Back to blog
June 22, 2023

Providence Healthcare and Embracing the New Workforce Reality

Max Pinch
Healthcare Industry

The workforce crisis has become a harsh reality in today's healthcare landscape. Finding innovative ways to accept and deal with this challenge is imperative for healthcare organizations. One institution that stands out for its forward-thinking approach is Providence Healthcare. By accessing the gig economy and leveraging technology, Providence Healthcare has survived and thrived in the face of the staffing crisis.

Let's understand how they are taking advantage of this reality and how you can too.

Innovation at Providence Healthcare

Mark Smith, the vice president of workforce insights, optimization, and staffing at Providence, looks at the healthcare crisis as an opportunity. The reality is caregivers are going to decrease, and the aging population of baby boomers is only getting larger.

So how does this become an opportunity to innovate?

Providence implemented a gig workforce strategy comprising a pool of over 300 caregivers who can readily pick up unclaimed shifts. In just 13 months, they have successfully filled 15,000 shifts through this approach. By doing so, they have expanded their talent ecosystem, welcoming individuals who may not prefer traditional employment settings but possess the caregiving skills needed.

This innovative idea acts as a long-term solution to the growing staffing challenges. Access to this ever-expanding resource pool gives Providence a huge leg up in the scarce landscape that is healthcare. 

Technology plays a critical role in Providence's innovative and effective solutions. They implemented a Vendor Management System that facilitates talent supply and deploys clinical gig workers through app-based platforms. This technology-driven approach streamlines connecting caregivers with open shifts, ensuring efficient scheduling and minimizing administrative burdens. Moreover, the system provides advanced insights, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and optimize its workforce management strategies.

What are the Keys to Success 

We think there are three primary components to Providence Healthcare's successful strategy.

1. Internal development of a gig workforce

Flexibility and control over schedules are not just a trend in nursing anymore. Healthcare workers require flexible schedules, and many work for third-party staffing agencies or do contract work. Solutions like third-party staffing agencies aren't sustainable or cost-effective. 

Building an internal gig workforce allows organizations to curate a pool of caregivers with the necessary skills and qualifications to fill open shifts. The organization will be able to continually grow this new pool of talent, creating a completely sustainable staffing practice that is also cost-effective.

2. Implementation of technology-driven solutions

Technology is the only way to build and efficiently utilize a gig workforce. Specifically, a workforce management platform that centralizes labor pools, communication, and data. Effectively managing your labor pools will allow for efficiency, visibility, and optimization.

Finding a technology that aligns with your business goals, and can adapt to the varying climate of healthcare, is a major contributor to success. The right technology can do that. 

3. Embracing Innovation

Having an innovative mindset is critical in implementing a staffing strategy that works. Recognizing what the healthcare landscape looks like now, how it has changed, and how you can adapt are keys to improvement. Organizations must be willing to explore new possibilities, like new technologies or processes, to drive positive change.

The New Norm in Healthcare Staffing

Providence has defined a new norm in healthcare staffing. Mark Smith took the path of innovation, and it paid off. As the gig economy continues to expand into the world of healthcare, the only option will be to take advantage of it. Organizations like Providence Healthcare have demonstrated that taking advantage of this new reality can lead to successful outcomes. 

However, implementing and managing a gig workforce strategy can be complex and challenging.

This is why technology is imperative in adapting to this new reality. Like Providence, organizations must embrace the standardized use of technology in their workforce strategies. Connecting to a large pool of talent without outdated communication and scheduling processes can easily be accomplished through technology.

Staffing has changed in healthcare. It's time to adapt or risk falling behind.  

Don't miss these

Healthcare Industry
Connecting the Dots: Scheduling Practices and Their Impact on CNA Turnover

A survey done by Washington State recently found the connection between turnover and part time CNAs. Learn how Kevala plays a huge role in this connection and what it could mean for the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Industry
Kevala and LCCA Federal Way Partner Up to Put on a BBQ for Their Hardworking Full-Time Nurses

Kevala and Life Care Centers of America teamed up to put on a BBQ to thank their hardworking care team at their Federal Way facility. Read how this event came together and what it meant to the staff.

Healthcare Industry
How to Overcome the Healthcare Staffing Struggle

Directors of Nursing face staffing challenges every day. A scheduling system with integrated vendor management will help solve these challenges and allow nurses to get back to what is important. The patients.