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Posted by Sarah Ramsey

  • Jun 24, 2021

Drivers Behind Healthcare Workforce Technology Investment Growth

 The healthcare workforce accounts for more than 54-70 percent of operating costs on average for healthcare organizations. Since it is a significant cost, healthcare executives continue to focus on strategies to optimize their workforce in order to reduce costs and enhance productivity. Investing in staffing technology continues to be a key strategy for savings opportunities and to improve ROI.

According to a recent survey by Staffing Industry Analysts, technology investment has been the largest investment category for staffing suppliers that want to stay competitive. Couple this with COVID layoffs, COVID recovery and the need for employees to be more efficient to control overhead, automation is a crucial reason behind these technology investments.


What is driving these investments?

The healthcare workforce management is much easier said than done. Between managing credentials, privileges, multi-location staffing and multiple provider relationships, a sophisticated approach is required to manage this effectively. Technology that was sufficient in a simpler environment is not competitive today. Deploying the right technologies with an emphasis on automation and collaboration are crucial.


The past year, especially, has seen drastic swings in demand and severe supply limitations---creating a competitive bidding market for some healthcare specialties. Organizations that do not innovate by investing in technology will not survive. Here are only a few ways investments in technology can improve the bottom line:

  • Efficiencies: automation not only improves speed but also eliminates redundant processes

  • Improved visibility

  • Regulatory compliance/risk mitigation

  • Decentralized workforce management

  • Process efficiencies through automation

  • Quality improvements

  • Speed of talent engagement

The key drivers of the adoption of technology for healthcare organizations today are the following:


Gig economy

The gig economy has created an extended workforce using 3rd party and casual providers. A successful platform must be able to identify and manage workers across a large and ever-changing sourcing universe. The best systems create collaboration and visibility across variable relationship sources: direct sourcing, casual relationships, gig communities and of course, agency suppliers.


Intelligent technologies that connect with other platforms

The VMS/ staffing supplier management market has grown over the past decade to now become a $170B market in spend under management. What started as a convenient way to store contingent worker contracts, data and assignment related information has evolved to cross into the ERP services. For an organization to manage the variability of human capital and the ever increasing need for qualified talent, vendor management systems no longer pick up where your ATS left off. The best systems are now able to support a candidate database along with the ability to communicate with internal team members and external staffing agencies; and most importantly, seamlessly manage scheduling, time-keeping and payroll reporting.


Technology adapting to the changing workforce dynamics

The emerging generation of VMS platforms are improving to address emerging trends in workforce engagement. Technology and automation can boost productivity as well as engage peripheral, non-traditional candidate channels. Staffing shortages require support from 3rd party staffing and the best tools on the market create collaborative environments between internal and external organizations. Many traditional VMS technologies have been rendered obsolete because they cannot offer this flexibility.

How can workforce technologies help? 

From giving staffing agencies a better understanding of their available resources to scheduling providers in the most optimal assignments, workforce technologies improve staffing agencies in the following ways:


Optimizing productivity and existing provider relationships

Enterprise wide systems give visibility to all provider relationships while it automates scheduling and speeds coverage fulfillment by enabling providers to supply their work availability.

Sharing provider resources across facilities

They maximize existing provider relationships across your enterprise. Many times physicians seek locums/moonlighting shifts outside their primary organization due to lack of visibility. By using technology to create collaboration and automate communication and approvals, medical groups are able to provide additional opportunities to current provider relationships across their facilities. By leveraging existing providers, the culture is strengthened and overall care is improved.

Better management of open shifts

Census surges, PTO, unscheduled absences, and quarantine call-offs create huge care challenges. The right technology with simple mobile tools to communicate with providers enable organizations to move quickly with responses, which is much faster than emails, phone calls or texts.
Integrated compliance, credentials and skills tracking 

The need to leverage provider skills across variable departments was especially visible during the pandemic. Modern workforce platforms enable administrators to set broader requirements. The right scheduling technology will help identify additional provider sets and create matches to augment staffing challenges.


A new technology

Healthcare workforce needs are changing at a rapid pace---and organizations of all sizes are evolving to adopt technologies that improve their efficiency. Have you invested in the right technologies that will not only help you stay relevant, but gain a competitive edge in a supply constrained staffing market?

Another study by SIA (Staffing Industry Analysts) identified key areas for VMS success. Does your VMS software provide these features? 

  • Mobile apps for providers AND managers/approvers - no one works at a desk anymore!

  • Predictive spend analytics

  • Automated payroll calculations

  • Integration with other software to reduce redundant data entry

  • Direct shift scheduling

  • Intelligent AI

Kimedics’ software manages your vendor relationships in addition to communicating and scheduling directly with providers from all sources. It allows direct hire and other direct providers to manage their documents, availability and time directly in the application without the need for emails, texts or other outdated methods of communication.


Interested in learning more about how Kimedics can improve your workforce management? Request more information.