Happy Nurses Week to all the amazing nurses and nurse leaders out there!
Nurses Week celebrations are an excellent opportunity for a hospital to show its appreciation for its nurses.
At WeLoveOurNurses.com, Medical Solutions is celebrating with a variety of activities, prizes, and more. We hope you’ll share this with your Travelers and other nurses as a way for them to celebrate Nurse Week.
The Real Nurses of Nurses Week
A live Instagram feed of nurses from worldwide. Check out photos from other nurses and be sure to share yours with the hashtag #yournursesweek for the chance to win one of these prizes:
- One $100 Amazon gift card (courtesy of Medical Solutions)
- One $50 Amazon gift card (courtesy of Nebraska Methodist College, our RN to BSN Academy partner)
- Three $25 Tafford Uniforms gift cards (courtesy of our friends at Tafford Uniforms)
Fourth Annual Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship
This scholarship opportunity is back for a fourth year with one change … a bigger scholarship fund! To help support the development of the next generation of nurses, nurses leaders and educators, three lucky undergraduate or postgraduate nurse scholars will each win $2000 to help with their education costs. Entries will be accepted here through June 6, 2015.
Nurses Week eCards
Free, shareable and downloadable cards in celebration of Nurses Week. These can be posted on Facebook, you can tag your friends, and download them to share via email or through other social sites.
Medical Solutions supports this national fund for nurses in need, and has started a team fundraising page for their annual Nurses Week effort, Dolphins for Nurses. Many Travelers have told us that they wanted to give back for Nurses Week, so we invite everyone to join the team and help support Nurses House. Click here to learn more or to donate.
You can also send your nurses to TravelNursingBlogs.com to learn about more Nurses Week festivities and freebies. Spoiler alert: There’s free Cinnabon involved!
What does your facility have planned in the way of Nurses Week celebrations?
This is the time of year when many entities release results of “Best Places to Work” awards, and one of the biggest, most influential lists comes from Forbes. The Forbes “America’s Best Employers” list is generated based upon employee feedback and resulted in a list of America’s top 500 employers from across 25 different industries.
The overall top 5 included a few of the usual suspects — organizations who are well known for providing great work environments:
- Marathon Petroleum
- The Container Store
- L.L. Bean
In the healthcare realm, there were 25 hospitals and health systems named best employers, ranking between number 12 and number 154 on the Forbes list.
Becker’s Hospital Review published this list of the 25 hospitals and health systems named best employers in Forbes’ list — the number at the end of each entry is where they ranked:
- University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (Iowa City, Iowa) — 12
- Northside Hospital (Atlanta) — 23
- Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City) — 25
- University of Michigan Health System (Ann Arbor, Mich.) — 26
- Lakeland (Fla.) Regional Medical Center — 28
- Seattle Children’s Hospital — 32
- Partners HealthCare System (Boston) — 45
- UNC Health Care (Chapel Hill, N.C.) — 50
- The University of Vermont Health Network — 51
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York City) — 53
- Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.) — 74
- American Cancer Society (Atlanta) — 75
- Atlantic Health System (Morristown, N.J.) — 76
- Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (Oakland, Calif.) — 81
- Carolinas HealthCare System (Charlotte, N.C.) — 89
- New York University-Langone Medical Center (New York City) — 111
- BayCare (Clearwater, Fla.) — 117
- Rochester (N.Y.) Regional Health System — 120
- Mercy (Chesterfield, Mo.) — 122
- Novant Health (Winston-Salem, N.C.) — 127
- Sparrow Health System (Lansing, Mich.) — 137
- Cincinnati Children’s — 147
- NewYork-Presbyterian (New York City) — 152
- Providence Health & Services (Renton, Wash.) — 152
- UF Health (Gainesville, Fla.) — 154
Happy employees are a huge factor in the success of any organization, which is why it’s so important for hospitals to keep themselves fully staffed. Often that means bringing on temporary staff, and when that’s the case it’s important to staff through a healthcare staffing company that also works to treat employees well.
Congrats to all who work with and for any of these 25 hospitals and health systems named best employers! Thank you for providing an excellent work environment for healthcare professionals.
According to a government report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on March 23, 2015, the expansion of healthcare to millions of Americans through the Affordable Care Act brought hospitals’ costs of caring for uninsured individuals down an estimated $7.4 billion dollars in 2014.
Reuters reports that hospitals’ uncompensated care costs were approximately $27.3 billion in 2014, which is a lot, but low in comparison to the estimate that it would have been $34.7 billion had the U.S. uninsured rate stayed at its 2013 level.
While all states saw a reduction, the bulk of reductions were in Washington D.C. and 28 additional states that have expanded Medicaid for poor populations.
In addition to the cost savings for hospitals, charity care costs were also reduced nationwide.
With more than 16.4 million Americans acquiring health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs may be falling, but the need for staffing quality healthcare professionals to meet patient needs has risen.
In addition to covering for EHR/EMR conversions, job actions, and other short-term staffing needs, Medical Solutions offers quality Travelers who can meet your staffing needs associated with the patient boom related to the ACA.
Click here to learn more about how we can serve your facility and keep you at the forefront of patient care in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
A Health Leaders Media post from October 2014, suggests that it’s quite important — in terms of patient care of course — but also in terms of your financial bottom line.
The article quotes a study from the journal Medical Care which finds that investing in your nurses’ higher education makes excellent financial and business sense for hospitals and facilities. The researchers found that “patients who received 80% or more of their care from BSN-prepared nurses had 18.7% lower odds of readmission and 1.9% shorter lengths of stay. Researchers also found that a 10% increase in the proportion of BSN-educated care was associated with a 10% reduction in the odds of mortality.”
The study’s lead author, Olga Yakusheva, Ph.D., was quoted saying, “Ultimately, better patient outcomes are important,” but “hospital administrators are the ones that are stuck with the bill.”
Additionally mentioned is the Institute of Medicine’s 2020 goal for having no less than 80% of the nursing workforce having earned their Bachelor’s degrees.
Medical Solutions believes not only in facilitating the best possible patient care but also in doing whatever we can to help our Clients successfully manage and maneuver their operations. We also believe that a happy Traveler makes for a happy assignment, so we love to help our Travelers reach their professional best.
That’s why we recently relaunched our RN to BSN program with the new Medical Solutions RN to BSN Academy — a win-win for Travelers and facilities alike.
Here are some of the benefits and perks Travelers can expect from the new RN to BSN Academy:
- 100% online and crafted especially for working RNs — do your work from anywhere with an internet connection, any time of day or night
- Flexible start dates
- Financial assistance package, including books and tuition
- No need to take out more student loans
- One-on-one relationship with an academic advisor dedicated to your success
- Strengthen your skill set and resumé while you continue to work and travel
- Earn your BSN in 12-24 months, depending upon any credits you transfer into this transfer credit friendly program
- Graduate from highly respected, CCNE accredited Nebraska Methodist College
- Be prepared for better compensation and greater access to leadership roles such as educator and practitioner
And, as mentioned above, the perks for your facility include better patient outcomes and a healthier financial bottom line!
Click here to learn more about the RN to BSN program, and be sure to share this information with any Travelers you think might benefit from it.
In just a couple of months, National Nurses Week 2015 will be upon us. Celebrated annually, Nurses Week is an excellent opportunity for facilities to help celebrate the important role nurses play in the healthcare system and the huge impact they have in in their patients’ lives.
The American Nurses Association is providing a Nurses Week 2015 resource toolkit for facilities and organizations to use in advance of National Nurses Week, May 6-12. The theme this year is “Ethical Practice, Quality Care.”
The Nurses Week 2015 resource toolkit is full of useful information and tools to help you celebrate the occasion in style and to the greatest effect — as well as to help your facility promote National Nurses Week 2015 within your community and to members of the media.
The Nurses Week 2015 resource toolkit includes:
- A downloadable Thank You card to share with your nurses, which can be customized to include personalized messages as well as your organization’s logo
- A downloadable Certificate of Appreciation for your nursing staff
- A downloadable, customizable Microsoft Outlook OFT email to share
- A large (2’x 3’) downloadable banner which can be personalized with your logo and printed at a local vendor
- Downloadable ads in four standard sizes to help advertise the fact that you’re celebrating National Nurses Week 2015
- Tips for practical, yet creative ways to celebrate throughout the week
- Tips for working with media in order to inform the public about Nurses Week
- And much more!
As the ANA knows, it means a lot to nurses that their hard work, long hours, compassion, skill, and self-sacrifice are recognized. Whether you celebrate every day of the week or just say a simple one-time “thank you,” it means a lot to your nurses. Knowing you care enough to recognize their efforts is likely to be reflected in the effort they continue to put into their work at your facility.
I hope it helps your nursing staff feel honored and leads to an excellent celebration for your organization!
As healthcare reform continues to unfold in 2015 and beyond, providers, consumers, and insurance companies will continue to adapt. While most agree that the system was not previously and still is not perfect, what’s tricky to find a consensus on is how to improve things within such a complicated, entrenched system.
Health Leaders magazine, in partnership with Truven Health Analytics, recently provided a Fact File that provides an interesting breakdown of health insurance cost trends in the face of healthcare reform and, in turn, as employers attempt to reduce health insurance cost trends.
“By taking a data-driven approach, payers can manage costs and, ultimately, make their benefit programs sustainable in the context of healthcare reform. They can also maximize opportunities to improve population health and productivity and optimize the delivery of care,” reads the Fact File titled, Trends in Health Insurance Costs.
The information is broken down in terms of:
- Medical and Pharmacy Out-of-Pocket Costs: Combined, these out-of-pocket costs increased from $695 per member per year in 2012 to $734 in 2013 (a 5.7% increase). Medical alone increased 8.4% and pharmacy alone decreased 4% (the decrease is attributed to a shift to generics).
- Specialty Pharmacy: This sector saw continued growth, with an overall increase in cost of 23.1% in 2013.
- Trends in Medical and Pharmacy Claims Costs: At the current rate, these costs are on track to have increased by nearly 45% over the past nine years.
- Inpatient and Outpatient Costs: In addition to several factors at play, cost increases here seem driven by price increases and changes in admission types, while average length of stay remained steady. Outpatient services trend upwards.
- Preventative Screening Compliance
- Americans’ General Health
This data can be very interesting to hospital administration and healthcare professionals, in terms of knowing a bit more about the population you’re serving and the health insurance costs trends relevant to the care of each individual.
Click here to see the Fact File in full.
Medical Solutions Announces 2014 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiters of the Year Award Winners
When it comes to the traveling healthcare professionals you staff at your facility, quality is of huge importance! You should be able to trust your agency contacts as well as the Travelers they provide. Medical Solutions, the third-largest Travel Nurse staffing agency in the U.S., places a major emphasis on quality and that starts with the quality of the people we work with. Here’s a little bit about some of the great folks we recently honored as 2014 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiters of the Year Award winners.
Traveler of the Year
In order to recognize quality Travelers and award them for perfect hospital evaluations, we offer the Traveler of the Month program. This program recognizes a Traveler of the Month and a Rising Star (a newer Traveler) who received a perfect hospital eval and are chosen by our Clinical team from among the pool of perfect evals. At the close of each year, Medical Solutions awards one of them the Traveler of the Year award. This year, that Traveler was Jimmy C., an ICU RN currently on assignment in the Bay area.
“The best thing about Travel Nursing is that it’s really taught me how to adapt to nearly any situation,” says Jimmy. “Even though it’s been a short time, I feel like I’ve grown so much while learning how different hospitals and regions operate.”
Thanks so much for being an amazing representative of Medical Solutions, Jimmy!
Services That Inspires Award Winner
For 2014, Medical Solutions awarded this inaugural award, which is meant to honor a Traveler who embodies our mantra: “Service That Inspires.” The hard-working winner was Jenna H., a CST currently on assignment as a CVOR Tech in Kentucky.
A few of the facilities Jenna has worked at through Medical Solutions called her a hard worker, dedicated to her craft, extremely reliable, positive, and attentive to detail.
One facility even reported that Jenna is “superior in all surgical services, general, urological, gynecological, CVOR, vascular,” and added, “If we could clone candidate and fill all tech positions, we would.”
That’s a pretty glowing review! We are so proud to call Jenna a Medical Solutions Traveler. Thanks for everything you do, Jenna!
Recruiters of the Year
While our Clients get the privilege of working with our amazing team of Medical Solutions Client Managers, the Travelers have their Career Consultants as a point of contact. Client Managers and Career Consultants work together to ensure that each placement is a good mutual fit for the facility and Traveler.
Based on performance and Traveler nominations, the two Recruiter of the Year winners for 2014 were Stephanie Balkovec and Geri Koehler. We are so proud to have these two to help our Travelers build their careers. Plus, happy, productive Travelers start with a good recruiter! We know that the hard work our Career Consultants put forth results in smoother assignments and better patient care. Check out the videos below to hear some of the kind words Stephanie’s and Geri’s Travelers had to share about working with them.
Thanks and congrats to all of our 2014 winners! We appreciate your commitment to delivering (and supporting the delivery of) great patient care!
Click here to read more about all of our wonderful winners.
Health Leaders Media published an interesting slideshow of 2015’s top healthcare quality issues. The slideshow features 13 issues that will be important for the leadership of healthcare facilities to keep in mind in 2015.
“Healthcare has experienced fascinating changes during the last few years, and 2015 will be no exception,” they write. “Major programs stemming from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are well under way, dozens of new quality measures and data galore are flowing into the public domain, and quality of care remains in the spotlight for providers at all levels.”
Their choices for 2015’s top healthcare quality issues are:
- Measuring Misdiagnosis — “If physicians’ diagnostic accuracy were like air travel, one in 20 planes would not land when or where it should, and one in 40 flights would put passengers at risk of significant harm, or even crash.”
- Hospitals will get star ratings — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will rate facilities based on a 5-star quality scale.
- Readmissions socioeconomic adjustment
- Demise of Partnership for Patients
- Medicaid parity expiration hurts doctor supply
- Disproportionate Share hospital cuts remain unfair
- Antimicrobial stewardship as a Medicare condition of participation
- Electronic quality measure reporting babble — “The American Hospital Association points fingers of blame at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for failing to “enable electronic health records to generate feasible, reliable, and valid quality data for reporting purposes.”
- Mining physician quality for contracts
- PCORI research to vet which pricy drugs are better
- Cuts, cuts, and more cuts to doc pay for care to the poor
- Gaggle of quality reporting
- Healthcare fraud
Do you agree with Health Leaders Media’s list of 2015’s top healthcare quality issues? Are these issues affecting your facility in 2015? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Click here to view the slideshow in its entirety.
What kind of experience do traveling nurses and allied health professionals have when they work a travel assignment at your facility?
Travel Nursing Central has just released its annual Travel Nurse hospital ranking results, which include the top 10 Travel Nurse hospitals of 2015, according to Traveler feedback.
With 703 Travel Nurse hospitals rated, the rankings provide great insight into what traveling healthcare professionals want to see out of the hospitals they come to work for. This insight is helpful to Travelers who are seeking out assignments at Traveler-friendly facilities, but it’s also helpful for hospitals to examine what’s working and what’s not. Whether your facility is on the list or not, the amount and detail of the feedback can help you make sure that your hospital is doing things right.
The Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals of 2015 are:
- Sharp Memorial Hospital (San Diego, CA)
- St. Alphonsus Hospital (Boise, ID)
- Shriners (Sacremento, CA)
- Wilcox Memorial Hospital (Lihuem, TX)
- White Plains Hospital (White Plains, NY)
- St Joseph/Carondet (Tucson, AZ)
- Mary Washington Hospital (Fredericksburg, VA)
- Falmouth Hospital (Falmouth, MA)
- LSU-SHC (Shreveport, LA)
- University of Madison Hospital and Medical Center (Madison, WI)
Congrats if your facility was recognized!
Click here to see the complete Travel Nurse hospital ranking results. Each facility has a score and number of rankings listed, and you can click on “View Details” to see an excellent breakdown of each hospital’s rankings in 20 specific categories including technology, friendliness, scheduling, staff morale, orientation, parking, cafeteria, location, and more. In addition to the numbers, you can read reviews of your hospital and its competitors written by actual Travelers. These detailed rankings and reviews are very efficient at providing information that will help your facility attract and retain top-quality travelers. They are a great window into what helps make an assignment a success for a traveler, and, in turn, also for your management and perm staff!
With 2014 in your rearview mirror as you embark into 2015, it can be helpful to look back and examine the trends of the past year to help inform your strategies going forward.
Staffing industry Analysts released its report, “December 2014 US Healthcare Staffing Growth Assessment” on December 31, 2014. The assessment was broken down into sections examining:
- Supply and demand for healthcare
- Target markets and skills
- A profile of healthcare staffing
- A look at the American healthcare in the future
The overview suggests that, “The current environment for the healthcare staffing market is generally positive, especially in certain pockets such as travel nurse, due to a confluence of favorable drivers.”
One big factor is the products of the Affordable Care Act’s momentum, such as health insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, both of which have created a higher volume of patients. Medicaid expansion has also cut down on admissions of uninsured patients, which ultimately has the effect of cutting costs for facilities and providing leeway and need to increase staffing levels.
An overall improving economy has unemployment down and more workers using their employer-sponsored healthcare benefits plans to purchase coverage and, in turn, visit facilities and hospitals.
The report reflects that the demand for healthcare workers has grown and continues to grow at a quicker pace than even facilities themselves have anticipated. In this climate, the need to raise staffing levels at the drop of a hat, yet also for sustained periods, has made getting staffing levels right a particularly imperative objective. Temporary and Travel Nurses, as well as other Allied Healthcare Professionals, have been instrumental in filling the need facing by facilities nationwide.
Click here to read Staffing Industry Analysts’ intro to its 2014 US Healthcare Staffing Growth Assessment, as well as the full PDF report.