Selecting the right software solution(s) for your healthcare staffing agency can be a daunting task. After all, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Your purchasing decision could ultimately determine the successful, or unsuccessful, outcome for your business. Therefore, your decision should be made with careful thought, evaluation and consideration.
Purchasing software is a process. Regardless of whether your agency is a startup or a successful enterprise agency, it is important to understand the daily tasks, activities and core business functions your organization will need to address with the new system. Prior to investigating a software solution, your evaluation team should itemize any business process issues that need to be addressed, the daily functions that need to be automated, the budget available for software, and the target implementation timeframe.
Fortunately, I have the pleasure of speaking with many agency owners and officers throughout the business day. Agencies of all sizes agree that the following business areas should be considered when evaluating a new solution for their healthcare staffing business:
- Web-based recruiting and onboarding of new healthcare professionals – Your agency should be constantly seeking new talent to join your team. This will involve capturing the healthcare professionals’ demographics, skills assessments, clinical competencies, and numerous employment documents. In today’s fast-paced and competitive environment, capturing these data points and securing an electronic signature will dramatically increase your recruiting percentages.
- Capture Availability – When will your healthcare professionals be available to work; which shifts, what hours, which days, for which hospitals, for which departments?
- Placement Options – Which professionals are listed as DNR (do not return) or DNW (do not work). Do they prefer per diem or long-term assignments? Are there compliance restrictions?
- Scheduling – Match the right healthcare professionals to the right job based on credentials and availability. Track call-offs, turned down shifts and manage confirmations.
- Compliance – Are your healthcare professionals compliant with state, agency, Joint Commission and client requirements? We live in a litigious society – having a compliance management strategy for your agency is an essential and crucial part of your business.
- Payroll & Invoicing – Your healthcare staffing software should provide your finance team with the ability to process accurate payroll & invoicing (hourly rates, weekend rates, holiday rates, OT, split shifts, lunch, etc.). You should have flexibility with invoice layouts and the ability to integrate with your back office solutions (QuickBooks, Peachtree, MAS 90, MAS 500, Great Plains, JD Edwards, etc.) or payroll processing services (ADP, Paychex, or local payroll services).
- Reporting – Your organization will need the ability to review results and respond accordingly. Understand the metrics you will need to measure in your business, review results daily and weekly, and take action to ensure optimal performance. Do not settle for excuses when it comes to the accuracy of your data – “if it isn’t entered into the system, then it does not exist.” Reports should be in real-time. These will replace the whiteboards, paper schedules and guarded staffing notes that are stored only in the head of your staffing specialists.
Again, there are many capabilities, features and benefits to consider when evaluating software solution providers. Additional considerations are discussed in Part 2 and Part 3 of this series. Stay tuned!
This is the first article in our series on “Evaluating Healthcare Staffing Software.” Subscribe to our blog to receive the latest posts.