How to manage contract workers: Best practices for hospitals

Posted by Tim Teague on 12/7/17 1:53 PM

Topics: Health Care Staffing

Contract and contingency work is on the rise in the health care industry, and it isn't difficult to see why. Many hospital facilities have positions open and needing to be filled, and a contract worker may present the perfect fit - or, at least, bridge a gap until administrators can find a more permanent solution.

According to Modern Healthcare, many major health care organizations are increasing their use of contract work, including HCA in Nashville, which boosted its contract labor by more than 35 percent; and Michigan's Trinity Health, which experienced a nearly 16 percent increase in contract labor.

Without the proper oversight and use of best practices, however, managing contract workers can become complex and hinder the facility's overall operating organization. Hospitals should take these strategies into account when managing their contract and contingency employees:

Be flexible and expect negotiation

Before a physician or other contract worker signs on, chances are good they'll want to take some time to review the contract and its contingencies. Hospital administrators should expect some questions and discussion after this process, and should be open to amending or adjusting the contract where possible.

"Physicians often have different personal goals than hospital administrators."

Medical Economics noted that physicians often have different personal goals than hospital administrators - the physician may place a high value on autonomy and working independently, whereas the hospital culture may call for a more collective and collaborative approach. Keeping these differences in mind when creating and discussing the contract helps both sides better understand each other and reach their ultimate goals.

It's also worth noting that having a bit of wiggle room can help the facility attract the best applications for its open positions. Don't let small, less important contract matters stop your facility from putting the most talented people on staff.

Pinpoint and address any non-performance

Physicians and health care workers aren't the only employees present in a health care facility operating under a contract. All sorts of other service providers will partner under contract with administrators for the good of the facility.

Three nurses dressed in scrubs sitting at nurses' station with piles of folders and papers.
A workforce management platform helps standardize and streamline contract management for hospitals.

It's important that administrators have the proper visibility into the contingencies and stipulations of their contracts and are able to identify any non-performance. If a service provider or employee isn't meeting the demands of their contract, administrators must address the situation with corrective action and work to ensure that the issue doesn't come up repeatedly, Becker's Hospital Review noted. This level of insight will also help the organization be prepared for any upcoming contract audits.

"A key aspect of being prepared for an audit is the CFO's knowledge of exactly how well their hospital is performing against its contracts and how its vendors are performing to their agreements," Becker's Hospital Review stated. "[B]y knowing what its vendors have committed to, a hospital can effectively work with them in a collaborative way to insure that the contract is satisfied. This will help a hospital maintain a reputation as a preferred business partner to its vendors and encourage the vendors to reward the hospital with better pricing and terms."

Leverage an intelligent workforce management solution

Finally, it's most beneficial to lean on the advanced capabilities that an innovative workforce management platform can bring.

Such a solution helps standardize and streamline contract management, providing features for recruiting, scheduling, compliance management, payroll and invoicing, time and attendance and more.

To find out how a workforce management platform created specifically with the needs of the health care industry in mind could benefit your facility, contact us at BlueSky Medical Staffing Software today.

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BlueSky Medical Staffing Software is an applicant tracking system, vendor management system, staff/nurse scheduling system, and invoice/payroll tool combined into one suite for clinical talent and contingent labor management. BlueSky has been empowering the healthcare and hospital staffing industry for over twenty years by solving expensive operational problems in business and organizations.

BlueSky is the only staffing software available on the market today that is healthcare specific, accommodates full lifecycle recruitment, front-to-back-office workflows, medical credential management, vendor management, workflow automation, and more.

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