The healthcare staffing landscape is changing, and health systems need to be prepared to handle whatever comes next. Strategic staffing plans are put in place by hospitals, clinics, and other facilities to ensure all shifts are filled. This helps facilities maintain their quality of care and ensure patients are satisfied.
Internal resource pools, also known as float pools, can be extremely helpful for health systems who frequently experience open shifts. Hospitals who employ contingent workers rely on float pools to organize approved staff. This organization can be especially helpful when hospitals employ multiple types of workers, such as locum tenens, full-time staff, and workers protected by union regulations.
How Float Pools Fit in With Your Strategic Staffing Plan
A strategic staffing plan is a health system’s way to prepare for anything the world throws at them: open shifts, Joint Commission inspections, and budget fluctuations. Health systems need to think ahead so that they have these plans in place. Float pool management is an important aspect of a strategic staffing plan, as it creates a constantly updated list of approved providers to fill open shifts.
Creating a strategic staffing plan may seem complicated, but technology keeps it simple and straightforward, no matter the size of your health system. VMS technology includes many benefits for health systems’ float pool management strategies:
- Tracking of credentials. Health systems need to follow stringent regulations when it comes to staff qualification. All workers, even those that are part-time or contingent, need to be licensed and accredited by top medical organizations. If a staff member’s credentials are even slightly inaccurate or expired, hospitals may need to pay fines. A VMS keeps track of credentialing and notifies users in the case of expiring credentials, ensuring staff is always in line with regulations.
- Maximizing current staff. When shifts are open frequently, core staff may be required to work extra shifts, or the hospital may simply be understaffed. A VMS allows health systems to anticipate open shifts and fill them as soon as possible. That way, shifts are filled by trusted, tested contingent workers and quality of care does not suffer.
- Mobile capabilities. Health systems are often operating at top speed, and they need a float pool management system that will keep up with that. ShiftWise’s VMS technology is built to match the needs of all health systems. Mobile apps allow contingent, per diem, and any other type of worker to clock in and out in a way that works best for them. Hospitals can then approve these timestamps, making the process run much smoother.
- Adherence to union rules. Approximately 14% to 17% of healthcare staff are unionized, compared to just 11% in most other industries. Health systems need to be prepared to meet union regulations, and a VMS can help them do that. VMS systems allow users to set stipulations for all staff who are unionized, creating a staffing method that automatically adheres to the rules.