The healthcare recruitment landscape has changed drastically over the last decade; even more so in the last few years. With talent shortages, particularly in specialized practices, as well as an aging population, increasing demand for health services, and an ever-increasing skill gap, it comes as minimal surprise that the vast majority of healthcare facilities— around 84% — have used contingent labor/locum tenens at some point in the past year.
Locum tenens, also short-handedly referred to as locums, are physicians that temporarily fill staffing gaps whenever necessary. Conceived in the 1970s, locums originally filled staffing gaps in rural communities that didn't have great access to healthcare; but today, locums have become a mainstay in the healthcare space, utilized by all.
HWL Works is a holistic approach to healthcare staffing management that considers all of your business's goals, pain points, and everything in between. From a state-of-the-art vendor management system (VMS) platform, managed service program (MSP), and locums management services to helping you create an internal agency and source talent directly, our suite of workforce solutions helps you attain organizational imperatives.
Experts estimate that over 80% of businesses utilize a vendor management system (VMS) in some capacity, while only 71% of healthcare facilities use it. However, given the fact that around 90% of healthcare facilities utilize contingent labor, which has seen vast increases in reliance over the last few years, it may come as a surprise that more systems don't take advantage of a VMS.
The cost associated with premium contingent labor, like travel nurses, is always higher than salaried permanent nursing positions and coronavirus (COVID-19) exacerbated an already-significant situation by creating an environment in which these critical resources are in even higher demand. Recent estimates state
Every day, healthcare workers strive to provide the best possible care for patients. However, a growing crisis threatens their well-being and the quality of patient care. Recent research by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work reveals startling statistics: 73% of hospital workers who left their jobs cited understaffing as the primary reason, and a staggering 87% reported high levels of burnout.
The healthcare industry's staffing woes have been ongoing for decades, despite being exacerbated over the past few years. In 2017, the majority of the nursing workforce was at retirement age, with similar trends observed among physicians. Coupled with burnout and increased strain that became all too common during the pandemic, organizations big and small started to shift their hiring practices. More emphasis was put on contingent labor, which, while convenient, tends to be more expensive.
It is our absolute pleasure to introduce you to our newest team member, Melissa Evans, who joins us as the newest Vice President of Business Development. With an impressive track record in the industry and a wealth of experience, Melissa brings a fresh perspective and boundless enthusiasm to our team.
For better or worse, the world of locum tenens staffing is changing more rapidly than ever before.
Utilizing multiple locum agencies with individual contacts for each specialty can easily become overwhelming and impossible to manage. Due in part to a lack of advancement and modernization in locum tenens staffing over the last decade, many organizations are now seeking new ways to streamline the process.
Banner Health, regarded and recognized as a top health system in the country for the clinical quality consistently provided to patients in its hospitals, is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. The non-profit health system operates 30 hospitals, including three academic medical centers and other related health entities and services in six states. With over 52,000 employees and 5,000 providers, Banner Health is Arizona's largest private health system and the third largest employer in the Northern Colorado front-range area.
It is with immense pride and enthusiasm that we extend a heartfelt welcome to Tamara Miller, the latest addition to our HWL team as Vice President. With a career adorned with outstanding achievements and a profound dedication to the healthcare industry, her proven prowess in strategic solutions and business development is showcased through her role as Director of Strategic Solutions at Kirby Bates Associates, Orlando, where she orchestrated client-centered approaches, fostering growth and innovation. Previously, as Regional Sales Manager at Morgan Hunter Healthcare, Kansas City, Tamara displayed exceptional acumen in nurturing client relationships across six states, with a distinct focus on resolving EHR-based challenges.
The past few years have seen a large increase in the utilization of contingent workers. In fact, it's estimated that "the global contingent workforce industry generated $171.5 trillion in 2021 and is estimated to reach $465.2 trillion by 2031." In the healthcare space, around 90% of healthcare executives said they employ travel nurses within their organization in 2021.
It's no secret that the healthcare industry experienced unforeseen challenges that have driven innovation and adaptation in order to survive. Medical facilities have altered procedures and created new policies in order to accommodate massive influxes of patients and improve patient outcomes — but it certainly hasn't been easy, and there are still some common pain points that many organizations still deal with.
We are pleased to introduce Amanda Wheeler, RN, BSN, MBA, as HWL's new VP of InSourcing (IRP)! Amanda brings a wealth of experience in hospital workforce management, having played a key role in developing and implementing an Internal Resource Pool for WellStar Health System and Emory Healthcare. In addition, she has been a crucial stakeholder in managing contingent labor/MSP programs, standardizing and centralizing VMS, MSP, and internal staffing & scheduling solutions, and working closely with HR and Nursing leaders. Amanda is a member of several nursing associations, including Nursing & Healthcare Associations, and is Six Sigma Yellow Belt certified. Get to know Amanda below!
Healthcare has been undergoing major staffing upheavals for a very long time, even setting aside the exacerbations that have been felt over the past few years. But while some organizations have pivoted their strategies toward employee-centric retention and engagement models, others have struggled to retain costs.
The world of locum tenens is changing at a pace that most, if not all of us, probably have not seen in our careers. We are seeing many statements or surveys that show that upwards of 40-50%+ of all physicians and providers are doing or open to locums/moonlighting work, 30-40%+ are moving to a locums lifestyle for a work life balance or to supplement their income, and that certain specialties are seeing spikes in utilization so are creating crisis level coverage issues driving department/unit closures or diversion of services.
The past few years have taught healthcare organizations to expect the unexpected. While this is certainly easier said than done, one of the most effective ways to prepare for unseen threats is to develop a strategic plan that covers how to implement and manage a rapid response/surge staffing program.
Since the Coronavirus Pandemic, many healthcare organizations have turned to utilizing contingent staff to fill gaps wherever necessary. Despite the decrease in virus cases, it appears that contingent workers — particularly in nursing — are here to stay in the post-COVID era.
Bill Rates for travel healthcare professionals are beginning to stabilize for the first time since 2019. The immediate need for Registered Nurses (RN) at the beginning and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic put intense pressure on hospitals to fill vacancies, regardless of the hit their facilities took to their budget. Demand for staff during the pandemic skyrocketed, and most hospitals due to high vacancy rates of permanent staff needed to meet the demand by using outside staffing agencies. With few options hospitals turned to agencies to supply the nurses their hospitals so desperately needed. With bill rates rapidly increasing, questions began to swirl around what percent of bill rates are going to staff pay packages. The answers to those questions proved elusive.