Category: Featured


Permanent Staff Vs. Traveler Staff Costs Calculator

2012 08 28 0950 300x123 Permanent Staff Vs. Traveler Staff Costs Calculator

Staffing your hospital while working on a tight budget presents a challenge. Having your own staff work overtime may feel like the most financially sound option when budgets are limited.

However, this dilemma presents an opportunity to look at your staffing strategy and the use of travelers from a new perspective, one that helps you take care of hardworking perm staff, your patients and still be financially responsible for your hospital.

To compare the cost between a permanent staff member and a traveler, download this Staffing Value Calculator Worksheet. You only have to enter 3 numbers and it will calculate all your staffing needs.


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How the healthcare reform impacts hospital strategies

This past Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as healthcare reform. Many healthcare facilities were concerned on what impact the reform would have on their current consolidation and strategic investment in clinics and information technology.

According to the Wall Street Journal, hospitals need not fret. The WSJ claims the reform will support hospital strategies preparing for change under the law.

What do you think?

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How Does your Facility Rank?

iStock 000001167045XSmall How Does your Facility Rank?If you could rate your last hospital visit, what score would you give? This isn’t a question you give your patients regularly, but unfortunately they are more than willing to answer without being asked.

There are a growing number of review and social media sites where patients and healthcare staff can rate hospital facilities just like they would rate a restaurant on Urban Spoon. This day and age people want to see reviews for every service they use, and want to tell others how their experiences was.

Have you taken the time to search for reviews on your hospital? The results may surprise you. Don’t let your facility continue to have a bad rap because of a few unhappy patients or staff. Take the time to examine these sites and resolve any disgruntled reviewers issues. Many times after you resolve an issue the reviewer is happy to change their review to a positive one. Don’t let bad reviews be the face of your facility.

Here are a few sites that house hospital reviews:


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What to Look for When Working with a Travel Staffing Agency

iStock 000006207278XSmall What to Look for When Working with a Travel Staffing Agency

It can be often difficult finding a quality healthcare staffing agency to hire. You need to trust the company is sending you qualified healthcare staff that integrates well with your hospital. Here are some things to look for when working with a healthcare staffing agency:

Experience-One important factor to consider is how long the agency has been around and how long their recruiters have been recruiting. Knowing how to place qualified candidates and fill positions is something learned with experience. Having this experience gives them the know how to handle difficult situations and the foresight to know which type of candidates will be best for an assignment.

Candidates that Fit- They provide you with good matches for your available positions, not just candidates they need to assign. Where do they recruit their candidates? What is their screening process? Great agencies will screen their candidates thoroughly to make sure their resume matches their experience.

Organization- If paper work comes to you unorganized and incomplete, it could be a reflection of the recruiters work habits and also a possible indication they will not be providing you with the best candidate for your position.

Specialization-What does the staffing agency specialize in? Do they place travel nurses, allied professionals, therapists, techs? Your best chance for finding the ideal candidate is to go to an agency who concentrates on exactly the type of positions you are trying to fill. An agency will have an abundance of skilled candidates in their database and will know how to filter out and send you the superstar traveler you are looking for.

Benefits- They provide their travelers with great benefits. This ensures the happiness of the traveler, which means a better employee for you.

What do you look for in a travel staffing agency?


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Recruiting secret: Hospital offers convenient housing for its employees

Having trouble recruiting hospital staff? This might be your solution…

iStock 000000793722XSmall Recruiting secret: Hospital offers convenient housing for its employees

Hospital staff in the Orlando area spend an average of 45 mins. in traffic to and from work.

One Orlando hospital sold part of their land to a local developer to build convenient, nearby housing for hospital staff. The building developer agreed to offer hospital employees a three-month preferred lease option before the apartments are made available to the public. Even when the apartments are all rented, hospital employees will be bumped to the top of the waiting list.

The convenience, safety and affordability of the housing are very appealing reasons for healthcare travelers to work for this facility. The Florida hospital views this as a prized asset, especially when recruiting from out of state.

Currently, traveling staff are forced to live in the suburbs due to unaffordable rent costs. Employees living in these areas spend an average of 45 minutes in Orlando’s traffic to and from work. However, living in the new residences will only require a 5 minute walk commute. Upon proposal of the project, the hospital requested that 80% of the apartments would be affordable for families earning between 40,000 and $70,000.

The apartment complex is just the beginning to the campus’s Health Village concept, which will include shops, restaurants, a swimming pool, fitness facility, garage parking and even electric cars that can be rented by the hour. A rail commuter station will also be built near the hospital for easy access to downtown Orlando. Source: Health Leaders Media.

Do you think inconvenient housing is a deterrent for many healthcare professionals?

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What do you think of prescribed color-coded scrubs?

A Minneapolis-based hospital group will soon implement color-coded uniform requirements so that patients and family members can easily identify nurses from other hospital workers. This requirement has been causing some controversy among nurses nationally. Many argue that their brightly colored scrubs cheer up patients; the solid colored scrubs lack individuality and are depressing. What do you think?

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Hospitals Exploring New Well-Being Programs

Most hospitals currently implement well-being programs for their staff. Recently, more and more have been expanded beyond the traditional health and wellness offerings and are now addressing mental and emotional health, financial health, work-life effectiveness and workplace environment and stress. With this new integration, many already see measureable and positive results which have impacted employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. You can read more on the subject here.

What types of well-being programs does your organization offer?

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How Do You Create an Effective Hospital Culture?

iStock 000019180736XSmall How Do You Create an Effective Hospital Culture?It’s proven that hospitals with an effective culture provide better patient care and outperform competitors.  To achieve a desired hospital culture, you must identify what kind of culture you currently have, decide what you want your culture to be, and shift everyone toward the preferred culture.

The easiest way to assess current culture is to simply observe. How does your staffing act? Are they respectful toward higher authority? Do they have the patient’s best interest in mind? How is the temporary staff being treated? Look for common conduct and visible signs. Listen to what your nurses, doctors and patients are telling you. Read reviews of your hospitals. Surveys. And more surveys. Performing initial in-depth surveys for patients is the easiest way to evaluate your culture. Then, continue to conduct follow-up surveys to evaluate progress. These will all give you an idea of what your current hospital culture is like.

What did you learn from your observations? Did you find that your hospital values safely, effective care, respecting the dignity of all who come through your doors? If you said yes to all these, then your hospital is on the right track. If not, then you certainly have some work to do. From here, you can decide what you like about your current culture and, of course, what you need to change.

Things to strive for in a hospital culture:

  • Ensuring patient safety
  • Attitude of teamwork and open communication
  • Equality of staff
  • Comfortability in reporting potential hazards without fear of reprimanding

After you’ve decided on a solid hospital culture, it’s now time to move your staffing in that direction. This is definitely a difficult task in the healthcare staffing world with a plethora of temporary staffing and travel nurses coming and going.  These are some steps to start with:

  • Have a staff meeting. Clearly communicate the culture to your employees and the results you’d like to achieve, and then over communicate and remind them daily.
  • Have fun with it by providing incentives for complying with the hospital culture.
  • Make the staff feel like they are personally responsible for the successfulness of the hospital.
  • Be the leader! The culture will not survive if the authority is not setting the example

Keep it up. Your culture isn’t something you start and then ignore. A strong culture is a result of care and enforcement. How do you know that you are progressing in the right direction? Go back to step 1. Observe, listen and survey. Hopefully you will see the progression from where you started.

Remember you can create the idea of the culture you want, but only your staff can make it a reality.




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LinkedIn, are you using it to recruit?

LinkedIn has become the #1 social media network among recruiters, with over 120 million members. With it’s easy search of keywords, skills, specialties and recommendations, it alleviates a lot of the previous steps to finding the right candidate.

Are your recruiters using it to search for potential healthcare staff?

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What is your hospital doing to keep nurses happy?

With the current nurse shortage, it’s no surprise that hospitals should be doing all they can to keep their nurses happy.

Maintaining an environment where the nurse wants to work is critical for not only nurse retention, but also patient quality. The overall stress accompanied by an uncomfortable and disrespectful work environment can send nurses running for the door. The key is finding out what makes nurses happy enough to stay.

The Nursing Organizations Alliance developed a set of principles to help hospitals and other health care entities create positive work environments. More than 40 nurse organizations have endorsed these principles. So, what are you doing to keep your nurses happy?

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