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What’s the Difference Between VMS and MSP? Read All About It!

In the staffing industry there are a lot of acronyms, especially when it comes to contingent workforce management. Below are two frequently-used acronyms explained along with a description of why they are important to healthcare providers in the shifting economy.

VMS stands for Vendor Management System

A VMS is an Internet-enabled, often web-based application that acts as a tool for businesses to manage and procure staffing services—usually temporary, but in some cases, permanent placement services—as well as external contract or contingent labor. Typical features of a VMS application include: order distribution, consolidated billing; and significant enhancements in reporting-capabilities that outperform manual systems and processes. A VMS distributes job requirements to staffing companies, recruiters, consulting companies, and other vendors. It facilitates the interviewing and hiring process, time approval, and payment. VMS is a tool, a computer program, application, or software. A Vendor Management System allows users to work within a web-based platform that can be securely accessed from any computer. Workforce management thus, becomes centralized, simplified, and customized to healthcare providers and other businesses.

A VMS automates many aspects of direct contracts that facility managers would otherwise have to do manually, such as order entry, invoicing, credentialing, and payroll. A VMS can be operated by the facility itself, and it is vendor-neutral, meaning that the facility does not receive priority-staffing from any particular vendor. VMS technology provides many benefits, such as reporting on overall spending and costs. It can promote efficiency improvements that reduce staff overtime and management hours, while also identifying the most cost-competitive vendors. Automation can speed up the process of matching qualified candidates to appropriate jobs, while consolidating invoices and streamlining payroll. A VMS also can improve quality and effectiveness of operations by providing accurate reports on practitioner work performance and vendor effectiveness.

The advantages of using a VMS, such as that provided by ShiftWise, include:

  • Streamlined requisition-approval workflow
  • Reduced time-to-fill cycle times
  • Simplified vendor management
  • Bill rate standardization / management
  • Optimized supplier base
  • Consolidated invoicing
  • Improved security and asset management
  • Vendor performance metrics
  • Visibility and cost control of maverick spend
  • Reduction of contingent labor costs

MSP stands for Managed Services Program

A MSP is the team behind the VMS mentioned above. It is the single point of contact to help you control your single biggest expense: staffing. An MSP is an information technology (IT) service provider that manages and assumes responsibility for providing staffing services to its clients. It uses vendor management systems for transparency and efficiency. MSP helps clients streamline their entire healthcare-workforce planning process so they can optimize their core; per diem and locums tenentes, and deliver the best patient care in the best ways available.

In an MSP, an external expert team, led by a program-manager, partner with a facility to provide

a single point of contact for the administrative and process oversight of contingent staffing. A VMS can be utilized in this staffing option, but the expert MSP team provides a level of management that goes far beyond automation. The MSP team helps streamline the management of vendors and their contracts; and the recruitment, selection, interviewing, and onboarding of candidates.

An MSP reduces the burdensome and expensive redundancies that can occur when staffing-related expenses are not facilitated through one central partner. By using an MSP such as ShiftWise, your organization will be better equipped to spend intelligently on talent—simplifying the staffing process and giving your business more control so you can be more strategic.

Partnering with an MSP that uses a VMS (such as ShiftWise) can deliver multiple measurable benefits to healthcare providers, including:

1. A larger network for improved patient care

Access to the United States’ largest and most diverse network of healthcare professionals and associate vendors, leading sourcing and recruiting strategies; faster access to the right type of highly-qualified clinical resources in the right numbers—helping to ensure quality patient care

2. Workforce optimization and continuous improvement

Strategic and spending analyses to maximize your workforce investment and provide your business with access to analytics, and the healthcare industry’s best practices to facilitate decision making

3. Improved efficiency

Holistic, highly-organized workforce solutions delivered through one point of contact, opposed to many individual suppliers

4. Improved visibility and risk minimization

One technology and one system to track contingent labor across your business, including centralized credential management, independent contractor vetting, payroll management, and more

5. Workforce strategy

Reporting, data and analytics to optimize workforce forecasting, planning and scheduling

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