Engaging Contingents Amid Healthcare Innovation

man with ipadPatients are using technology for health-related reasons at home, and forward-thinking physician practices and hospitals are incorporating digital technologies into how they deliver patient care. Cutting-edge technologies such as iPad passports, which guide patients through the hospital or make it easy to view test results as soon as they become available, are available in a growing number of hospitals.

With this greater emphasis on technology, IT workers are in high demand. But flexible strategies, such as an increased reliance on contingent workers, can bring challenges:

  • Contractors often fall under procurement’s domain while the HR department has responsibility for permanent workers. This silo approach can inhibit visibility into resources and available expertise.
  • Organizations may want to act quickly when they find individuals with the right skill set at the right cost, but this can result in contractors not being fully vetted, exposing the business to co-employment or other risks.
  • Large hospital or healthcare organizations may work with several vendors and have contingent workers at multiple facilities. If contractor management is decentralized, it can result in inefficient or inconsistent business processes that create security risks.

Managing the contingent workforce through a comprehensive vendor management system (VMS) can help standardize processes, provide insight in talent for informed decision-making and bring additional efficiencies.  With greater visibility, organizations can better manage contractor spend, compliance, and risk.

How can healthcare organizations best leverage the contingent workforce as part of the overall human capital management strategy?

Expand access to skills that support innovation. Hospital organizations rely on technology for more than just infrastructure and operations support. While permanent staff may be familiar with legacy systems, they may not have the time or expertise to develop a mobile app or learn HTML5. The right VMS system can help organizations ensure they have the right resource for innovative projects as well as provide insight into recruiting metrics.

Ensure key knowledge doesn’t walk out the door. Documenting how work gets done ensures the organization remains in compliance with labor laws as well as the right balance of contingent and permanent staff so they don’t lose access to key expertise.

Standardize processes and facilitate compliance. A vendor management system can help healthcare organizations implement consistent policies and processes. For example, ensuring contractors are educated on how to process work and comply with HIPAA standards to protect confidential patient data. It can also ensure all workers complete appropriate background screens and other onboarding requirements prior to the start date or that offboarding activities are consistent from facility to facility.

Create fair opportunity to work on the “best” projects. Research shows that keeping employees engaged and motivated requires offering challenging projects and opportunities. However, if perception is that the choice projects are always given to contractors, it may result in disengagement or loss of top talent. Using a VMS, employers can get insight into the type of talent working on a particular project. Not only does this ensure they are offering interesting opportunities to permanent staff, but it gives the MSP an opportunity to expand the type of contractor they provide.

Responding to new technology initiatives requires sourcing in different ways. Whether it’s standardizing processes, implementing best practices or leveraging rates across vendors, a vendor management system can help hospitals and healthcare organizations efficiently and effectively manage the contingent workforce to reach their goal of improving the delivery of care to patients.

Tom Tisdale
Tom Tisdale is senior vice president of sales at Peoplefluent. He can be reached at tom.tisdale (at) peoplefluent (dot) com.

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2 comments
barsharanijena
barsharanijena

The right VMS system can help organizations ensure they have the right resource for innovative projects as well as provide insight into recruiting metrics.

 PBX
PBX

There have been many changes in the medical services industry in which I was startled when I saw an app for our local hospital services under the apple app store.

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