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Top 3 Applications of Affiliations Data in Healthcare Staffing

November 26, 2019 BY Tory Waldron

Top 3 Applications of Affiliations Data in Healthcare Staffing

As more baby boomers approach retirement age, healthcare institutions struggle to recruit, hire and retain talent to fill the roles they leave behind.

These days, it's hard to identify key candidates and stay ahead of the shifting healthcare job market. With locum tenens and nursing placements in high demand for healthcare organizations across the US, staffing needs are increasing exponentially. It's important to be able to identify where gaps exist and how physicians are moving from organization to organization and role to role.

As the healthcare industry slowly begins to shift from an independent physician-centric view to an organization-centric approach—in the form of value-based programs and a rapidly-consolidating market—understanding the locus of control within an organization is critical when it comes to healthcare staffing. Accurate affiliation data and analytics technologies that capture the connections between healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations are essential to improving healthcare staffing in the years to come. Here’s how it helps:

1. Understand the locus of control

With value-based programs gaining popularity, staffing decisions are becoming more and more centralized within Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs). Knowing the locus of control and the proper executive contacts to reach out to within an organization is critical, but the complexity of IDNs can make this a challenge—particularly as healthcare organizations consolidate and merge. This is where the right data can help. Accurate affiliations data that maps provider work histories and tracks mergers and acquisitions can help hiring teams identify the right candidates for open positions.

Mergers and acquisitions, in particular, are an important metric to track. Bankruptcies and facility closings are key events for recruiters, as closures indicate clinicians that will be seeking new employment opportunities. Similarly, new facility openings and construction indicate that there will soon be a need for additional staffing. Ultimately, it's a good idea to keep an eye on labor issues and strikes, technology implementations, and mergers and acquisitions—particularly when it comes to placing locum tenens providers during busy periods of onboarding, training, restructuring, or even strikes.

If you're a staffing agency, it's also important to understand if a target facility is part of an IDN, GPO, or HIE. This not only helps you target which hospitals may be most interested in your services, but also which ones you may want to avoid pitching. You also want to know if there is a strong recruiter program within the network or facility to help determine if it is a good target for your agency. Staffing agencies use affiliations data see where there are gaps in a given network or facility and to determine which department heads might be the best outreach targets. Ultimately, this type of filtering will save time and money—helping your team really hone in on the best targets.

2. Follow the movement of physicians

Affiliations data can also help you research the key players: physicians. Which hospitals are they affiliated with? Where are their practice locations? Do they travel between multiple states as a locum tenens provider? Find resources that allow you to track physician affiliations data. For instance, Definitive Healthcare tracks 1.6 million U.S. physicians and helps clients understand the movement and overall trends of physicians within the market. According to Definitive Healthcare data, nearly half of US physicians (48.9%) are affiliated with more than one hospital, but less than 2% practice across state lines (1.9%). Interestingly, more than 20% of physicians dabble in more than one specialty area. Understanding the movement of physicians—and the affiliations they have with hospitals and health systems—can help inform your staffing recruitment strategy.

3. Plan recruiting strategies

Affiliations data allows you to access information about the most in-demand healthcare candidates, and helps you make informed talent decisions by creating an understanding around:

  • Candidate locations. Are they members of ACOs or physician groups? Do they split their time between inpatient hospitals and outpatient facilities?
  • Physical presence. In what region/geography should you open your next office?
  • Competitive landscape. Which of your competitors are vying for the same talent?
  • Planning metrics. What’s the size of the candidate pool you’re recruiting from, and how do you find the contact information to get in touch with them?

Data platforms like Definitive Healthcare can help answer these questions and more, to help you plan your market strategy and find the right talent.

Learn More

Looking for more information on how to streamline recruiting and physician placement? Sign up for a free trial to access Definitive Healthcare's interactive Staffing and Recruiting Analytics dashboard. Identify the most overworked facilities by location and sort by affiliated physicians, predicted need for locum tenens providers, average bed utilization rates, and other filters.

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Fig 2: Interactive Staffing and Recruiting Analytics dashboard from Definitive Healthcare. Image features a map of hospitals, color-coded by ratio of contract labor spending to bed utilization (left) and a list of the most overworked facilities by workload index (right).

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