Smart staffing: How hospitals can cut costs without compromising quality care amid the pandemic

The pandemic has made one thing clear: Healthcare systems and hospitals need a partner to develop more cost effective staffing solutions through trust, transparency and accountability. 

During the January CEO + CFO Virtual Forum hosted by Becker's Hospital Review, two leaders from Salt Lake City, Utah-based VISTA Staffing Solutions discussed how medical organizations could save money by improving enterprise-wide workforce management. VISTA is the fourth-largest supplier of locum tenens in the U.S. and has helped staff hospitals with physicians from all specialties in areas hard-hit by the pandemic.

The speakers were: 

  • Andrea Nelson, Chief Operations Officer at VISTA Staffing Solutions
  • Adam Rousey, Senior Vice President at VISTA Staffing Solutions

Five key points examined during the event: 

1. Effective recruitment strategies can optimize and build workforces. VISTA finds ways to decrease dependency on contingent labor and develops a transparent staffing strategy based on improving quality and financial outcomes, Ms. Nelson said. As a full-service staffing provider, VISTA has more than 30 years of experience and includes more than 500,000 providers across 60 specialties. 

2. Hospitals and health systems have to understand their unique challenges to develop an effective organizational strategy. Clinician burnout must be a focus, Ms. Nelson said, along with the ability to respond to an enterprise-wide disaster, such as a COVID-19 surge or vaccine deployment. Amid the pandemic's volatility, VISTA has supported both short- and long-term staffing challenges, offering customizable workflows and solutions that allow organizations to optimize staffing levels. 

3. VISTA Staffing Solutions reduce costs while providing workforce management that improves quality care. Those solutions are built on trust, transparency, and accountability, Mr. Rousey said. The company uses strategic recruitment plans that anticipate coverage needs and streamlined scheduling to ensure organizations are operating at peak efficiency and can handle high volumes while delivering quality care. Furthermore, these services are delivered in balance with fiscal accountability, with the VISTA team taking time to understand and identify patterns in an organization's spending.

4. VISTA offers all organizations a comprehensive Workforce Optimization Review for free. The five-day assessment includes interviews with finance executives, department heads, and recruiting staff to identify gaps in the procurement process, Mr. Rousey said. The review also includes identifying areas that can be adjusted to ease clinical leaders' administrative burden. VISTA can then use the review findings to cut overall cuts by an estimated 25 percent, standardize system and service lines, customize reporting, provide a roadmap for improvements while maintaining full transparency in rates, utilization, and real-time reporting. 

5. A multispecialty medical group and healthcare management team partnered with VISTA and cut spending by more than 30 percent while eliminating physician shortages. The health system employs more than 25,000 physicians and advanced practice providers across the U.S., Ms. Nelson said. VISTA implemented a plan to cut spending by 25 percent by utilizing cost containment strategies, eliminating locum overspending, and maintaining competitive market rates. Now in the third year of the relationship, the organization trends closer to a 30 to 35 percent reduction of contingent staffing spend, Ms. Nelson said. The organization has also used VISTA's technology solution, VISTA Select, to help with its COVID-19 surge responses.  

For more information about VISTA Staffing Solutions, click here. To view the full virtual event, click here


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