Category Archives: Information Technology

Leverage Workforce Data to Optimize Healthcare Staffing

A 2014 survey by HealthLeaders Media reported that the top cost containment strategies for hospitals, physicians groups, and healthcare systems are 1) process improvements, 2) labor productivity, 3) supply chain efficiencies, 4) capacity management, and 5) staff reductions. This isn’t surprising as healthcare staffing is the largest driver of both clinical and financial success.

Process improvements were cited by 81% of healthcare executives who are looking for sustainable cost containment strategies that offer year after year reductions rather than short-term fixes such as layoffs (20% of respondents). Labor productivity increases were chosen by 67% of healthcare executives as a favored cost reduction strategy.

Strong Emphasis on Process Improvement 

The emphasis on process improvement through workforce analytics helps identify opportunities where labor can be employed more effectively. Process improvements and labor productivity gains then become part of a continuous improvement culture that is practiced daily.

The greatest challenge for staffing managers is to match labor to patient census. Staffing requirements can vary considerably day-to-day and having ready access to current workforce data via dashboards can help staffing managers to devise plans to better meet census. Visibility into workforce data is necessary for both long-term strategic planning and short-term cost management tactics.

Healthcare Staffing Optimization

To be successful and produce returns year after year, expense reduction must be sustainable. The first step is to automate workforce management processes such as time and attendance, staffing and scheduling, human resources and payroll. Through automation, managers gain a better understanding of workforce dynamics both currently and cumulatively.

According to the survey, the top workforce management initiatives for healthcare labor cost reduction include:

Monitor and reduce overtime pay - overtime can be reduced with workforce planning and scheduling software. For example, the ability to analyze incidental overtime can lead to improvements in shift change procedures.

Develop and monitor productivity metrics – choosing the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will improve workforce performance monitoring. For KPIs to be effective, they must be clearly defined and measurable across the organization.

Adopt acuity-based staffing – delves deeper into optimal healthcare staffing strategies than nurse-to-patient ratios. It seeks to base staffing on patient need by ensuring an appropriate mix of skill sets and competencies. Contingent employees are often used to shore up staff and skill gaps.

Better manage contingent staff – most healthcare organizations use a variable staffing model that changes based on patient census. It’s important to have the right tools to manage the contingent workforce for cost containment and efficiency. It also helps to have the right workforce management software for tracking documentation, posting open positions, and project costs for different staffing mix scenarios.

Reduce premium labor usage – workforce analytics enables managers to identify opportunities for cost containment or reduction such as overtime, contingent labor usage, and overstaffing.

Optimize external staffing agencies – the ongoing workforce shortage has most providers using external healthcare staffing agencies to source and recruit medical staff. It can be difficult for human resources to continually field telephone calls, emails, and instant messaging from various healthcare staffing agencies. Web-based Vendor Management Software (VMS) for the healthcare industry consolidates and centralizes external staffing agency communication. Through the software, staffing managers can communicate with hundreds of healthcare staffing agencies nationwide as well as analyze staffing metrics for continuous improvement initiatives.

Healthcare staff layoffs – only 20 percent of healthcare executives are looking at employee layoffs to reduce costs.

Healthcare workforce analytic dashboards quickly provide managers with the data needed to make staffing decisions before the cost is incurred thereby saving more money in the long term. Staffing changes can be made as new data arises giving managers the opportunity to maximize the quality of patient care at the lowest cost available. Managers spend less time gathering and verifying workforce information and more time maximizing workforce potential based on up-to-the-minute information.

It takes only 30 minutes of your time to have an online demonstration of our vendor management software designed specifically for the healthcare industry. Schedule an appointment now by calling 800-585-1710 or contact us online. Remember to ask about our free software installation!


Date posted: November 21, 2014 in Healthcare Industry | Information Technology | vendor management systems | workforce management | healthcare staffing | healthcare staffing agencies | vendor management software | workforce management | workforce planning and scheduling software |

The Guiding Principles of Healthcare Software Selection

As healthcare reform gears up for change, hospitals are increasing their efforts to simplify and automate business processes through software applications. The problem hospital administration runs into when looking for software solutions is choosing from the thousands of applications that promise you efficiency and cost savings. Not all healthcare software solutions are developed with you in mind; they’re developed for the revenue they provide.

Not all hospital software vendors have an idea of how a hospital operates. They’ve simply identified an industry undergoing massive change and developed a software application to take advantage of an opportunity. Others are industry insiders that know in detail how hospitals operate and have developed software solutions that automate and simplify routine tasks. The key to selecting the right software is to weed out the players and find the vendor that offers real solutions.

The Guiding Principles for Selecting Hospital Software Solutions

Form a cross functional team. IT shouldn’t be the primary decision maker in choosing hospital software solutions. They may guide the process but the real decision makers should be those that will use the software day-to-day.
Create a needs assessment. Start by modeling current business processes in the areas you’re going to be using the new software application. Next, identify processes that you want the software to automate to improve efficiency. Lastly, map out the output you need from the new system in the form of reporting and analytics.
Evaluate hospital software vendors. Research and choose several potential hospital software providers that appear to meet your needs assessment. Have the chosen few demonstrate their software capabilities to determine which one(s) are closest to fulfilling the needs assessment. Create scenarios or use cases that reflect what you want the software to do and have the vendor run them through the program. Narrow your list to the top two or three vendors.
Ask for references. References provide you with the opportunity to speak with actual system users. If possible, see if there are hospitals in your area that are using the software and arrange for a site visit.
Choose the software that best fits your needs. If one vendor is clearly above the rest and meets your budget, then the choice becomes easy. If they’re close in functionality and cost, you may want to arrange a more detailed presentation with several use cases typical to your organization.
Negotiate the contract. You’ve likely already discussed pricing at this point of the process so there should be no surprises. One caveat is to watch for hidden fees. The 6 key areas of a software contract that you should focus on are:

  1. Software – pricing and performance.
  2. Hardware – do you need to upgrade or will present systems suffice.
  3. Implementation – the scope and time of software implementation.
  4. Training – details on initial training and ongoing support.
  5. System Maintenance – who’s responsible for software maintenance.
  6. Customer Support – hospitals need 24/7 support.

We live in the Digital Age where there is a software solution for nearly every business process. But not all software is created equally. At StayStaffed, we’ve developed a hospital workforce management software based on our 25 years in the healthcare staffing industry. Contact us now for a 15-minute product demonstration and learn how our vendor management solutions can streamline your hiring process by providing low-cost, high-quality talent. Or call us at 1.800.585.1710 and speak to a consultant.

Related Resources:

Date posted: October 21, 2014 in Healthcare Industry | Information Technology | recruitment process outsourcing | Staffing News | vendor management systems | workforce management | Healthcare Selection | Hospital Software Solutions | hospital software vendors | hospital workforce management software |

2014 Tech Trends that Help Streamline Healthcare Services

Each year sees an ongoing commitment to utilizing technology for healthcare professionals and patients. Bring your own device (BYOD), mobile apps, big data, telemedicine, vendor management software (VMS), and data security are some of the hot healthcare technology trends for 2014. Continuous improvement with these tech trends is critical to streamlining patient care and the flow of patient information throughout the healthcare system.

Here is what healthcare providers can look forward to as the year progresses:

Bring Your Own Device – We live in an increasingly wired world and the healthcare industry is no different. Many healthcare workers already bring their own devices to work so it makes sense for healthcare providers to capitalize on the phenomena. Using a multitude of devices within the workplace however, offers an additional burden for IT staff in the form of supporting infrastructure, security, and compliance.

Mobile Applications – Many medical apps are available to healthcare personnel as well as patients and the choices are growing rapidly. Medical professionals can quickly access electronic health records (EHR) to aid in clinical decision-making. Patients can actually use the apps to monitor their own health issues such as measuring heart rate or counting calories. Adherence apps will remind patients of their medication time through their smart phone. As health systems get more deeply involved in developing their own apps, the patient experience will improve and hospital efficiencies will increase.

Big Data – Having access to stored data allows healthcare professionals to gain important insight into accelerating patient care. Relevant medical data from Electronic Health Records (EHR) can be complemented by outside apps that capture the critical information needed to enhance efficiency. Patients can access their own information from devices at most any location. For medical professionals, tablets can be used in the consultation room and fed into the external terminals available in each department. With Electronic Health Record systems becoming more affordable, information is exchanged more easily and securely.

Telemedicine – Those that have difficulty getting to their medical facility can take advantage of inexpensive telemedicine technology. Patients can communicate with their healthcare professionals through video conferencing on mobile devices or laptops that are equipped with a webcam. Virtual care is becoming more popular with features that allow patients to self-monitor their vital signs and report their statistics without having to see a healthcare professional.

Vendor Management Software (VMS) – An ongoing workforce shortage combined with healthcare reform is making it difficult for medical providers to manage their medical staff efficiently. Vendor management software is ideal for healthcare providers looking to improve their recruitment and staffing management processes.

Data Security – The Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) oversees patient confidentiality but is still a work in progress. As IT increases its role in health administration, security through encryption protects personal health information.  Advancements include secure portals for email, texts, file sharing and video-conferencing. Still, there is more work to be done to keep up with new innovations so that applications can run smoothly, securely, and without failure.

These trends will continue to advance throughout 2014 and beyond with the intention of creating a leaner healthcare experience for hospitals and patients alike.

StayStaffed’s Vendor Management System in conjunction with the Candidate Direct Marketplace ® provides a management-oversight technology solution to streamline and automate the administrative and operational processes that occur within multi-vendor staffing environments. Our secure, web-based VMS software provides a one-source solution to source, recruit, procure and manage contingent and direct hire needs for a multitude of industries — including healthcare, energy, and IT to name a few…and with the potential to save up to 15% of annual contingent staffing spend.

Date posted: April 8, 2014 in contingent staffing | Healthcare Industry | Information Technology | Staffing News | vendor management systems | workforce management | big data | Data Security | medical apps | multi-vendor staffing | Tech Trends | telemedicine | VMS |

Best Industries for Jobs: Healthcare, Information Technology and Construction

When it comes to job growth potential, the healthcare industry takes the top spot, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs in the construction trades come in at the number two position nationwide.

Healthcare Jobs Outlook

The BLS projects that 5.6 million healthcare jobs will be created between the years 2010 and 2020. During this period, healthcare job growth is estimated to increase at a rate of 3% annually.

Registered nurses are projected to be most in demand with a 10-year estimated growth rate of 26%, nearly double the national average of 14.3% for all other occupations. With current registered nurse jobs at 2,737,400, a 26% growth rate equals 711,000 new nursing positions being created over the next decade.

Physical Therapist’s Assistant is another growth-oriented position within the healthcare sphere with a 10-year projected increase of 45.7%. An aging boomer demographic combined with an increase in trauma survivors due to medical advances are the major reasons for its high-growth potential.

Healthcare Information Technology, IT Jobs Outlook

Information technology jobs in the healthcare industry continue to show high projected growth rates due to the development of digital health records and the security required to keep those records private.

Systems software developers lead this group with a 10-year growth projection of 32.4% or more than 127,000 new IT jobs. Computer network administrators follow closely behind with a 27.8% 10-year forecast or an estimated 96,500 new IT jobs.

Construction Jobs Outlook

Construction equipment operators top the list in this industry with a 10-year growth projection of 23.5% resulting in more than 82,000 new construction jobs over the next decade. Electrician jobs come in at a close second with a projected growth rate of 23.2% or more than 130,000 new jobs.

Overall job growth in the construction industry is estimated to increase at a 2.9% annual rate until at least 2020. New construction development, home renovations, alternative energy projects, and infrastructure upgrades are fueling the new job increases.

Stay Staffed is a workforce management solutions and vendor management system provider to organizations nationwide. Our systems utilize our proprietary Candidate Direct Marketplace ® to source, recruit, procure and manage contingent and direct hire workforces. Stay Staffed solutions provide greater workforce transparency to improve staffing efficiency and drive cost savings. Our Vendor Management System is designed to streamline and automate the administrative and operational processes that occur within multi-vendor staffing environments.

Contact us now to arrange a 30-minute online demonstration and see for yourself how Stay Staffed staffing solutions can streamline your workforce strategy.


Date posted: October 24, 2013 in Construction Industry | Information Technology | Staffing News | workforce management | Best Industries for Jobs |

Labor Force Demographics Changing the Way Employers Manage Their Workforce

Across the country and across all industries, companies are increasingly supplementing their permanent workforce through the use of contingent workers. In fact, the BLS reports that 19 percent of all new U.S. jobs created since the end of the recession were contract workers. Further, a study by Intuit predicts that temporary or contract workers will make up more than 40% of the U.S. workforce by 2020.

And there’s good reason for these rising employment numbers:

  • Contract workers offer staffing flexibility and allow companies to better manage risk in an uncertain economy.
  • The need for mobile contingent workforces in the construction and extraction industries.
  • Cost savings by outsourcing specialized functions such as Information Technology (IT), healthcare specialties, and customer service.
  • The ability to staff special projects with the requisite professionals without hiring full-time employees.
  • Temporary workers are exempt from new healthcare law requirements.

How Organizations Can Prepare for the Increase in Temporary Workers

To effectively manage their permanent and contingent workforces, many organizations are finding VMS software solutions provide the best return-on-investment.

A Vendor Management System (VMS):

  • Automates the sourcing and recruitment function for hiring contingent and permanent staff.
  • Prequalifies candidates, secures documentation, and verifies credentials.
  • Manages employee timekeeping and payroll.
  • Automates vendor invoicing and payments for all parties.

Organizations that utilize vendor management software to manage their contingent workforce find they are able to:

  • Build deeper talent pools through centralized access to hundreds of qualified staffing agencies nationwide.
  • Create a more efficient, streamlined hiring process resulting in improved fill-rates, reduced overtime, fewer staff shortages and the ability to find specialty workers faster.
  • Improve candidate quality through a comprehensive job-to-candidate matching process.
  • Achieve 100% compliance outcomes through automated credentialing and electronic document management system.
  • Adapt quickly to changing conditions through the centralized management of permanent and contingent staffing needs.
  • Receive more favorable labor rates through increased agency competition resulting in annual savings of several thousand dollars per employee.
  • Enhance management oversight through VMS dashboard analytics and reporting, including hiring manager approval, budget cost analysis, and vendor performance/costs/risks. Plus electronic notifications to your management team with updates on important staffing decisions and alerts

Changing workforce demographics must be met with innovative and strategic staffing solutions. With over 20 years of staffing experience, Stay Staffed has provided workforce management solutions and vendor management system expertise to small, medium, and large organizations nationwide.

StayStaffed workforce management software accesses The Candidate Direct Marketplace ® offering industry an all-encompassing contingent staffing solution. Contact a StayStaffed representative today, online or at 800-585-1710, to arrange a free, no-obligation online VMS product demonstration.


Date posted: July 11, 2013 in Construction Industry | contingent staffing | Extraction Industry | Financial Industry | Healthcare Industry | Information Technology | Oil and Gas Industry | recruitment process outsourcing | vendor management systems | workforce management | BLS | construction industry | contingent workers | Extraction Industry | Healthcare Industry | Information Technology Industry | Labor Force | rising employment | staffing solutions | Temporary Workers | Workforce |

67% of Healthcare Providers Struggle with IT Recruiting

Sixty-seven percent is a large number and it jumps to 73% for healthcare employers that are recruiting Epic-certified healthcare IT professionals in order to comply with EMR requirements.

The survey, “Closing the IT Talent Gap in Health Care” by consulting firm Towers Watson, profiled more than 100 healthcare employers and found that the majority are having problems with both the retention and recruitment of healthcare IT workers. Of the respondents, 52 percent are hospital systems and 67 percent have more than 5,000 employees.

Closing IT Talent Gaps for Healthcare Recruitment

In the short term, health systems and medical providers need information technology professionals in order to comply with EHR “meaningful use” requirements which take effect in 2014. But in the long term and according to the study, “the real payoff of an effective and fully compliant IT system is its role in aiding clinical decision making. Many healthcare leaders are already seeing how real savings can accrue from using evidence-based medicine to help redesign the way services are delivered. And IT systems, instead of only supporting clinical services, can now help determine what clinical services will be provided.”

The challenge for hospital IT recruiters is to better understand the current state of talent gaps and balance both short- and long-term challenges in healthcare into an effective information technology workforce recruitment solution. Health systems that are better able to balance the practical needs of healthcare IT workers – such as competitive pay and job security – with the long-term goal of helping an industry transform technologically, will win out going forward.

In order to effectively staff their IT departments, healthcare recruiters need to close the gap between what they think is important to IT professionals and what is actually important to them. After a thorough analysis, you can then tailor your incentive package and employee value proposition to attract top-quality healthcare IT personnel for both the short- and long-term.

Healthcare information technology staffing can be resolved with workforce management system and an enhanced job-to-candidate skill-matching process. With a full range of recruitment services including our Candidate Direct Marketplace® Vendor Management Systems (VMS), Managed Service Provider (MSP), and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), employers have the ability to optimize their IT staffing in partnership with a dedicated StayStaffed Client Account Manager. Our contingent IT workforce management systems combined with our reputable staffing agencies nationwide, will help you to source, recruit, hire or optimize your contingent IT industry jobs quickly and efficiently.

By providing IT staffing agencies with detailed information about the job, skills required, long term career path and benefits, they will be able to source the most qualified person that matches what employers need as well as matching the candidate’s expectations. Our Client Account Managers are skilled at analyzing your needs and getting it to the right agencies using our comprehensive Vendor Management System to simplify and expedite the entire process.“ Said Sue Higgins, Stay Staffed Director of Product Development.

Contact a StayStaffed representative now for a 20-minute VMS demonstration to learn how we can streamline your IT staffing. Phone (800) 585-1710 to talk to learn more.

Source: Closing the IT Talent Gap in Health Care

Date posted: July 1, 2013 in contingent staffing | Information Technology | recruitment process outsourcing | vendor management systems | workforce management | EHR | Healthcare Recruitment | IT industry jobs | IT Recruiting | IT talent gap | Managed Service Provider | Recruitment Process Outsourcing | Vendor Management Systems | VMS solutions for healthcare employers | workforce recruitment solution |