Notes from the Healthcare Staffing Summit 2009

Picture 7 Back in realty here after spending the week at the Healthcare
Staffing Summit 2009
put on by Staffing Industry Analysts, I thought I’d give a quick summary of the week.

As always, the Healthcare Staffing Summit was a
well organized event, containing lots of valuable information and great
networking opportunities. Being held in Washington, D.C. it was high energy and
felt like an appropriate venue considering the current politics surrounding
healthcare reform. Attendance was noticeably down from previous years but not
dramatically so.

The topics for the show covered the spectrum including:
healthcare staffing industry data, the economy, selling in the current economy, working with the
government, selling IT staffing to hospitals, healthcare vendor management, Locum Tenens and several
others. Personally, I always feel that the events and topics on the first day
are much better than those on the second day. The second day typically consists
of employees from staffing companies sitting on panels and discussing a particular
topic related to the industry. However, I always find a lot of these discussions to be stating the
obvious and don’t feel there is anything of major value ever being revealed. Fortunately, the sessions from the first day always make the whole event worth it.

I was most happy with and surprised by the discussions on healthcare
reform and how it could affect the healthcare staffing industry
. Having Tom
Daschle there to present this topic was by far the highlight of the event for
me.

In addition, the economic news and industry data was of course really depressing
but also a sharp dose of reality. And, as always, it was interesting to hear
VMS being referred to as a “threat to the industry” by the SIA, even though VMS
has now been adopted by 48% of hospitals
in the market.

Next week I’ll have several posts containing notes from a
few of the sessions I attended. If you weren’t able to attend, hopefully
these summaries will provide you with some good information.

The only major complaint I have with the Healthcare
Staffing Summit is the cost. As a vendor, it costs us 3-5x as much to set up a
booth as it does to attend any other industry conference we go to. (I won’t even mention the fact that I don’t agree with VMS companies being listed as vendors and not participants) Although it is
a really great conference, I’m not sure how these high fees can continue to be
justified. I heard this same feedback from several of the attendees and hope
that the SIA will reconsider their fees before next years show.

All in all it was a great conference. If you didn’t
attend, you certainly missed out.

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