Managing a contingent workforce program is no small feat. Whether your organization constitutes one or more medical facilities, maintaining control over each aspect of the extended workforce takes time and organization.
As healthcare institutions realize both the benefits and challenges of having contingent staff, they’re increasingly searching for technology to improve the process. Solutions like vendor management systems (VMSs) are among the core technologies they seek to properly manage a contingent workforce program.
The issue is: with all the options out there, which one will have the key functionalities to cover the use cases of hospitals and other medical facilities? This article lists the seven essential features healthcare organizations must have in their VMS to achieve an efficient contingent labor program.
If you’re considering buying a vendor management system, it’s important to check whether it can grow along with your institution. As healthcare organizations increase their percentages of contingent staff, there’s a high chance that your institution’s contingent labor program will continue growing in the future. You wouldn’t want to choose a solution that, in a year or two, needs new technology to meet your growing needs. Look for a VMS that allows you to add new facilities or projects in a centralized or decentralized manner, depending on your specific requirements.
2. Security Certifications
While solutions often share similar functionalities, not all vendor management systems are built equally when it comes to security. Since healthcare institutions have a lot of sensitive information in one place, they need to ensure that their technology partner is highly secure. A reliable vendor management system should have at least:
- SOC Compliance
- Penetration Testing
- ISO Certifications
- GDPR/Privacy Shield
In addition to keeping your data secure, another area healthcare facilities would want to look at is data retention and auditability. A VMS must be capable of providing you with all the data you need for audits and compliance.
3. Configurable Rate Technology
In an ever-changing environment, medical institutions need a flexible rate management system that meets their needs. A solution that can sustain healthcare requirements must be capable of setting up different rate configurations for:
- On call
- Shift differential
- California overtime
- Exempt vs. Non-exempt
At VectorVMS, we’ve identified every variation of rates that must be applied to a healthcare worker, including having a worker with different pay rates depending on the floor they’re working on. When evaluating technology, make sure that it can accommodate all your rate types to avoid a financial nightmare in the future.
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4. Robust Compliance Management
Compliance is at the heart of medical staffing. Peace of mind is paramount when bringing on healthcare providers to your facility. While you might feel comfortable with the compliance of your full-time staff, are you 100% positive about the credentials of your contingent workforce?
When searching for a vendor management system, go beyond the basic functionality of compliance management and make sure your tool has a way to:
- Track attachments
- Send alerts of expiring compliance
- Make requirements specific to the location and/or position
- Automate the onboarding process for new workers
- Track any equipment distributed to your contingent workforce
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Healthcare is a fast-paced environment, so your system integrations need to keep up. Medical facilities need a variety of technologies onsite and a reliable VMS should be able to connect to those systems seamlessly. APIs are the technology that sit behind the scenes that will help you to achieve this.
APIs can facilitate many automatic and time-saving solutions. A few examples are:
- Integrating badge access based on the completion of onboarding tasks
- Scheduling integrations to pass your contingent labor to your scheduling platform
- Passing worker information into your record access technology
As previously mentioned, healthcare is a highly complex and ever-changing industry. Something to keep in mind when evaluating technology is how hard it is to make changes on the fly. Sometimes, you may need to urgently add new fields to a page to capture specific information. Imagine how long it would take if you needed to contact the development team to make that change.
To prevent such setbacks, you need a system that you can quickly tweak to:
- Capture new fields
- Add new compliance requirements as they arise (for example, adding or removing flu shots from onboarding)
- Create new billing rules and financial requirements
- Create custom messages to remind contractors how to enter their time
- Auto-update rate changes as workers extend their time with the company
- Extend worker through dates as patient demand increases
Before choosing a VMS solution, you need to have a clear understanding of the kind of data you need and at what level. Reporting varies heavily across vendor management systems—from light-touch embedded providers to full-on reporting suites.
The best option is to find a technology with pre-built standard reports that also allows you to add custom data as needed. This enables you to have reports for all user types. A great extra feature is the ability to get the reports delivered to your employees’ inboxes so that they don’t have to log in to access the data they need.
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A Tailor-Made VMS for Healthcare Institutions
Healthcare staffing moves at a fast pace, making it more challenging to find quality talent to fill positions. To ensure a smooth and efficient process, you must find not only a VMS that can help you automate every aspect of your contingent workforce cycle, but also a tool that can grow with you as your requirements change. At VectorVMS, we understand the staffing struggles healthcare institutions face and the technology they need to improve it. Our technology can boost efficiency in your program while controlling compliance, spend, onboarding, and more.