Lee Health is among the most extensive not-for-profit public health systems in the United States, with over 950 primary and specialty care physicians and advanced practitioners serving patients across Southwest Florida in more than 100 practice locations.
Since 2020, Lee Health has been grappling with a surge in demand for travel nurses due to the pandemic, further compounded by Hurricane Ian and continuing until early 2023. In response, Lee Health's leadership team recognized the need for a new staffing model that included an innovative technology platform capable of providing market and bill rate trend transparency, customized reporting, and efficient workforce management.
HWL responded to Lee Health's request for information and was subsequently selected for an onsite meeting. During the meeting, HWL representatives demonstrated the platform and reviewed Lee Health's specific needs. Both teams collaborated on a plan to manage the existing contingent staff and build a funnel to direct source workers.
Lee Health’s Chief People Officer, Mike Wukitsch, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, elaborated on what Lee hoped to gain in the partnership with HWL. “Lee Health was looking to harness the power of market intelligence to lower costs yet maintain the exceptional quality of our staff. The insights we gained through HWL have seamlessly integrated into our overall workforce plan, helping us reduce agency utilization and costs and ultimately achieve a remarkable reduction in bill rates. We have ignited healthy competition and driven down bill rates across the board while enjoying the transparency of market intelligence with zero administration burden.”
To attract healthcare workers, Lee Health would require direct visibility into market rates to set competitive rates and respond to usage patterns accordingly. Additionally, managing contract labor was a time-consuming process that required significant administrative support. Therefore, Lee Health's VMS platform had to manage the contract labor efficiently and alleviate the heavy administrative burden on their Staffing Resource Center and Human Resources.
HWL transferred and implemented the existing MSP and collaborated with Lee Health to develop a private-label internal agency named TraveLee Health Staffing to bring in directly sourced contingent labor. Lee Health and HWL worked together to create customized processes and real-time reporting to attract contingent workers on assignment and convert those workers through Lee's branded agency. The HWL platform helped Lee Health manage existing and incoming contingent workers, including credentialing and onboarding, while also improving screening and onboarding workflows, ensuring compliance, and streamlining timekeeping, invoicing, and reporting processes.
HWL's tool provided market rate insights to help Lee Health set competitive rates and drive down rates that had been trending upward since 2020. The direct visibility into regional, state, and national trending market rates for contingent labor enabled Lee Health to set competitive rates, attract workers, and fill assignments at their facilities.
With advanced technology and Lee’s branded agency, Lee Health experienced increased fill rates and start rates while increasing competition and reducing bill rates without the added administrative burden. HWL's technology provided real-time visibility into contingent staff across all disciplines, nationally, regionally, and locally.
Lee Health experienced an overall rate reduction to pre-pandemic levels while improving its compliance rate to 93%, with 96% of all candidates filling vacancies within the system.
Lee Health's partnership with HWL is a testament to the power of technology in transforming workforce management in the healthcare industry. By leveraging HWL's platform, Lee Health has reduced costs, improved compliance, and attracted top talent, ensuring they continue to provide high-quality care to their patients.
Lee Health's successful implementation of HWL's workforce management solution sets a model for other healthcare organizations seeking to optimize their contingent workforce processes and achieve cost savings. HWL's platform provides a comprehensive solution that addresses the critical challenges healthcare providers face in managing their contingent labor.