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Do You Know the Difference Between VMS and MSP Staffing Technologies?

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One of the most challenging tasks hospitals and other healthcare organizations face is staff management. Proper staffing is essential to ensure that the hospital operates smoothly and that all patients have a positive experience. However, because staffing can be so complex and involves so many diverse challenges, many organizations struggle to find an efficient and effective way to manage contingency staff, provide continuity of care, maintain a positive patient experience and drive bottom-line growth. This article, discuss two types of staffing technologies that can help with these tasks: VMS and MSP. Most healthcare organizations will find that one or both of these solutions reduce problems with contingency staff management.

Vendor Management System (VMS)

A vendor management system, or VMS, is a specific type of technology solution designed to help hospitals with contingency staff management. Vendor management systems do not recruit candidates to fill staffing vacancies. Instead, they allow hospital administrators to evaluate candidates independently. As a result, this system is considered vendor-neutral.

This solution offers several advantages for hospitals and other healthcare organizations, including consolidated billing and detailed reporting capabilities. This type of system is best for healthcare organizations with a supply of candidates in excess of the available openings, which is a rare situation in today’s market. It is also recommended for organizations that don’t need direct contact with a staffing agency.

Managed Service Provider (MSP)

A managed service provider, or MSP, is an alternative to VMS that is preferable for many institutions. Managed service providers help hospitals and other healthcare systems deal with short-term staffing needs by offering support through every phase of the staffing process. If an organization opts for an MSP, the system will work with one central business partner to handle staffing.

Some of the functions of an MSP include recruiting quality candidates, onboarding new employees, consolidating contracts, and streamlining inefficient workforce processes. Some of the primary benefits of choosing an MSP include:

  • Better workforce efficiency – MSPs can simplify workforce processes, maximizing the overall efficiency of your institution.
  • Effective use of data – MSPs leverage data to optimize the planning process.
  • Cost-effectiveness – An MSP is one of the most cost-effective options available to hospitals facing a staffing shortage.
  • Reduction in overtime hours – With an MSP, organizations won’t pay for as many overtime hours.
  • Lower staff turnover – MSPs can reduce turnover rates, thus saving the facility money and frustration.

MSPs are ideal for hospitals and similar systems facing a conversion to Electronic Medical Records, experiencing fluctuations in staffing needs, and/or severe staffing shortages.

Although an MSP is a service solution, many MSPs now have in-house technology platforms. Some MSPs have even combined MSP and VMS technology to provide maximum benefit to their clients.

Bringing Staffing Technology to Your Organization

The benefits of staffing technology for hospitals and other medical organizations are clear. If you are dealing with staffing challenges, it may be time to adopt a staffing technology solution. Consider each of your options carefully, and select the one that will help you improve your workforce and better manage your organization’s contingency staff. If you are not sure which option is best for your healthcare system, consider looking for a solution that combines the best aspects of VMS and MSP for your benefit.

Healthcare systems can monitor and streamline processes through the VISTA Select customized suite of services, standardize documentation, and have real-time reporting. These healthcare organizations forecast future staffing needs and manage an entire contingent labor population. 

Here at VISTA, we’re dedicated to being our clients’ strategic workforce optimization partner. Our deep industry expertise and exclusive locums MSP technology help health systems, hospitals, practices, and government entities build and sustain effective workforce models that ensure patient access to care and organizational stability. Covering more than 60 specialties, we staff physicians, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, and physician assistants to help our clients preserve revenue and maintain profitability. Contact a VISTA Expert today to get started.

Case Study: Cost Containment Through Workforce Optimization

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on January 9, 2020, and has been updated for accuracy and timeliness.

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