August 16, 2017
How Contracting Benefits Hospitals
Written by: Bobby Floyd
Over the recent years, contracting has become an increasingly popular trend as the healthcare industry pushes to improve the quality of patient care and alleviate costs and expenditures. It’s important to know why hospitals are going this route, and some of the advantages contracting has on the overall quality outcomes of the healthcare industry.
Here are just a few of the advantages of partnering with a contract service provider:
Dedicated and Expert Support System
Contract organizations bring a wealth of knowledge in industry-leading practices and processes. Their specialized support structures are oftentimes made up of individuals with decades of experience in the field, which can be utilized to better support the hospital and local teams. From a corporate perspective, contract companies invest their dollars into training and technology that is specific to their expertise, and that would not otherwise be accessible to the hospital. By equipping the frontline staff with this education, technology and support, contract companies are able to provide their partners with quality, result-oriented services everyday. Additionally, contracting provides healthcare facilities with talented, competent, on-site leadership teams, and can quickly fill open leadership positions through internal promotions within their organization. These promotion opportunities are also available to the frontline, hourly team members who are motivated to move up in the ranks. This support structure allows the hospital administrators to focus more of their time on hospital core competencies and patient experience, and less time on service lines such as environmental services (EVS), food, laundry, plant operations, and transport.
Responsible Management of Hospital Dollars
Contracting often offers lower infrastructure costs than an in-house program, which can help alleviate financial burden in today’s tough healthcare market. Contract companies typically operate with less waste, and do a better job managing costly buckets such as worker’s compensation, supply/food expenses, and equipment maintenance. By contracting services such as culinary or EVS, hospitals can avoid allotting extra budget dollars to the training, development and software needs associated with maintaining support service departments. In departments such as food services, the companies can actually create revenue and improve employee morale by providing tasty food options for the hospital's patients and visitors.
Appropriate Allocation of Resources
Often hospitals do not know how to resource the support service departments, and do not fully maximize the manpower they have available. Using productivity standards and applying experience, contract companies can strategically place individuals in work zones, establish acceptable times for daily tasks to be completed, and make sure these daily tasks are evenly distributed. As a result, the operational efficiency of the hospital increases and the team members are given an equitable amount of the department’s workload. Lastly, team members who are equipped with the most current training, the necessary tools, and the latest technology that is provided by contract service companies, can accomplish their assignments faster and more efficiently than those without.
Streamlining the Recruiting Process
Recruiting for support service lines can be a laborious task, especially if hospitals are casting their recruitment net in the wrong place. Contracting offers an advantage to this process by removing the need for hospitals to recruit and hire individuals for support service departments. Instead, contract organizations provide a new perspective to recruitment and talent acquisition and are able to more appropriately align individuals with positions. Typically, a contract service provider can move more quickly than a hospital to fill open support service positions with quality candidates.
As healthcare executives are continually working to promote growth, increase efficiency and achieve success across the board, contract services cannot be overlooked. Moreover, contracting plays an integral role in helping healthcare facilities minimize their overhead costs, while maximizing the quality of their services. Since embracing these industry-leading standards and innovative programs, hospitals are now experiencing a more focused expertise in hospitality, in both hospital operations and patient experience. Successful partnerships like these are freeing hospitals to better serve their patients, communities and staff.