The Case for Small Data in Healthcare Contingent Labor Programs

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For several years, human resources technology and talent management software have experienced a renaissance in strategic analytics.  These platforms have focused on integrating what has been called Big Data, offering macro views of talent acquisition and management.  As healthcare expands its talent pool and increases their engagement of contingent labor, strategic analytics have become critical to the strategic direction of these programs.   Yet, often, what is missing is Small Data.  In this sense, Small Data includes the smaller sets of data that contribute to larger systemic patterns, root causes of performance, and more.   Small Data refers to what is happening in a healthcare contingent labor program, contributing to the why obtained from Big Data.  Often, Small Data is obtained from sources such as expert consultation, program participants, and examination of tightly segmented values in technology.  In healthcare contingent labor programs, small data is as critical as Big Data.  Is your health system focusing on the Small Data it needs to improve its healthcare contingent labor program?

Is Your Healthcare Contingent Labor Program Thinking Small

Health systems are no stranger to examining Small Data in addition to Big Data.  Examples of Small Data already in use in hospitals and outpatient centers are smart labels on medication bottles.  These labels inform healthcare administrators of the medication’s location, shelf life, and ambient temperature.  This Small Data is later pooled into a Big Data set to determine patterns or root causes for spoilage or waste.  When it comes to healthcare contingent labor programs, Small Data should also become a part of a health system’s strategic analytics.  Consider the following ways your health system can incorporate Small Data:

  • Determine which requisitions have sat open for the longest period of time. By examining the length of open requisitions, health systems can gain a realistic picture of what is happening with their healthcare contingent labor program.  Obtained from open requisitions in the VMS solution, managed service provider program teams and hiring managers, this Small Data tells a story that rolls up into Big Data information.  Coupled with other Small Data, length of open requisitions may suggest a lack of participation on the part of hiring managers, a lack of supplier participation, below market rates, or more.  This can be invaluable to a healthcare contingent labor program seeking to become more nimble and strategic.
  • Examine supplier fill ratios. Often, healthcare contingent labor programs assume their supplier relationships are producing at high levels.  By examining supplier fill ratios, health systems can capture Small Data that provides quantitative evidence to either prove or disprove this qualitative feeling.  Using supplier fill ratios, health systems can make more strategic decisions such as expanding their supplier pool, dropping underperforming suppliers, or investigating market rate intelligence.
  • Discover program utilization by spend. When health systems’ contingent labor programs grow in size and complexity, it can be difficult to determine which departments or ministries optimize their use of contingent labor. By tracking program utilization by spend, a health system can discover which departments or ministries are using contingent labor and at what cost.  This Small Data is instrumental to making changes to contingent workforce management and can provide a case for obtaining a managed service provider, converting healthcare contingent labor to full time employees, or restructuring SOW projects.
  • Discover incomplete compliance documentation. Healthcare compliance is critical to healthcare contingent labor programs. By tracking incomplete compliance documentation, health systems can learn whether they are systematically failing to gather this documentation, suppliers are not providing adequate documentation, and whether they are at risk of failing a Joint Commission audit.

By tracking these Small Data sets, health systems can gather a more complete picture that allows them to strategically adjust their healthcare contingent labor program.  To find out what kind of Small Data analytics your health system can gain, contact the leading vendor neutral MSP, RightSourcing.  Take a free workforce analysis to begin the conversation.

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