additional labor softens.

However, the recent rulings by the Supreme Court that essentially left the Affordable Care Act intact and will provide a buffer for such economic downturns. The government subsidized insurance plans will continue to generate revenue for hospitals despite dips in the economy.

A quick look at the macro picture of Affordable Care Act outcomes can be seen in the adjusted revenue projections of insurance giant United Health Group UNH and HCA Holdings HCA. HCA increased its revenue projections for 2015 by nearly a billion dollars, and United Health increased its outlook by $2 billion dollars.

Considering these adjustments came prior to the most recent ruling by the Supreme Court that effectively cleared the way for state expansion of Medicaid, these numbers are likely to rise.

It is likely that the continued subsidization of insurance would be politically untouchable in the years to come. Whether friend or foe of the legislation, it portends positively for the healthcare staffing industry.

Tags: Healthcare, medical staffing, ACA

The Secret to Surving the Nurse Shortage

Posted by Tim Teague on Mon, Aug 03, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

A recent study by Nursing Solutions, Inc. found that the turnover rate for bedside RNs was higher in 2014 than in any of the past five years. Their study indicated an improving economy parallels the increase in turnover fnurse_copyor RNs.
Their study examined turnover by specialty and discovered the highest rate of turnover existing in the behavioral health area, followed by the emergency department and med/surg. 

Their RN Recruitment Difficulty Index averaged 85 days, which continues to pose strategic hurdles for HR departments.

One area that healthcare providers have been slow to embrace is “cross-training” for the purposes of minimizing overtime within the organization. The main reason this philosophy has been slow to gain traction in healthcare is the myriad of credential requirements for RNs working in Joint Commission required facilities.

Today employee matching software if readily available that can scour an organization for “hidden” personnel assets that can be deployed to minimize overtime spend. When examining the skill sets of ALL employees, most organizations find that there is an under-utilization of human resources that are already on the payroll! The two keys to maximizing this lower cost alternative to overtime is instantaneous communication to all matches, and of course matching the multiple skill sets of employees to emerging needs. BlueSky has been a pioneer in making this technological advances in the healthcare HR space.

Tags: medical staffing, Nurse Shortage, overtime

BlueSky Healthcare Staffing Enhancements

Posted by Doug Word on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 @ 10:11 AM

BlueSky Medical Staffing SoftwareAt BlueSky, we are always searching for ways to enrich the user experience for our clients. We recognize that healthcare staffing is an ever-evolving industry, so our work is centered on helping staffing agencies save time and money.

With that in mind, we have two exciting new system enhancements to share.

Caregiver/Facility Radius Search

Are you an account manager or recruiter looking to match a facility contract with a caregiver in a certain range? Perhaps you are targeting a certain location for sales or prospecting jobs from facilities.

BlueSky's radius search will help you identify those caregivers and/or facilities within your defined areas. All you will need to do is enter a valid U.S. zip code and search away to find the information you seek within a given radius. This tool is great for both per diem and travel needs.

Caregiver Short Application Feature

Have you ever had caregivers on the phone while you were short on time but wanted to get them entered into your system quickly? Perhaps they had only a minute or two to spare before racing out the door. We understand your time is precious and often fleeting. Enter the BlueSky short application, where basic, yet important, information can get entered into your company's system in a snap.

The short application feature captures only the most relevant data: name, contact information, degree, specialty, recruiter and the ability to upload a resume. From there, one of your team members or the caregiver can go back in at a later date and update the full profile. Most importantly, the information is captured right away and will not get lost in a stack of papers.

Take a look at it below, and let us know what you think. Will this help your agency?

BlueSky Medical Staffing Software

BlueSky is committed to its customers and loves getting feedback!

Ready to experience positive change with BlueSky Medical Staffing Software? Our goal is to save you time and money by housing all of your credentialing, scheduling and caregiver documentation in one easy-to-access location. You can count on our experts to provide answers to all of your burning questions. Call us at 615-349-1985 to schedule a demonstration, or email us at support@bluesky.com.

Tags: BlueSky Medical Staffing Software, healthcare industry, healthcare staffing and recruiting software, healthcare scheduling software, healthcare staffing agency, healthcare staffing trends, Staffing Agency, Staffing Industry, staffing software, medical staffing, per diem medical staffing, Travel Nurse Staffing, web-based staffing software

The Emergence of Freestanding ERs

Posted by Doug Word on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 @ 08:50 AM

Freestanding Emergency RoomsFreestanding emergency rooms have popped up across the country, but according to a recent NPR story, they have advantages as well as drawbacks.

Freestanding ERs are seen as competition to urgent care centers, which are available as convenient options for non-life threatening emergencies like influenza or a sprained ankle.

Thinking of staffing into freestanding ERs? Share your thoughts here.

There is a huge difference between the two, however. Freestanding ERs typically offer the full range of services found at traditional hospitals. Some accept ambulance traffic, something not available at most urgent care centers.

However, this ABC News article notes that:

"Ambulances generally won't bring the most critically ill to the stand-alone centers, including trauma patients and those having strokes or heart attacks. In Miami, ambulances won't bring patients to stand-alone ERs at all."

A few of the qualities these emergency centers boast include:
-- Low waiting times
-- Cutting-edge equipment
-- Staff is equipped to handle almost any patient need.
-- Increased access for communities without a nearby hospital
-- Carries potential to alleviate overcrowding in traditional ERs

Negative aspects include:
-- High cost for patients and insurance companies
-- Typically not available in low-income communities
-- Some don't accept Medicare or Medicaid
-- Care could be compromised if full services are not offered.

Freestanding ERs are identified as a trend "taking hold in health care building" in this Nashville Business Journal blog. The author, E.J. Boyer, also notes, "the increased interest from clients in freestanding emergency departments repeated itself like a broken record."

Insurance companies are dissatisfied, however, claiming that the high costs will ultimately drive up the prices for consumers.

According to the NPR story, the main reason for the sticker shock is what is known as a facility fee, or a charge "for all the overhead, including expensive equipment like the CAT scanner and the lab."

Does your agency staff into freestanding ERs? Are you thinking of exploring this emerging market? Have you already begun? If so, please share your thoughts about this trending topic in the healthcare industry.

 

Tags: healthcare industry, staffing software, medical staffing, freestanding ERs, freestanding emergency rooms

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