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Float Pools- Are they working the way you expect?

Posted by Tim Teague on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 @ 10:51 AM

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If your float pool or staffing bank is not providing the results you need, you are not alone. One of the great challenges in the acute care setting is the ability to meet the challenge of daily staffing expectations. Two of the major drivers in this challenge can be the random “call-offs” in an already short-staffed cost center, coupled with a census that is becoming more and more volatile.

From a budgetary perspective, what I call “just-in-time” decisions for staffing don’t seem too onerous on that day, but as days turn to weeks, and weeks to months, these daily “quick fixes” can grow out of control.

Just as I tell my kids to scrape the last bit of peanut butter from the jar before throwing it away, too many staffing departments are “buying” new jars before they have truly utilized what is available.

The solution to maximizing a float pool is most often a technical solution. There are a few basic questions that can determine if the float pool is really being maximized.

During the development of the pool, were all affiliated offices, facilities, and units informed of the intent?

  • Are there any “crossover” competencies from participants that might be of use? (Maybe an L&D nurse has had come ED experience.)
  • Is there a true “search and find” function that quickly uncovers all possible matches that include-
    1. Availability (granular down to the hours available)
    2. Matching competencies
    3. Current credentials
    4. Location (within established distances)
    5. Prior experience and amount of time worked (if any) in the requesting unit.
  • Is there a true “interactive” system of delivery and response to needs that incudes text message response to accept or reject?

We find that those facilities that are answering “yes” to these questions are truly “getting every last bit of peanut butter” from the jar and are maximizing available resources while minimizing cost.

Tags: Healthcare, medical staffing, VMS, hospital float pool,, staffing

Customize your VMS Portals

Posted by Tim Teague on Mon, Jul 20, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

Today, businesses require customizable and efficient workflow, especially for healthcare-staffing VMS portals.

The early days of the VMS/MSP penetration into the healthcare staffing industry, thfeatures-news1e choices were pretty vanilla. While purchasing departments had been using the process for everything from syringes to bed linens, the management of outsourced personnel was slower to catch on. Much of the hesitation was the minimal amount of documentation available in most systems for the extensive list of credentials, work histories and any Joint Commission required documentation.

Early examples of the system were simple pass-throughs of time and attendance with minimal information regarding the actual temp. The acquisition of a commodity such as syringes could be easily identified with a few required specifications. The number of requirements for personnel, however, was so complex that part of the process was usually handled outside the VMS application.

As the industry has become more sophisticated, most of the criteria for personnel have been added to the applications via portals that are viewable at the client end.

BlueSky has taken this one step further to allow subcontractors to “customize” their portal, and even allow for the end client to customize their portal to look and feel the way they want.  Although BlueSky provides a simple plug-and-play template for the VMS application, there are actually over 2,100 variable permissions that may be customized to better meet the client, or subcontractors’ needs.

Tags: VMS, MSP, hospital float pool,