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Maximizing Healthcare Operations: Unveiling the Potential of Local Insourced Flex Teams

Is your organization in need of a LIFT (Local Insourced Flex Team)?

In today's healthcare environment, characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, fixed payor systems, rising supply chain costs, and constant change have become the norm. Moreover, in the aftermath of the pandemic, a significant portion of the healthcare workforce is expressing exhaustion, burnout, and even contemplating leaving the profession due to the lack of flexibility in scheduling and insufficient time for rest and recovery. Couple this with the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation, which will increase the demand for healthcare services, and it becomes clear that operational excellence in leveraging workforce resources is crucial for sustaining quality service delivery to the community.

While some healthcare systems are forced to scale back services, others are embracing innovative solutions that enable them to interact with their workforce differently and develop programs they've never offered before. One such solution gaining traction is the establishment of Local Insourced Flex Teams (LIFT), a holistic approach that optimizes human capital to achieve the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's quadruple aim: improving staff and patient experiences, reducing healthcare costs, and enhancing the health of the population served.

At the core of LIFT lies the recognition that to thrive in modern healthcare, organizations must align processes, people, and technology. Successful implementation of LIFT not only contributes to operational excellence by creating cost savings through the reduction of outsourced staffing needs but also meets the needs and desires of the talent market by providing increased schedule flexibility, access to gig work engagements within healthcare systems, and compensation that rewards agility to organizational needs.

Cost Efficiency:

One of the primary benefits of implementing LIFT is immediate cost savings. By insourcing the contingent workforce, healthcare systems can avoid the premium hourly bill rates associated with external contract labor. This cost avoidance translates into significant savings, enabling organizations to allocate resources more effectively, reinvest in their core workforce, and enhance financial resilience.


In the ever-changing healthcare landscape, adaptability is crucial. LIFT provides the flexibility needed to rapidly respond to workforce shrinkage and fluctuations in patient volumes. By maintaining a readily available pool of resources, organizations can ensure the dispatch of staff to areas of greatest need, thus maintaining optimal levels of care more consistently.

Enhanced Resource Utilization:

LIFT ensures the mobilization of the right clinician to the right place at the right time. By strategically deploying resources based on patient needs and staffing requirements, healthcare systems can maximize resource utilization, improve efficiency, and reduce waste.

Streamlined Operations:

Centralized workforce management under the LIFT model leads to smoother operations, standardized decision-making processes, and quicker resolution of resource-related issues. This not only enhances efficiency but also improves overall organizational performance and enables greater transparency regarding resource allocation.

Enhanced Patient Experience:

By ensuring the availability of staffing resources, LIFT can enhance the overall patient experience by supporting appropriate nurse staffing levels, thus allowing nurses to deliver high-quality care. Studies have shown that consistently well-staffed units tend to have higher patient satisfaction scores, underscoring the importance of adequate staffing in delivering quality care.

Consistent Quality of Care:

Effective management and distribution of workforce resources ensure that every department and unit have appropriate staffing levels to maintain consistent levels of safe patient care. Studies have shown that optimizing the workforce often leads to decreases in hospital-acquired infections, falls, skin breakdowns, and incidences of readmission, ultimately resulting in improved patient outcomes.

In summary, establishing an internal resource pool via HWL’s LIFT model is imperative for modern healthcare systems to avoid over-reliance on externally sourced premium cost contract labor. Beyond cost savings, LIFT represents a commitment to delivering consistent, high-quality patient care while fostering a better working environment for healthcare professionals. By implementing LIFT's innovative model, healthcare organizations can elevate their standard of operations and position their workforce for resilience and sustainability in the face of evolving challenges.

March 28, 2024/By Amanda Wheeler, RN, BSN, MBA
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Author: Amanda Wheeler, RN, BSN, MBA

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.
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