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A 5 minute read
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September 15, 2020

By 2033, the U.S. is projected to see a shortage of between 54,000 and 139,000 physicians. The aging physician population has contributed most to this ongoing healthcare staffing shortage. As more doctors approach retirement age, the number of practicing physicians will plummet. At the same time, the number of elderly patients will also rise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more staffing challenges. Physicians and nurses are in high demand as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are also dealing with COVID-19 infections among their staff, which  have a negative impact on staff availability.

According to a Definitive Healthcare survey, 30 percent of acute care organizations expect a staffing shortage because of COVID-19 exposure.

In the midst of all this, healthcare staffing companies are trying to:

  • Locate new job openings and opportunities
  • Contact department heads and hiring managers
  • Place qualified candidates in the right role

Here are the top six most common data searches that healthcare staffing firms are using to overcome these challenges.

1. Physician candidates by specialty

The most common data search among healthcare staffing firms is a search for physician candidates by specialty. Staffing companies use Definitive Healthcare’s physician database to conduct searches by any of the following criteria:

  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Region
  • NPI number
  • Clinical activity level, or
  • Primary specialty

When staffing companies target candidates by specialty, they can fill specific roles more quickly. For example, a healthcare staffing firm might be trying to fill a position for a cardiac surgeon in Massachusetts. By searching for physicians with a cardiac surgery specialty, staffing firms can narrow their pool of potential candidates. Staffing companies can then see which cardiac surgeons are licensed to practice in Massachusetts.

This search helps staffing companies locate ideal candidates and expedite the recruiting process.

2. Executive contacts and key opinion leaders by department

Staffing companies also use the physician database to search for executive contacts and key opinion leaders (KOLs). These individuals might hold positions like:

  • Practice owner
  • Chief of surgery
  • Department head, or
  • Board member

People in these positions are likely responsible for hiring decisions within their departments. With access to contact information for these individuals, staffing firms can endorse candidates more quickly and easily. Staffing firms might also be able to learn more about the qualities they are looking for in an ideal candidate. These qualities could include work history details like procedure volumes or referrals.

3. Mergers, acquisitions, and people on the move

In Definitive Healthcare’s Hospitals & IDNs database, users access the news and intelligence search. This search allows users to explore many different types of healthcare industry intelligence, including:

When integrated delivery networks (IDNs) merge or acquire new facilities, this might create new job opportunities. Health systems in this position might also need temporary staff like locum tenens providers. Staffing firms can use the news and intelligence search to identify these opportunities.

Healthcare staffing firms can also search for people on the move. They can receive alerts about C-level executives accepting positions at a different healthcare facility, for example. Staffing companies can use this information to fill open positions at the individual’s previous place of employment.

4. Requests for proposal

In the Hospitals & IDNs database, staffing companies access the request for proposal (RFP) search. RFPs fall into many different categories and types, including:

  • Construction or renovation
  • Durable medical equipment acquisitions
  • New technology implementations
  • Requests for ambulance services, or
  • Changes to hospital food management

Hospitals that expand their facilities or update a electronic health record (EHR) system might need more staff. Temporary staff can provide them with extra support during a transition period. Staffing firms track RFPs like these to help address hospital pain points and anticipate staffing needs.

5. Physician credentialing through commercial claims

Many healthcare staffing firms use Definitive Healthcare’s medical claims database. Staffing firms use this database to complete the physician credentialing process. Physician credentialing is a long and tedious process. Healthcare staffing firms must complete the credentialing process before placing candidates in a new role.

Credentialing involves verifying a physician’s education, employment history, and professional references. In doing this, staffing companies must also cross-check physician caseload information. Caseload information helps staffing companies prove that a candidate can fulfill all the responsibilities of their new position.

In the medical claims database, staffing companies can search for all the claims that a specific physician billed for within a given year. This credentialing helps to ensure that physicians can perform the procedures that they have attested to and meet the demands of their new role.

6. Ambulatory surgery centers

More and more healthcare staffing firms use Definitive Healthcare’s ambulatory surgery center database. In this database, staffing firms target recruitment opportunities in the outpatient market. The outpatient market has grown significantly over the past several years. This growth is expected to increase with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many patients associate hospitals with virus exposure and prefer the safety of an outpatient facility.

In the surgery center database, staffing firms search for facilities and regions that might have a shortage of qualified surgeons. They also access news and intelligence that is specific to the surgery center market. This intelligence helps staffing companies identify recruitment opportunities within the outpatient space.

Learn more

Do you want to learn more about how healthcare data can help to accelerate your recruitment process? Start a free trial with Definitive Healthcare today to access:

  • Daily healthcare industry news & intelligence alerts
  • Financial, clinical, and quality metrics for hospitals and other care facilities
  • Up-to-date information about 1.7 million physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals
  • All-payer claims data for over 247 million U.S. patients

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Grande

Rachel Grande is a communications professional and published author. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, and brings nearly two years of prior experience as ...


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