As Americans celebrate the holiday season there is no shortage of chances for charity and opportunities to help one’s fellow human. People are more likely than ever during the holidays to volunteer their time, donate money or food to organizations that work to help those in need, and in general be kinder to others and themselves.
An article by HealthLeaders Media today detailed several organizations that “have used holiday cheer to make a positive impact on their communities.” Here are some of the facilities’ actions and projects that are detailed in the HLM piece:
- New Lenox, Illinois’s Silver Cross Hospital partnered with a local mall for I Matter, a program that offers shoppers savings for “taking an active role in their preventative care.” Members get a welcome gift paired with info on how to schedule certain screenings. Mall retailers then offer discounts to those who get mammography or a heart screening.
- In Oregon, Columbia Memorial Hospital and Providence Seaside Hospital are engaging in a friendly food drive campaign and competition. The hospitals arranged several drop-off locations for food to be collected and will abide by a points-based system that assigns values to each donated food item to decide the winner. (Spoiler alert: The whole community really wins with this kind of generosity!) Monetary donations will also be accepted, with each dollar equivalent to 5 points in the contest.
- CarePoint Health is a three-hospital system in New Jersey that has been encouraging its staff to volunteer at local shelters and food banks. CarePoint also donated $1,000 checks to a handful of food banks.
“This is about CarePoint’s commitment to the community,” Karen Stewart, director of marketing and public relations for CarePoint, was quoted in the HLM article. “These are often the same people the hospital serves.”
Does your facility do anything to promote giving, generosity, and/or health throughout the holiday season? If so, let us know about it in the comments!
The commendable staff of nurses, administrators, and others, University of Minnesota’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital put out and awesome video cover of Sara Bareilles’ song ‘Brave.” Young patients also got in on the action in this heartwarming and inspiring video. I’d recommend grabbing a box of Kleenex before viewing.
Any hospital would be so blessed and honored to have staff like those who conceived of and created this video. The sentiment behind it really shows off a great bunch of staff, patients, and an overall amazing hospital culture.
Bareilles was so inspired by the video that she said in an HLN interview, “I was sent this video by a friend of a friend who lives in Minnesota, and I watched it late at night and immediately my eyes welled up. It’s moment like this that reminds me of the importance of music, and I can’t think of a more perfect incarnation of this song. It’s exactly the kind of thing that gives the life to this song that we were hoping for.”
Check out this clip of Bareilles surprising some of the video’s creators.
What does your facility do to inspire this kind of culture and dedication from your staff, whether perm or temporary?
Medical Solutions is proud to share the great news that our co-founder and CEO/CFO, Scott Anderson, was named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ Staffing Top 100 for 2013.
Staffing Industry Analysts says the list features, “The 100 most influential people in the staffing industry.” The annual list is a great measure of movers, shakers, innovators, and leaders within the staffing industry.
Anderson is not only influential as a leader of the third largest travel nurse staffing company in the nation, but he also displays an amazing dedication to making sure that Medical Solutions maintains a quality workforce of travel nurses and it’s really great to see him honored for it. He insists on upholding the most stringent standards when it comes to licensing, certifications, and testing, in order to ensure that Medical Solutions continues to be known for sending only the most qualified, competent, and work-ready nurses to staff facilities across the country.
Anderson’s entry in the Staffing Top 100 reads, “As co-founder and head of Medical Solutions L.L.C., Scott Anderson has taken the company to new heights. Under Anderson’s leadership, Medical Solutions was among the first staffing companies to achieve The Joint Commission healthcare staffing services certification. With its acquisition of On Assignment’s travel nurse division in February 2013, Medical Solutions became the third-largest travel nurse provider in the U.S. It was named a Best Staffing Firm to Work For by Staffing Industry Analysts in 2012 and 2013, among other accolades. Anderson also serves on the Greater Omaha Alliance for Business Ethics board.”
Anderson commented on this important distinction, saying, “I’m so honored to be recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts. However, the real credit should be given to our great staff and nurses who have established a culture and commitment to service that allows Medical Solutions to thrive in the industry and set a solid example for others.”
Staffing Industry Analysts is hosting its 2013 Healthcare Staffing Summit October 23-25, in Chicago at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park. The title of this year’s summit is “The Future is Now: Opportunities in a Changing Healthcare Landscape.”
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the horizon for January 2014, many people are curious and interested to see how it will affect healthcare in the United States. Any change brings about uncertainty, but the real goalpost for those linked to the ACA will be navigating the changes will skill and coming out on top. Hospitals, healthcare facilities, and healthcare staffing agencies have a particularly vested interest, which is why the summit’s topic is so relevant.
The website for the 2013 Healthcare Staffing Summit reads:
“January 2014 is right around the corner and will be here before you know it. The implications of the Affordable Healthcare Act will prove to be daunting for many organizations, and the staffing industry is no exception. As such, the healthcare industry is undergoing fundamental changes; our sessions can help you understand what those changes are and how they will affect healthcare staffing.
Make sure you’ll be able to capitalize on opportunities brought on by:
- 30 million more insured people
- How the Act will affect the behavior of healthcare staffing buyers
- The changing waves of demand for healthcare staffing.”
Some of the keynote topics for the 2013 Healthcare Staffing Summit are: Uncovering the Outlook for Healthcare Staffing, A Look at the Future of Healthcare in America, and Don’t Just Listen to Your Customers … Challenge Them! There will also be a lot of great opportunities for networking and several speakers, moderated discussions groups, and panels that dig deep into the topic at hand.
For more information on the 2013 Healthcare Staffing Summit, please click here.
Health Briefs TV recently announced it will air a segment focused on solutions in healthcare staffing this coming fall. The show is slated to be aired on regional and national cable television networks.
According to the show’s website, it follows and examines “emerging technologies, progressive treatments, revolutionary people, and innovative companies that are all part of the global health industry.” The program, filmed throughout the world, explores niche areas of the medical field, including “research, pharmaceuticals, and alternative therapies, to healthcare providers, insurers, devices, technology, and more.” It is hosted by Terry Bradshaw, former athlete, actor, singer (Bradshaw recorded six country albums!), motivational speaker, author, and master media personality.
Recognizing the growing trend in healthcare staffing caused by the shortage of RNs and other healthcare professionals, the program will focus on the need for traveling healthcare staff and the industry created by this need. Another big focus will be the ways in which facilities are using traveling temporary staff in tandem with other solutions on healthcare staffing in order to ease the shortage and maintain high quality patient care.
The show’s focus is on innovation and hospitals and other facilities have certainly evolved and continue to implement innovations when it comes to solutions in healthcare staffing. Facilities are finding travelers to be essential to their continued success. New staffing solutions such as temporary, or locum tenens, healthcare staff are proving to be very important considering both the shortage of qualified workers and the upcoming reform of healthcare.
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of healthcare staffing? Click here to explore some tools and resources for managing your facility’s staffing needs. You’ll be able to explore some ways to find solutions in healthcare staffing, using the staffing value overview and calculator, the Staffing Points series, a Manager’s Guide to Preventing Nurse Burnout, and more.
The reaction of hospital leaders to the passing of the Affordable Care Act definitely varied. Some were happy to embrace it, hoping it would streamline and improve the industry and the patient care offered. Others were warty, thinking it might present administrative burdens that could negatively affect care.
But whatever their initial reaction, hospitals and hospital leaders are now gearing up for the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its effects on their patients and facilities. There is a lot of talk surrounding how hospitals should prepare for a busy 2014. Projections indicate that 2014 will be a busy year for hospitals and healthcare staffing agencies.
Here are some tips for how hospitals should prepare for a busy 2014:
Plan to see more patients who are insured.
Your facility should expect to see a decrease in ER visits and a higher volume of patients seeking preventative care. The numbers aren’t solid as we wait to see how state opt-outs affect things, but in 2014 tens of millions more Americans will be covered. Look at factors that may be specific to your local area and plan ahead for the influx of so many new insured patients.
Make your hospital more efficient at the administrative level.
Administrative waste and inefficiency can be a huge drain on your facility’s overall performance. Cut out unnecessary administrative processes and pare down on unnecessary procedures.
Improve patient care, reduce readmissions.
This relates to improving efficiency on a care level. As you cut out wasteful ways, you will improve the quality of your care. One major way to do this is to reduce readmission. Make sure your staff is fully and comprehensively addressing patient’s issues in as few visits as possible. Thinking long-term, big picture for each patient is the way to achieve this.
Welcome new technologies for healthcare administration, information exchange, and record keeping.
These kinds of IT solutions improve patient care coordination in a big way. And, in turn, this will improve not just the patient experience, but also your facility’s reputation for care and organization. What’s more, these types of systems are gaining ground in the industry and will likely be considered standard in the near future. Better for your facility to be ahead of the crowd on this one than catching up to this later on.
Stay in the know and be prepared to be flexible.
The best you can do is to stay updated on the news regarding the Affordable Care Act and its anticipated effect on hospitals in 2014. This is a work in progress and things could change along the way. The best defense to ride this wave is to remain informed of changes and other news and to plan to be flexible along the way.
Hopefully these tactics for how hospitals should prepare for a busy 2014 will help keep your facility on top and performing well. To the future we go!
You have a great facility and you work hard to staff it well and maintain its safety and quality of patient care. But how do you attract a broad, healthy patient base? Of course, there will always be a need for healthcare and a market for patients who need it, but how can your facility really stand out amongst all of the other hospitals?
Some Tips on How to Boost Patient Numbers:
- Get social! These days it’s easier than ever to market your facility with ease. Social media is an inexpensive means for visibility and lets you connect with your patient base in a friendly, organic setting. Beyond using pages on Twitter and/or Facebook to connect, once you have amassed enough followers (100 likes on Facebook or 20 Twitter followers) you can look into the option of promoting your account and/or creating paid ads.
- Take your campaign to email! Today’s email marketing campaigns are very successful and there are a variety of ways to use it to help boost patient numbers for your facility. Start building your mailing list (social media can help with this too if you run a complementary campaign) and then create great content.
- Most importantly, continue to offer great patient care and a great workplace for your staff. The nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals that staff your hospital are the face of it. Patients will remember their experiences with your staff and they will usually tell their friends how it went. A particularly good or bad experience can have a pretty considerable impact on public opinion of your facility.
Check out this great blog post on specifically low-cost ways and tips on how to boost patient numbers. It goes in depth on social media and email marketing use as well as some tips on how to use Google AdWords and directory listings to your advantage when looking for new ways to boost your patient intake.
We hope these tips will help you practice how to boost patient numbers for your facility! Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips to share.
Nurse safety and patient safety are very closely intertwined. If healthcare staff has all of the tools they need to do their jobs, then they are much safer and, in turn, the patients and even the families of patients that they are serving are also much safer. So how can you make your hospital safe for nurses?
An article on Health Leaders Media called “Patient Safety: Pay Now or Later” discusses the idea that paying for certain technology and enhancements, such as “ceiling lifts to assist in moving, lifting, and repositioning patients can prevent injuries among nursing staff and enhance the patient experience,” but they also state that some hospitals and facilities are not quite on board in implementing such helpful aids.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) contends the investment is well worth it, according to the article. According to ANA president, Karen Daley, there may be some legislation in the works to improve safety standards. Right now they are voluntarily based upon the ANA’s national disciplinary standards for safe-patient handling.
The standards include:
- Establish a culture of safety
- Implement and sustain a safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) Program
- Incorporate ergonomic design principles to provide a safe environment of care
- Select, install, and maintain SPHM technology
- Establish a system for education, training, and maintaining competence
- Integrate patient-centered SPHM assessment, plan of care, and use of SPHM technology
- Include SPHM in reasonable accommodation and post-injury return to work
- Establish a comprehensive evaluation system
Daley also states in the article that “musculoskeletal injuries are a primary reason healthcare workers leave direct patient care, adding that often healthcare workers don’t get injured by a single event” and that “most injuries are the result of the cumulative effect of lifting heavy loads day in and day out for years, which can lead to long-term disorders and disability.”
Perhaps shockingly, nursing assistants were the number one occupation for “musculoskeletal disorder-related on-the-job injuries or illnesses that require missed days from work,” according to the article and a 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The profession topped the list over such trades as janitors, truckers, and laborers.
These kinds of statistics make clear that doing whatever necessary to ensure nurse safety is not only the right thing to do for staff and patients, but also that — despite the sticker shock of upfront costs — it will be less expensive in the long-run to make your hospital safe for nurses.
So, how safe is your hospital? What steps does your facility take to make your hospital safe for nurses?
Hospitals and facilities depend on travel nurses to perform as competently and professionally as their perm staff, and also to do so seamlessly and with very little on-site training. Hiring the best travel nurses available is very important to maintaining your facility’s good reputation and providing excellent patient care. Like any field, there is a spectrum of skill and experience level, as well as variety in personalities. It is very important to isolate the ways you can ensure that your facility is hiring the best travel nurses to fill your facility’s needs.
What can your staffing agency do to ensure you hire only the most professional, qualified travel nurse staff?
First, it is important to know exactly what you want out of your temporary staff. Determining your specific needs will help you better express them to an agency. A trusted Client Manager will be an amazing help to you when staffing and an important advocate for your facility’s needs.
Your facility can also benefit from working with a trusted agency. At Medical Solutions our team of Career Consultants, Client Managers, and other support staff work diligently through a 28-point screening process to ensure that all of our Travelers are dependable, adaptable, at the top of their professional game. This process validates potential staff in terms of professional status (resume, skills, references, etc.), licensure and certification, education and orientation, background, identification, and health requirements.
Beyond staffing with high quality RNs, we know how important it is that a facility and a Traveler are a good fit for each other. Having the right cultural chemistry and common vision for patient care is essential to a Traveler fitting in well, and ultimately being successful, at a facility. Again, this is something that the right Client Manager will have a keen sense of and be a huge help to you in this area and to fulfill your ultimate goal of hiring the best travel nurses.
A bill currently going through the paces in the New York state legislature would put in place laws mandating nurse staffing that would require specific staffing ratios.
According to an Associated Press article, it seems that the debate over the bill is causing a bit of a split between nurses and hospitals.
The New York State Nurses Association backs the bill saying that “members at 57 unionized hospitals last year filed 19,292 separate protests of staffing assignments they considered unsafe.” Those in favor of laws mandating nurse staffing believe that requiring one nurse for every two ICU patients and 1-to-4 ratios in medical-surgical units will improve patient experience and care while decreasing deaths and re-admissions. Proponents also believe complaints will plummet and that hospitals will be just fine financially.
On the other hand, New York’s hospitals are against the bill saying it would hinder their ability to be flexible with staff scheduling and that it would cost facilities and nursing homes approximately $3 billion annually. Many facilities believe they can self-police and move staff around as needed to maintain quality patient care. This camp believes service will actually suffer as a result of such legislation because due to the anticipated financial stress services will actually suffer too.
If the bill is successful it would be the second such set of laws mandating nurse staffing. In 1999 California passed legislation setting mandatory nurse staff ratios — although the laws were not implemented until 2004. Both opponents and advocates of the bill use California’s experience to defend their position.
The AP article cites a 2002 study from the Journal of American Medical Association which found that “hospitals with high patient-to-nurse ratios had higher death rates among surgical patients and nursing staff more likely to experience burnout. The study of more than 10,000 nurses and 230,000 patients found that with each additional patient assigned to a nurse, the likelihood of dying within 30 days after admission rose 7 percent.”
But, as Brian Conway, of the Greater New York Hospital Association told the AP the bill would actually work against its own goals costing money, draining resources, and resulting in less support staff.
How do you think laws mandating nurse staffing in your state would affect patient care and finances/resources in your facility?