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Key Benefits of Internal Resource Pool Management


Internal resource pools (IRP) have become a staple in successful healthcare talent management strategies for organizations big and small. Also referred to as float pools, IRPs act as a database of contingent staff to help manage their credentials, schedules, and more. With each employees' information stored in one location, facilities can fill openings on short notice, improve patient outcomes, contribute to their talent retention efforts, and more.

Here we'll go over some of the main benefits that IRP management strategies have and why you should have one if you don't already.


Internal Resource Pool Management vs Traditional Staffing Methods

Before we dive into a more detailed analysis of IRP benefits, let's compare and contrast them to traditional staffing methods:



Traditional Methods


  • Minimal overtime costs
  • Reduced external agency reliance
  • Time saving scheduling
  • Reliance on external agencies — pay what they demand
  • Inefficient staff utilization


  • Dynamic schedules can change based on needs
  • Analytics dashboard that tracks resource allocation
  • Set schedules with minimal flexibility
  • Hard to adapt to new needs (e.g., patient influxes, surge staffing)


  • Centralized, digital database
  • Can include internal or contingent employees
  • All contingent workers
  • Some agencies have specializations, but most concentrate on general staff

Traditional methods, such as the master vendor model, rely on a singular agency for all staffing needs, which hinders the ability to find workers in specialized medicine; or at the very least, they will come at a premium price. Additionally, traditional methods are generally slow moving, meaning it will be difficult (if not impossible) to fill gaps on short notice. 

Internal resource pools, on the other hand, are mainly focused on making the most out of existing internal workforces. When coupled with a vendor management service (VMS) and/or managed service program (MSP), you can leverage both internal and external teams to fill immediate needs on short notice. This enhanced flexibility allows you to be more efficient with internal teams, while becoming more cost efficient with the external ones.

Related reading: How to Develop and Make the Most of Your IRP


Benefits of Internal Resource Pool Management


Enhanced Staff Utilization and Resource Allocation

Through the enhanced visibility that is enabled by real-time dashboards and centralized data about each employee, oversight efforts become more streamlined. You'll be able to determine where staff are being over- or underutilized, where extra resources need to be allocated, and more. 

Additionally, since an IRP can broadcast open shifts via mobile app, text, or email, you'll be able to flexibly schedule based on in-the-moment needs rather than routine. Staff have the option to filter open shifts by day, time, location, department, and more, making it easy to find qualified staff on little-to-no notice.

Ultimately, improved internal staff utilization helps reduce overhead costs; and with minimal scheduling disruptions, patient outcomes improve.


Employee Satisfaction

The World Health Organization estimates that by 2030 there will be a global shortage of 14 million healthcare workers. In an age where employee retention has become a recruitment strategy, keeping your workforce satisfied is key. But wages aren't the only important part of this satisfaction — passive benefits such as work-life balance and flexible scheduling are top priorities for job seekers. In fact, recent studies conclude that the main determinants for retention were overall job satisfaction, career development, and work-life balance. 

Luckily, IRPs enable this flexibility seamlessly. Real-time analytics dashboards, credentials management, and performance evaluations allow you to determine which workers are qualified for each opening. Broadcasting open shifts digitally allows staff to make their own schedules with the click of a button. This gives each team member more agency in their day, making them feel empowered to decide for themselves which shifts they take.


Cost Containment

IRPs offer cost containment benefits, both directly and indirectly. By sourcing talent from an internal resource pool, you reduce reliance on contingent staff and external agencies. Clinicians will still earn a competitive wage, but the overall cost to the organization will be lower. This leads into some of the main indirect cost containment benefits, mainly attracting top talent through competitive wage structures and retaining key talent. 


HWL Works to Implement Your IRP

It's no secret that reducing labor spend is among healthcare organizations' top priorities. Contingent labor costs have been skyrocketing since the early days of the pandemic, and due to several factors, has not shown any signs of slowing down. The fact of the matter is that travel staff are a built-in cost of doing business — which is why so many facilities are taking a closer look at workforce solutions such as IRPs to contain costs. IRPs help to optimize the staff that you do have already, without spending more on external agencies.

HWL provides a suite of healthcare workforce solutions like helping build IRPs, MSPs, VMS, advisory services, and more. Whatever your staffing woes bring, we can craft a custom-tailored solution that will help you meet organizational imperatives without overspending.

Get in touch to find out more or check out some of the links below to find out what our clients have to say!

June 28, 2024/By Jeff Niles
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Author: Jeff Niles

Jeff is Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Healthcare Workforce Logistics and has been in healthcare contingent workforce management for over 15 years. Jeff has led sales, implementation, and client services to some of the largest and most influential healthcare providers with technology and solutions installed in over 3,000 hospitals in 50 states and the UK. Jeff is inspired to work with transformational leaders that have a vision to achieve the highest levels of efficiency, transparency, compliance, quality and cost savings. Contact Jeff at jniles@hwlmsp.com OR 630-913-6629
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