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An Innovative Workforce Solution to Change the Way Healthcare Organizations Staff Their Hospitals

Kaiser Health News (KHN) shared the news in December that a new workforce solution has attracted the eyes of leadership at many large healthcare organizations across the nation. An increasing number of health systems and medical facilities are creating internal agencies to staff their centers that are struggling with tremendous gaps in their clinical staff and a heavy reliance on travel nurses to fill those gaps. The reliance on travel nurses has created contingent staff costs that have skyrocketed through using the traditional staffing model that healthcare staffing companies offer. Without any cap on what staffing agencies can charge for nurse coverage, hospitals have paid what was asked to avoid any interruption in the care at their facilities. The agency markups are becoming detrimental to the organizations that desperately look to them for nurses.

The internal agency, as Kaiser Health News describes, allows hospitals to streamline contingent nursing candidates directly through their hospital’s internal agency by listing the specific openings throughout the facilities on the internal agency landing page. Whether it be Medical Surgical or a Pediatric floor, nurses can apply on the agency’s site, speak directly to an in-house recruiter, apply, and accept contracts for any given duration of time. This process allows hospitals to supply transparent data to nurses seeking to sign on for contract work at their facility, while the hospital avoids the unsustainable agency fees associated with the traditional staffing model.

HWL is helping healthcare organizations in the United States not only with creating their own internal agency to post contract work, but also helping those same organizations to do so with significant savings. As Kaiser stated in their article, Squeezed by Temp Nurse Costs, Hospitals Systems Create Their Own Staffing Agencies, contract labor costs have inflated to nearly 500% since pre-pandemic months. Hospitals simply cannot continue to pay these prices to fill the holes in their workforce not knowing when the staffing crisis will end. The internal agency not only offers hospitals a chance to recover from strong hits to their workforce, but it also provides nurses with all the information they need upfront clearly and simplifies what can be an overly complicated and frustrating process for contract workers. The hospitals know what they are paying directly to the worker, and the contingent staff knows upfront what they are being compensated.

HWL has worked with large health systems in the last few years, developing internal agencies to leverage their facilities’ workforce and bring in new and quality candidates. These organizations have reported anywhere from 15-20% cost savings on their contingent staffing costs. Iroquois Healthcare Association (IHA), a regional healthcare trade organization representing more than 50 hospitals and health systems in Upstate New York, partnered with HWL to create an internal agency for participating members, leading to an average of 15% in cost savings, an improved and streamlined process for member hospitals, and reduced workload and time spent. Rural hospitals are forced to make decisions that could impact the services vital to their own community. These facilities are vital to the small communities in which they reside. Augusta University Medical Center, Director of Business Operations for PCA Administration, can testify to the relief that the internal agency has provided their organization. “Through innovation, deep expertise, and robust technology, HWL developed and deployed a turnkey internal staffing program that aligned with our objectives to improve AUH brand recognition and significantly cut our contingent labor costs, while sustainably meeting our staffing needs.”

Senior Director of Quality and Patient Safety Policy at the American Hospital Association, Akin Demehin, stated in the article by KHN, that “Such work flexibility is a key draw for nurses.” The flexibility, transparency, and overall ease of the process, make this staffing model approach a win for all.

To learn more about how HWL can help your organization create and manage an internal agency to lower contingent labor costs and streamline onboarding, contact us at info@hwlmsp.com or fill in the form below.



“Squeezed by Temp Nurse Costs, Hospital Systems Create Their Own Staffing Agencies.” Kaiser Health News, 15 Dec. 2022, https://khn.org/news/article/squeezed-by-temp-nurse-costs-hospital-systems-create-their-own-staffing-agencies/. Accessed 9 Jan. 2023.

January 24, 2023/By Ciara Endicott
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Author: Ciara Endicott

Ciara Endicott is currently a Marketing Specialist with HWL. Before coming to HWL, Ciara previously worked with a prominent and influential oncology practice in Arizona, overseeing the Integrative Oncology Patient Support Services marketing and communications. She also worked for a large radiology practice where she planned nationwide recruiting events for physicians. With over 7 years of marketing experience, Ciara has been an integral part of creating social media and blog content for healthcare organizations. Ciara enjoys the creative opportunities that marketing offers and enjoys her current role with HWL because she believes in their commitment to proactively working to improve healthcare staffing across the country.
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