The managed service provider (MSP) concept was birthed with the emergence of information technology (IT) back in the 1990s. A burgeoning IT sector realized that it could provide managed services to companies just starting their own IT programs but without the experience, knowledge, and financial resources to do it right. Ever since, MSP programs have been a mainstay in IT.
Now we are seeing a similar thing emerging in the healthcare sector. Enterprising staffing companies have begun adapting the MSP model to facilitate better staffing solutions for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers. And it is working. The MSP model has translated to healthcare staffing quite well.
Application Services and Hosting
It turns out there are many ways to adapt the MSP model to healthcare staffing. One of the easiest and most direct is to provide healthcare facilities with software application services and hosting. Enter the vendor management system. This is a software system, usually cloud-based, that offers a turnkey solution for working directly with staffing agencies.
Some vendor management solutions are all-in-one solutions that include recruiting, hiring, billing, and so forth. Others are a bit more specific. The key is to come up with a customizable, modular package that can be modified to meet every client need.
When a system is set up properly, it becomes so much more than software as a service. It becomes a portal to a plethora of staffing solutions. It gives healthcare facilities greater access to more potential hires – whether those hires are locum tenens providers or job seekers looking for permanent placement opportunities.
Managed Recruiting Services
An MSP in an IT setting can take on as much, or as little, responsibility as the client desires. Some MSPs remotely manage every aspect of a client’s IT. Likewise, a healthcare staffing MSP can do much the same thing. They can handle even the most difficult aspect of healthcare staffing: recruiting new hires.
Ask any hospital administrator to name the toughest task HR has and he or she is likely to tell you recruiting. Thanks to an ongoing shortage of both clinicians and allied professionals, recruiting has become a full-time job for HR personnel. MSPs can take some of that pressure off by assuming the role of recruiter.
MSP Pricing Models
The MSP model even translates to healthcare staffing and its pricing. Where IT providers have a tendency to charge flat fees for each device and software platform under their control, healthcare staffing providers charge flat fees for every service they provide. The fee-for-service model allows healthcare facilities to better utilize their recruiting and staffing budgets.
MSP Service Agreements
All of what has been discussed thus far is held together by another principle taken from IT: the MSP service agreement. MSPs in the IT sector produce service-level agreements that dictate what services they will provide, what kind of performance they can be expected to achieve, etc. Such agreements are contractual agreements that bind both parties together in their responsibilities and expectations.
Once again, healthcare staffing companies do much the same thing through their MSP programs. They offer a level of service coupled with an expectation of performance. In return, clients agree to use their services for a given amount of time. The two become partners in addressing the client’s staffing needs.
Managed service providers have been a godsend to the IT industry since their inception. Now that they have made their way into healthcare, it will be interesting to see how many staffing companies transition to managed service providers. The model works well in healthcare. There is no reason to not embrace it.