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.
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.
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.
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.
Kaufman Hall, a well-known management consulting firm, and Syntellis, a healthcare data and intelligence solution organization, released the January 2023 National Hospital Flash Report. The insight provided in the report combines 2022 operating performance data from 900 hospitals nationwide. The National Hospital Flash report is intended to provide healthcare organizations with a granular view of how they are operating in everchanging market conditions with the hopes of providing insight to inspire solutions to hospital financial and operational challenges.
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.
Are you paying market rates for Locums? Or are you overpaying? If you are negotiating rates with agencies individually and without the benefit of a competitive process you are most likely overpaying. The reality is that most health systems do not do a great job ensuring that they are competitive in the marketplace and not being overcharged for fees and conversions.
100% FILL RATE AND SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS IN CONTINGENT STAFFING: HOW A 330+ BED HOSPITAL SAVED TIME AND MONEY WHILE INCREASING QUALITY (CASE STUDY)
Front line managers at SwedishAmerican Hospital reported that their antiquated systems and inconsistent process for securing temporary staff was “a nightmare.” Since partnering with HWL, leadership reports that “the change in process is like night and day.”
Definition: Vendor Neutrality...
...is a business and design approach that seeks to ensure broad compatibility and interchangeability of vendors and technologies. The model encompasses standardization, non-proprietary design principles, and unbiased business practices.
A couple of weeks from now in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA (yes I mean that... have you been lately?) healthcare HR leaders from around the country will gather to discuss topics like compensation, labor law, benefits communication, recruiting and depression in the workplace (yes, sadly it exists).