Evaluating Healthcare Staffing Software – Part 2: Establish a Review Committee

162487076Before selecting a healthcare staffing solution, it is important to know if the solution – or a combination of solutions – will be able to serve all departments within your agency.  Developing a diverse review committee, comprised of various department representatives, will help ensure a robust solution that meets needs across the organization.

Creating an Effective Review Committee
Review committee participants should include members from executive management, scheduling, compliance, finance, sales and marketing. Along with representing your internal departments, the committee members should represent different buyer roles; technical buyer, user buyer, financial buyer and executive buyer.  Meeting routinely to define the “must have” requirements from the “nice to have” non-essential components is recommended to keep the scope and budget on track.

Essential Vendor Evaluation Criteria
The entire committee should also participate in vendor demonstrations and evaluation. Upon viewing software solution demonstrations, committee members should consider all aspects necessary for a successful vendor selection. Essential criteria include:

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  • Stability – How long has the vendor been in business? Are they financially stable? How many staff members do they employ? Will they be able to support your organizational needs?
  • Experience – Does the vendor service your industry specifically, or do they try to be everything to everyone? Who are their existing clients? Do they work with some of the largest healthcare staffing agencies and will they be able to scale with your agency’s growth? Does the vendor speak the industry language and display industry knowledge during their discussions and demonstrations with your team? Do they understand your needs and work with you to discover the right solution for your organization?
  • Vision – What is their outlook for the future – both in development and market strategies? Can they provide you with future innovative solutions that will optimize your business performance and adapt to future challenges or needs of the industry?
  • Solutions – Do the vendor’s solutions focus on the core needs of your organizational departments (Recruiting, Sales, Finance, Compliance, and Scheduling)? Are the solutions able to flawlessly integrate and span the needs of all stakeholders?  If not, can they support 75 percent to 90 percent of your needs?
  • Price – Is your vendor competitively priced in the marketplace for the value their solutions provide. Read the previous sentence carefully. All too often, the value of software solutions are diminished by low-cost solutions that are perceived to provide the same benefits, but in reality are not industry-specific and only provide a fraction of the necessary services and technical support that your organization requires. Your vendor should know the differences between their software solutions and their counterparts in the industry and should be able to provide you with an “apples to apples” or “apples to oranges” comparison.

A word of caution: Although price is an important element, it is not the only one. It can be tempting to buy on price alone.  However, it’s important to know as a committee if you are interested in discovering the “right” software solution that will support your organizational requirements and the growth of your overall business.  When implementing software you truly do get what you pay for, and often a software vendor who comes in as the lowest bidder will come up short on their project management, solution capabilities and technical support services.

This is the second article in our series on Evaluating Healthcare Staffing Software.

MORE: Healthcare staffing competition is good, control by competitor MSP is bad

Mike Wejrowski

Mike Wejrowski
Mike Wejrowski is vice president and general manager – agency API Healthcare.

Mike Wejrowski

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