4 Ways Health Systems Can Build Successful Healthcare MSP Partnerships

In 2016, the use of contingent labor grew significantly. ManpowerGroup estimates that by 2020, there will be 64.9 million contingent workers across industries in the U.S.

The third largest industry using contingent workers is the healthcare industry. Responsible for more than 13 percent of overall employment in the U.S., healthcare has been hit particularly hard by a persistent skills gap and nursing shortage. This has caused many health systems to increase their use of contingent workers, with 67 percent of hospitals reporting increased use of this kind of labor.

But as contingent labor programs grow in size and scope, they also grow in complexity. This complexity brings with it the risk of worker misclassification, compliance errors, misalignment with overall health system goals, and rogue spend. In response, many health systems have embraced partnerships with healthcare managed service providers (MSPs) to improve their contingent workforce management efforts.

But how does a health system ensure that such partnerships are successful?

The key to a successful partnership with a healthcare MSP is communication and collaboration between the health system and the healthcare MSP. When working well, a partnership with a healthcare MSP can significantly reduce premium labor costs, manage risk, improve healthcare compliance, and realign the contingent workforce program with health system goals. Consider the following ways in which your health system can encourage a successful partnership with an MSP:

1. Define Health System Goals at the Outset

At the beginning of any partnership, it's important to have the desired outcome in mind. By defining your health system's goals in the beginning, you give your healthcare MSP partner a clear picture of what changes and improvements will be most meaningful to the health system. This also helps establish realistic expectations for the managed services program.

2. Nominate 'Program Champions' to Encourage Success

Vital to the success of the partnership with your healthcare MSP is adoption by various departments. A great way to encourage adoption is to nominate onsite "program champions." These program champions can provide coworkers with advice and information on how they can use the new resources to benefit their departments. They can also further assuage any concerns about or fears of change.

3. Be Open to Change

Innovation requires change, and that can be scary for people who are used to doing things one way – even if the old way is costly and inefficient. To ensure a successful partnership with your healthcare MSP, it's important that your health system is open to change. Clear communication and training programs can encourage an open and welcoming environment that will ultimately foster success.

4. Communicate Frequently and Fearlessly

Communication is key to a successful partnership with a healthcare MSP. By communicating openly, honestly, and frequently, a healthcare MSP can ensure alignment with health system goals. There should be frequent conversations about what's working, what's not, and how to proceed. This can ensure a stronger partnership and produce more meaningful results for the health system overall.

Using these tips, a health system can gain the most out of its partnership with a healthcare MSP. Together, both entities can redefine success to reduce risk, cut costs, and improve compliance in a contingent labor program.

Catherine Hess is the marketing manager for RightSourcing.