The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) recently released the
results of their 2008 Buyer Survey showing the impressive adoption of Vendor Management Services (VMS) in healthcare staffing.
Over the last three years, adoption of VMS in the Non-Clinical and IT industries have more than doubled while the adoption in healthcare
has nearly quadrupled.
There are several things contributing to the vast adoption
of VMS in the healthcare staffing industry such as:
- Growth in sophistication of buyers
- Measurable improvements in performance and cost savings
for hospitals and staffing suppliers
- Increased hospital acceptance of VMS/MSP offerings by staffing suppliers
- VMS technology solution providers delivering proven value
Interestingly, the SIA announcement omits any mention of
the role VMS Technology companies have played in this rapid increase in adoption. In fact, they
somewhat suggest that the increase in adoption is due solely to staffing
suppliers offering more VMS services with “their own platform” in their new
founded “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach.
Although there has certainly been an increase in
healthcare staffing suppliers winning more Managed Service Provider (MSP) and
Vendor Management business in recent years, there are some important clarifications needed in this
- MSP/VMS solutions are not new service offerings for
healthcare staffing suppliers. Most of the successful staffing suppliers
in this area were offering these services years prior to VMS technology
companies entering the healthcare vertical.
- Perhaps we just need to have a better understanding of
terms but the SIA states that staffing suppliers are now offering their own “VMS
platforms.” To me, platform implies technology. To be clear, most healthcare
staffing suppliers offering “VMS platforms” offer products they have licensed
from VMS technology providers. This is especially true for three of the top
five performing healthcare staffing suppliers that offer MSP/VMS services.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are 7,569 hospitals in the U.S. If the SIA report is correct and 50% of hospitals are using VMS services (3,784 approximately), at
least 70% of these hospitals work directly with VMS technology providers, without a staffing supplier managing the service.
VMS adoption by hospitals has had an impressive increase
over the last several years due to multiple factors mentioned above. Healthcare
staffing suppliers of course play an important role in increasing this
adoption. However, the SIA seems to continually discount the role VMS technology
providers play in this industry. In addition, after reviewing previous presentations from the Healthcare Staffing Summit data, I realized that the increase in VMS adoption has far exceeded
the SIA’s previous predictions. Not mentioning the success
of the VMS model that has captured over 70% of the current market paints an inaccurate
picture of industry trends.