How on-demand staffing benefited SSM Health

In an interactive session at the Becker's 11th CEO + CFO Roundtable, Seth Lovell, BSN, RN, system vice president of nursing for SSM Health, and Todd Walrath, CEO and founder of ShiftMed, discussed the benefits of on-demand healthcare staffing.

SSM Health, a Catholic, nonprofit healthcare system based in St. Louis, has partnered with ShiftMed, a national platform that provides software technology to about 350,000 clinicians in 40 states. The on-demand marketplace allows healthcare providers to have a branded solution for their own workers, integrate with different systems and offer pay-as-you-go solutions. 

SSM Health has seen improvements in turnover rate and engagement scores since adopting on-demand staffing. The company has also saved $85 million annually over COVID highs. The model also allows for flexibility in testing new care models and shift types.

Key takeaways

1. On-demand workers can be a valuable source of talent for healthcare organizations.

"We have all of these resources that are highly competent. ... But we weren't able to actually have them meet the demand that we were looking for because we were locked into some of those [previous] agreements," Mr. Lovell said.

2. On-demand solutions can help reduce reliance on external agency staffing.

"We need to proactively cancel contracts and match them up one to one with on-demand workers to be able to do this well," Mr. Lovell said.

3. On-demand platforms offer flexibility and testing opportunities for different care models and shift types.

"A lot of the on-demand workers actually value that ultimate flexibility that comes through being an on-demand resource," Mr. Lovell said. "So we're able to actually test out these different shifts, different shift types, starts, hours, roles, responsibilities, etc."

4. On-demand platforms can provide cost savings and improve fill rates for healthcare organizations.

"We're posting 25,000 shifts per quarter," Mr. Walrath said. "We have fill rates over 85%. ... [And] SSM has been able to achieve an $85 million annual savings over COVID highs."

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