Over the course of 2020, hospitals have increasingly relied on healthcare staffing companies to provide much-needed support for their exhausted and overstretched workers. Driven by the dual challenges of the recent COVID-19 surge—now averaging more than 200,000 new cases per day—and financial pressures stemming from the initial spread of the pandemic, the partnership between hospitals and healthcare staffing companies has evolved more rapidly in 2020 than ever before, as Chase Farmer and Amber Barna recently discussed with Modern Healthcare.
This year has taught us a lot about hospital staffing and managed services’ needs, as well as how shifting demands will impact hospitals’ 2021 planning. Here are three ways Medical Solutions is working with hospitals to solve their immediate staffing needs without compounding financial stress as we prepare for 2021:
Changes in staffing contracts: Staffing needs continue to fluctuate while margins remain tight due to lost revenue from decreased volumes of elective surgeries and emergent care. In response, Medical Solutions has made its contracts more flexible, allowing for 14-day cancellation windows instead of the 30-day industry standard.
This flexible contract model is due to COVID-19, as the days of hospitals requesting 3-5 travelers for an assignment are behind us; hospitals now are asking for upwards of 75 travelers per assignment. Hospitals are increasingly searching for more flexible solutions—such as contracts or per diem labor—to fill between 15-30% of positions and avoid being locked into the costs associated with recruiting and hiring a permanent employee. Implementing a flexible contract plan is one way that we are able to meet the needs of the current times.
Accelerated onboarding process: The average place-to-start time for a traveler has been reduced significantly to meet immediate staffing needs. Once considered an accelerated place-to-start time frame, 14 days has become a new reality.
To lessen the burden on their staff, hospitals need healthcare staffing companies to expedite the onboarding process and provide travelers with thorough education, including timely updates on COVID-19 regulations and restrictions, so they can start their assignments as quickly as possible. Medical Solutions connects with hospitals and various agencies to stay informed of regulations and restrictions for hospital staff, so our travelers are equipped with the proper insight and guidance to start their assignments as quickly as possible.
Receiving outside expertise: With critical information on COVID-19 being discovered in real-time, hospitals’ staffing needs no longer can be projected through historical data models. Instead, hospitals are tapping the expertise of healthcare staffing companies, such as Medical Solutions, due to our unique position in the market that allows us to communicate daily with clinical leads, CNOs, CMOs, boards of nursing and other decision-makers at hospitals across the country. On any given day, the Medical Solutions team is communicating with nearly two-thirds of the nation’s hospitals and acting as a repository for information on shifting staffing demands across geographies. This allows hospitals to make informed long-term staffing decisions (some through 2021), while avoiding potential last-minute needs and the financial burden that comes with them.
If you are interested in learning more about our services and how we are working with hospitals to solve their staffing needs without adding financial stress, you can contact our team online or call us directly at 1-866-633-3548.