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2016 Healthcare Staffing Summit

Attend this year's networking event and discuss with other professionals how the results of the 2016 election will affect the healthcare staffing industry.

Attend this year’s networking event and discuss with other professionals how the results of the 2016 election will affect the healthcare staffing industry.

Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2016 Healthcare Staffing Summit is just a few weeks away! The annual conference will be held November 8-10, at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The theme of this year’s summit, “New Directions in a New Era” will fittingly focus on the future of the Affordable Healthcare Act, and how the aftermath of the 2016 elections will impact the healthcare staffing industry. According to SIA President Barry Asin, this networking event promises to be exciting because, “we have one candidate who has vowed to extend the ACA, and another who is looking to repeal it.”

If you plan to attend, you can expect to hear from several keynote speakers, including Governor Howard Dean, M.D., and Governor Michael Leavitt. With backgrounds in government and healthcare, both men are uniquely suited to speak to the nation’s political situation and the current challenges facing the healthcare industry.

It’s not too late to register! For more information about the 2016 Healthcare Staffing Summit, click here.

Will you be at this year’s summit? If so, let us know what topics or discussions you are most excited to learn about in the comment section!


Travel Nurses Day 2016 is Almost Here!


Travel Nurses Day comes just once a year! So show appreciation for your facility’s Travel Nurses this October 14th!

Travel Nurses are true heroes in the healthcare field. They’ve reduced the amount of stress on your permanent staff, helped increased staff morale, and as a result, helped prevent nurse burnout.

If you have Travel Nurses at your facility, now is the perfect time to recognize their efforts. Travel Nurses Day is Friday, October 14th.  Created by Medical Solutions in 2013, this annual holiday celebrates the hardworking spirit of Travel Nurses everywhere.

So what can you do to show a little Travel Nurse appreciation? You could send your Travel Nurses a card, buy them a coffee, or just simply throw in an extra “thank you” or “Happy Travel Nurses Day!” the next time you see them.

Even better, you can tell them about, where they can play games, enter contests, or take quizzes to win some amazing prizes, including:

  • A Fitbit Blaze
  • Shiatsu Back Massager
  • $130 Alegria gift cards
  • $120 Dansko gift cards
  • $75 Inkkas gift cards
  • Dickies scrub set
  • Artifact tote bag
  • JBL Clip+ Splashproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Your Travel Nurses will be touched that you thought of them when you share this information. After all, everybody loves to be appreciated! We wish you and your Travel Nurses a Happy Travel Nurses Day!

Click here to learn more about Travel Nurses Day!


Top 5 Trends Reshaping the Healthcare Industry

According to a recent study. the shift from volume to value-based care will have the biggest impact on the healthcare industry in the next decade.

A recent Healthcare Finance News article highlighted the findings from a PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute study, which included the top 5 trends reshaping the healthcare industry today. We’ve listed them here for your reading pleasure:

  1. A Shift from Volume to Value-Based Care: The healthcare industry is transitioning to a value-based care method, where patients are provided with a continuation of care across the healthcare system. According to Healthcare Finance News this trend will “have an immediate impact on the healthcare industry.”
  1. Wellness and Health Management: The HRI study found that our healthcare system is also moving toward an emphasis on wellness and prevention, which allows patients to be more active participants in their own care. The popularity of Fitbits, shifts in the American diet, and even employer-driven wellness programs are all examples of this movement in action, according to Healthcare Finance News.
  1. Consumerism: Patients are now acting more like consumers as they shop around for healthcare providers. The study also noted that this trend can lead to revenue growth in the industry as consumers are steered toward more convenient and more efficient healthcare options.
  1. System decentralization: More patients are now seeking virtual care, remote patient monitoring, and visiting retail clinics in higher numbers.
  1. Technological advances and digitization: The HRI reported that 3-D printing, machine learning, and the use of digital health data will likely help advance the healthcare industry to be more efficient and effective in the long run.

Click here to read the full article from Healthcare Finance News.


ANA New Nurse Managers Workshop: Your Roadmap to Success

Brush up on your leadership and communication skills at ANA's New Nurse Managers Workshop this November.

Brush up on your leadership skills at ANA’s New Nurse Managers Workshop this November. The new class is designed to help nurse leaders transition from bedside to boardroom.

Many times, nurses are promoted to the manager level with little to no previous experience in leadership roles. In some cases, nurse managers can end up feeling overwhelmed and overworked, which can trickle down to their nursing staff.

So, in an effort to educate new nurse managers nationwide, the American Nurses Association is launching a new two-day seminar, called “New Nurse Managers Workshop: Your Roadmap to Success” on November 7th and 8th in Silver Spring, Maryland.  This class aims to arm nurse managers with the necessary leadership and business skills they need to succeed.

According to the ANA’s Leadership Institute website, at the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Synthesize essential skills of nursing leadership and their impact on staff and the work environment
  • Translate performance gaps into implementation strategies
  • Design a roadmap to achieve leadership success
  • Describe key competencies for nursing managers

Keynote speakers Joyce Batcheller, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN and Rose Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN will cover a range of topics and issues facing nurse leaders today, including nurse fatigue, budgeting, staffing concerns, communication skills, and leadership roles.

If you or someone on your hospital staff would like to learn more about this workshop, click here.


Travelers Conference 2016: 3 Reasons Why Hospital Leaders Should Be There

Travelers Conference 2016Travelers Conference 2016 in Las Vegas is just around the corner. This year’s weekend-long event, held September 25-27th, helps Travel Nurses connect with travel agencies around the country. But Travelers Conference isn’t just for nurses — it’s also an excellent opportunity for hospital leaders to learn more about the traveling healthcare profession. So, here are the top 3 reasons why healthcare leaders should attend Travelers Conference 2016:

  1. It’s in Las Vegas: Travelers Conference is the perfect opportunity to mix business with pleasure. From its brightly-lit casinos to its various show-stopping performances, Las Vegas offers fun experiences for just about everyone. When you think about it, Travelers Conference could also be ranked right up there as one of the city’s main attractions — but that’s probably just for the folks in the traveling healthcare industry. This year’s conference will host speakers and other participants, including RNs, nurse managers and educators, staffing company reps, writers, travel industry experts, and financial advisors.
  1. Debunk any myths about hiring travel nurses: You’ve probably heard one or two rumors about hiring Travel Nurses. For example, Travel Nurses are unreliable or they take too long to train. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Many travel staffing agencies have a rigorous application process, so your facility only interviews the best of the best candidates. When you do hire a Travel Nurse, you’ll find that they are capable healthcare professionals who truly want to work at your facility.
  1. Find a travel staffing company: That being said, you’ll want to work with a respected staffing agency to help you find the most qualified Travel Nurses. It’s not always easy to determine which agency to work with, but attending a networking event like Travelers Conference is a step in the right direction. Plus, you can stop by and chat with Medical Solutions’ experienced staff!

It’s not too late to register! Click here to learn more about Travelers Conference 2016.


The Case for Collaborative Staffing

Healthcare staffing and scheduling are complex issues, and with the ongoing nurse shortage, these issues haven’t gotten any easier to address. But what if you could help your hospital improve the scheduling process, reduce staff turnover, and increase the quality of patient care?

collaborative staffing solution

Under the collaborative staffing model, nurses and nurse managers work together to streamline the scheduling process.

According to Dr. Karlene Kerfoot, BSN, RN and Chief Nursing Officer at GE Healthcare, everybody wins when hospital systems use a collaborative approach to staff management.

“Collaborative staffing allows managers to get the right nurse in the right position at the right time with the right patient,” says Dr. Kerfoot. “It takes the chaos out of staffing and scheduling.”

Unlike the traditional, top-down staff management style, the collaborative staffing method allows nurses and nurse managers to work together to cover shifts. For example, GE Healthcare’s cloud-based, scheduling software, called ShiftSelect, allows nurses to view and fill open shifts across multiple units. The results of a collaborative staffing style for hospital employees and patients are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, these top three benefits make the case for collaborative staffing:

  1. Increased staff and patient satisfaction: With more than 30 years in the nursing profession, Dr. Kerfoot has a passion for finding hospital staffing solutions. “The most common reason why people leave hospital work is the schedules,” Dr. Kerfoot says. “This technology empowers nurses by giving them the opportunity to fit their work schedules around their lives.” Dr. Kerfoot added nurses tend to stay in jobs where they feel engaged and valued. In turn, this engagement can lead to overall better patient care. “Patients can tell when their nurse is stressed,” she says. “Happy nurses equal happy patients.”
  1. Enhanced staff development: Under a collaborative staffing model, nurses also have more learning opportunities when they volunteer to cover shifts in various units. But it’s also important to remember this method isn’t just great for nurses — managers benefit from it too. “This system takes away a huge amount of work from the nurse managers,” says Dr. Kerfoot. “Instead of spending time dealing with staffing issues and complaints, these managers can now focus on the professional development of their nurses, and ways to improve patient care.”
  1. Improved staff productivity: In addition, a hospital’s scheduling process also becomes more streamlined. According to Dr. Kerfoot, there are usually fewer open shifts because nurse managers can post open shifts on the system early. “So nurses know ahead of time what the open shifts are,” she says. “It’s a friendly approach to staffing, and it makes all the sense in the world.”

With so many benefits to this staffing style, Dr. Kerfoot believes it’s only a matter of time before more hospitals adopt it. “Collaborative staffing is the wave of the future,” she says. “So many nurses love collaborative staffing.”

You can read more about the collaborative approach to hospital staff management here.


3 Apps All Healthcare Professionals Should Use

There's an app for that! Technology has impacted the daily lives of healthcare providers for the better.

There’s an app for that! Technology has impacted the daily lives of healthcare providers and their patients for the better.

With the world of medicine and technology constantly evolving, no one healthcare provider can possibly remember or know it all. Fortunately, your medical staff can stay informed on all medical issues and improve patient care no matter where they are with the help of medical apps.

For your benefit, Healthcare Staffing Blog has reviewed the top 3 apps all healthcare professionals should be using now. The following list of apps can help your nurses and physicians save valuable time and improve their patients’ quality of care:


  1. Medscape: Powered by WebMD, this free mobile app is the go-to resource for many healthcare professionals. The app’s constantly updated medical database can help your nurses and physicians find quick and accurate clinical point of care answers. Medscape users also have access to several other tools, including a drug interaction checker, medical calculators, procedure references, and medical news updates. It’s like having a deeply experienced colleague working side by side with your staff every day!
  1. UpToDate: This aptly named mobile resource from Wolters Kluwer can help your medical staff stay current on the latest peer-reviewed clinical developments.  UpToDate earned its reputation in the healthcare industry as a website long before it launched a mobile app in 2012. Both the website and the app are currently subscription-based. However, since so many healthcare providers rely on this resource, many facilities simply pay the subscription fee for their staff. UpToDate also allows its subscribers to earn free CME credits each time they use it.
  1. Epocrates: This tool is best known by medical professionals for its extensive drug database, and according to Manhattan Research’s 2015 Taking the Pulse survey, Epocrates is the most popular clinical app used by U.S. physicians. That’s probably because this app includes drug information such as adult and pediatric dosing, contraindication/cautions, pharmacology, and medication identification with photos. Access to the basic app is free, but the paid version has several upgrades, including an ICD-10 code lookup, a compilation of clinical treatment guidelines, and a diseases database with medical information on a range of conditions.

As a healthcare professional, which medical app is your favorite? Please share in the comments below!


2016-2017 Best Hospitals List Announced

Find out which hospitals made the grade in this year's Best Hospitals Honor Roll.

Find out which hospitals made the grade in this year’s Best Hospitals Honor Roll.

U.S. News & World Report just released its 2016-17 Best Hospitals rankings. Only 20 hospitals out of nearly 5,000 evaluated earned the exclusive distinction this year. Last year, just 15 hospitals made the cut.

The publication recently revamped its honor roll process this year. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s website, hospitals now not only received points for how high they ranked in the 16 Best Hospital specialties, but also for how many “high performance” ratings they received on the nine Best Hospital procedures and conditions.

Below are the top 10 hospitals:

1. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)

2. Cleveland Clinic

3. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)

4. Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)

5. UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)

6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

7. UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco)

8. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago)

9. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (Philadelphia)

10. NYU Langone Medical Center

You can view the complete Best Hospitals Honor Roll as well as a breakdown of the specialties and procedures they scored highest in here.  

Did your facility make the list this year?


Pokémon Go 101: What Hospitals Should Know

The popular smartphone game, Pokémon Go, has created unexpected challenges for hospitals across the country.

The popular smartphone game, Pokémon Go, has created unexpected challenges for hospitals across the country.

Pokémon Go continues to grow in popularity, but not everyone is a fan of the widespread mobile game. It turns out this app isn’t all fun and games for hospitals and their staff.

Since the game’s launch, hospitals across the country have seen an increase in emergency room visits due to Pokémon Go-related injuries. At the same time, healthcare providers also saw an unexpected increase in visitors not seeking patient care. These visitors, actually Pokémon Go players, have been crowding hospitals in an effort to “capture them all” and win the game. For example, a Utah hospital recently discovered their campus was the location of a Pokéstop, or a designated area where players can find the items they need to hunt Pokémon. Not surprisingly, the facility noted that the extra visitors were disruptive to their staff and patients.

While some hospitals have embraced the game’s therapeutic effect on their patients, other hospitals have simply told the public Pokémon No instead. These hospitals are concerned that the game could expose them to safety and patient privacy risks. For instance, Pokémon Go users could inadvertently capture sensitive patient information with their smartphone cameras as they play the game. If one of those images found its way on to a social media account, then that hospital could find itself in violation of HIPPA.

Since the Pokémon Go craze is unlikely to go away anytime soon, it’s important for hospital administrators to let their staff and the public know where they stand on this issue. Perhaps your facility already has a mobile device use policy in place. If not, it might be time to write one. To learn more about how your facility can protect itself, visit the Department of Health & Human Services website here.


5 Strategies To Increase Your HCAHPS Score

HCAHPS score

Change is on the horizon for the HCAHPS survey. Your hospital staff can adapt and increase patient satisfaction with these simple strategies.

Thanks in large part to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, healthcare providers have had to increasingly ensure that their patients leave feeling satisfied with their hospital stay. For better or for worse, these patient satisfaction survey scores are tied to Medicare payments to hospitals.

Recently, several healthcare industry leaders have attacked the survey’s star rating system as flawed. In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced plans to change certain aspects of the survey. Despite these proposed modifications, it appears that the HCAHPS and its payment scoring calculations are here to stay.

So as a hospital leader, how do you adapt? What do you tell your staff? Medical Solutions’ Clinical Director of Nursing Amber B., RN, shared her 5 strategies to increase your hospital’s HCAHPS score and patient satisfaction below.

  1. Practice hourly rounding: Patient satisfaction begins with quality patient care. So, Amber suggests management should introduce an hourly rounding practice for your front line staff. Hourly rounding allows nurses to be proactive in their jobs instead of reactive. It also increases patient satisfaction since they feel that the staff is more accessible.
  1. Implement leadership rounding: Leadership rounding helps management monitor the daily activity of your front line staff and allows your administrators to interact with the patients themselves. This type of rounding can help your management team spot problems early or discover ways to improve patient satisfaction. As an added bonus, leadership rounding also improves employee engagement.
  1. Train your staff: Your staff will need to understand the purpose of the HCAPHS survey. It was designed to publicly measure patients’ perspective on their hospital experience. Amber believes management should reassure their staff that this survey was not intended to compare individual units or nurses, but the hospital overall. You should identify and communicate with your staff the survey’s strengths and weaknesses.

For example, the HCAPHS measures:

  • how well nurses and doctors communicate with patients
  • how responsive hospital staff are to patients’ needs
  • whether key information is provided at discharge
  • how well patients understood the type of care they would need after leaving the hospital.

The survey does not take into account:

  • a patient’s understanding of the hospital bill
  • the comfort of waiting areas
  • the timeliness of appointments
  • the quality of food
  1. Educate and prep patients on the survey: Likewise, Amber recommends hospital staff should educate their patients on the survey throughout the patient’s stay. If the patient understands why they are being asked about their hospital stay, they are more likely to respond.  Likewise, if you remind them about it over the length of their stay, they will remember it better when asked about it days or weeks later. Your front line staff should focus on letting the patient know that both positive and negative feedback are welcome. Many times, people who are satisfied with their care do not feel the need to respond to the survey.
  1. Remember, it’s not personal: At the end of the day, Amber notes it’s important to remind your staff that you can’t make everyone happy. Some of your patients will have a negative experience for reasons that are out of your staff’s control. In spite of this challenge, your nurses should continually strive to provide quality care to all patients.

Increasing the quality of patient care and satisfaction while raising your HCAHPs scores aren’t mutually exclusive goals.  In fact, they can go hand-in-hand. With these 5 strategies you can increase your HCAHPS score and improve patient care. Learn more about the HCAHPS survey here.

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