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My MSP/VMS Is Not Delivering; Should I Switch Providers?

by Fanie Pieterse

Over the past decade, adoption of MSP programs and VMS technology to better manage healthcare staffing has grown dramatically. More than two thirds of travel nurses are being hired through MSP/VMS programs and further adoption and expansion is expected across all clinical staffing specialties.

The popularity of MSP and VMS is not surprising given that they provide hiring managers the ability to manage and track open positions, candidate recruitment, credentialing, and invoicing and expenses through a centralized, streamlined process and technology. Both offer access to a pool of pre-screened, subcontracted staffing agencies under standard contracts and bill rates. Both also offer consolidated invoicing and reporting of key metrics such as position fill rates, time-to-fill, and candidate profile flow and conversion rates. 

Especially in healthcare, where clinicians are in short supply, hiring managers rely on their MSP programs to manage their contingent workforce and ensure temporary positions are filled with quality clinicians in a timely manner. This reduces the stress associated with filling numerous short-term staffing gaps that constantly arise, and enables healthcare leaders to shift from reactive mode back to a focus on providing the best patient care.

But what if your MSP program or VMS technology is not delivering on its promises? At what point should a healthcare organization consider switching to another provider or solution? The most common performance issues can include the following:

  • Failure to fill open positions in a timely manner
  • Poor or worsening candidate submissions
  • Decline in clinician quality, including onboarding issues, increased terminations, or last-minute clinician cancellations
  • Poor account management issues, poor communications, or lack of responsiveness
  • Lack of reporting metrics and inability to evaluate program performance and expenditures

Workforce solutions agreements often have contracts in place lasting between one to three years because of the time and resources dedicated by the MSP partner to implement and ramp up a new program. However, when the promised efficiencies of MSP or VMS do not materialize, healthcare executives may consider terminating for non-performance and taking another look at the vendor universe.

If the organization is managing its own contingent workforce program using only a VMS, it may want to bring in additional resources through adopting an MSP program.

See article MSP and VMS in Healthcare: What’s the Best Solution for You?

In an MSP program, a healthcare organization can enjoy the benefits of a VMS technology and also rely on the MSP partner to ensure all open positions are filled timely with quality clinicians. This may be very helpful if recruiting temporary staff has become a distraction from the more critical or strategic work for which healthcare leaders are responsible. An MSP program can reduce the stress associated with hiring temporary clinicians and allow healthcare leaders to shift from reactive mode back to providing the best patient care.

If the healthcare organization is already utilizing an MSP but is dissatisfied with the program, it may be time to consider new provider companies. Healthcare executives may want to consider whether having an MSP with a vendor neutral or agency led model has resulted in performance issues.

When selecting an MSP program vendor, it is very important for healthcare executives to consider not only the strength of an MSP’s account management team and staffing agency pool, but also the MSP’s engagement and reputation with the staffing agency pool. Additionally, selecting an MSP vendor with a consultative approach to implementation and performance management can help address the performance challenges discussed above. Working with an MSP partner with a collaborative culture and strong program management approach can result in higher fill rates, improved candidate submissions and fewer assignment issues, which translates into better overall program performance.

About AHSA

Founded in 2003, AHSA is a full-service, comprehensive MSP and VMS technology workforce solutions provider to healthcare organizations nationwide. As a vendor-neutral MSP, AHSA manages contingent work programs using its proprietary Trio VMS, developed specifically to provide an enterprise-wide solution for simplifying staffing processes within healthcare.

As a pioneer in the industry, AHSA was the first to provide physician locum tenens and advanced practice technology workforce solutions in addition to nursing, allied health, medical office, IT and non-clinical MSP/VMS services.

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