By Leanne Oatman
Vendor-neutral VMSs can help hospitals reduce contract labor costs. But how do you know which VMS to partner with?
Healthcare leaders can use the following list to guide the process of selecting a vendor-neutral vendor management service (VMS). The list can help ensure that you choose a company that will serve as a strategic partner that will help identify and resolve potential staffing problems, from weeding out inappropriate staff to ensuring temps have their proper vaccinations.
Access the related article: Reducing Contract Labor Costs, Compliance Risks with Vendor-Neutral Arrangements
- Get buy-in from your top management to partner with a vendor-neutral VMS.
- Ask how long the company’s been in the healthcare field. How many clients do they have?
- Ask for references from current clients and, more importantly, suppliers. And call the references.
- Ask how experienced the company is at implementation of these programs. Ask to see communication plans, implementation timelines, roles and responsibilities of team members, references from recent implementations, and supplier references.
- Remember to ask-at the very start of the process-if the company handles payroll as well as compliance and regulatory issues.
- Ask how the company makes the whole program come together and work. Ask for details, details, and more details. Ask to see sample reports, invoices, satisfaction surveys, trend data, and analytics.
- Ask about their “bandwidth.” Is the company national? Does it have resources (upon which it can call) all over the country? Ask to see current client lists and resources that will be assigned to the account. Ask about the team’s authority and decision-making ability. Who is ultimately responsible for implementation and service? What other client responsibilities do they have?
- Don’t forget to reassure your current staffing suppliers-at least, the good ones-that they’ll still be involved in your plans even when a new system is implemented.
- Don’t forget to ask a company bidding for your business about how-and how often-it will provide detailed metrics and reports of the program results. Clients should see metrics on quality, suppliers, positions, departments with usage, survey results, etc.
- Don’t forget to ask how the company handles analysis on the front end. Ask for examples of analysis conducted on existing clients-and what the results were? What recommendations did they make? How did they add value? What thought leadership did they provide?
- Don’t forget to ensure that the company thinks strategically. Ask for examples of strategic plans and programs the company has put in place with clients to address issues facing the client. And don’t forget to get concrete examples from other healthcare clients.
- Don’t forget to draw up a very detailed contract-and to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. If you want this new partnership to last, leave nothing to chance; make sure everything is spelled out.
Leanne Oatman is vice president of business development & client services, RightSourcing, Inc., Bethpage, N.Y. ([email protected]).