Monthly Archives: December 2013

CDC’s 2013 Top 10 List is a good-news read!

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) identifies specific progress in 5 national, and worldwide, health initiatives in 2013. Going one step further, CDC spells out the 5 areas they’re concentrating on in 2014. When seems we’re constantly bombarded with the problems – this is a great way to stop and smell the roses.

CDC’s Top Ten: 5 Health Achievements in 2013 and 5 Health Threats in 2014


Good News About Obamacare (for real!)

On this Christmas Eve and I wanted to find something to be thankful for about the ACA. Community health centers (CHC), and critical access hospitals (CAH), are the backbone of our country’s incredible healthcare system. In 2011 the Bush administration expanded this safety net to 1,250 CHCs serving 20 million people. Obamacare’s ACA is further expanding the CHC program to serve 40 million in 2016. I am thankful for this very good thing.

Are you thankful for anything specific in the ACA?

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Why You Care If a Headhunter Wants You as a Client

Hospitals are everywhere and all have hard to fill openings. As a headhunter (external contingency recruiter) I need to make placements to pay my bills so I’m not going to waste my time on bad job orders any more than I would on bad candidates. So the good headhunters want to know, What makes your organization – and opening – special enough for me to pursue employed healthcare professionals and encourage them to consider leaving for your opportunity?

Good HR recruiters are ready to discuss why the RN Nurse with 5 years on a Med/Surg floor, who’s already looking for a job, should choose you over your competitor. Armed with this information I might have a few candidates, already pre-screened, that I could submit for your review.

But convincing seasoned healthcare professionals to risk leaving a fine job for your organization requires more. When you can articulate this you’ve found your organization’s gold nuggets! Those very special reasons that are your go to points when you need to close the deal.

These gold nuggets exist and finding them is the key. Don’t form a committee. Interview your Chief HR Officer, Director of Recruitment, Director of Physician Recruitment, and Directors PR, Marketing, Business Development, Training & Education. Catch their visions and synthesize them into golden nuggets. When they excite external headhunters then you’ve reached your goal.

Only warning is don’t overuse them. Plaster them on your website and suddenly your competitors magically do all that too.

Obamacare is Bad v Affordable Care Act is Good

How can Obamacare be considered so bad while the Affordable Care Act is still considered good? Too many ACA principles have been lost in the implementation? I lost track of all the ACA exceptions (waivers) a long time ago. Have no idea what percentage of the ACA is actually being implemented (assuming the website was working). And our ‘republocratic’ party isn’t helping.

What are you reading for two perspectives? It’s hard to get clarity in many of our complex domestic problems. For some topics I can read a foreign news source that’s reporting on the forest while our polarized sources are fighting over individual trees. WSJ seems to do a good job of reporting both sides of many issues.

I don’t believe our current problems are so much more complex than those in our past. So I guess that means I’m placing blame on the contrarians & their employers who are more interested in their ratings (for reelection, or selling advertising) than progress.

With newspapers we could read yesterday’s news. With TV we could watch today’s news. Anyone remember Walter Cronkite’s “And that’s the way it is.”? With cable we can choose to listen to a liberal or conservative bent. With the web we get what’s happening now. But what’s with CNN’s Good v Bad? Don’t waste my time with either side of the issue? Looks like they hit a new low.


Security for Smartphone Healthcare Apps

I don’t use my smartphone for mobile banking. 75% of the major U.S. banks have mobile banking apps (per Corporate Insight). 50% of smartphone owners use mobile banking. But the only vendor that claimed real security (BlackBerry) is going out of business. Not even corporate and government systems can stop security breaches from hackers and careless employees. So I’m not ready to trust my bank account numbers to Apple, Samsung and Android.

So what about healthcare smartphone apps? The tsunami is already on its way. Who owns the liability? Corporate espionage so you can short sell stocks before the press knows the founder has pancreatic cancer. Or a billionaire recluse or diva who just gets angry when their privacy is violated. How can your hospital protect itself? Someone’s gonna get sued. Often it’s everybody and the plaintiff lets the court decide.

I’ve had a great high tech career (yes, 1971 looks really low tech from here, but it really was high tech in its day) and own oodles of gadgets and computers (do people still say oodles?). But, as an entrepreneur for over 20 years, I’m more comfortable in business ventures where I’m not likely to be sued. I hope your lawyers are in the loop.

Full EMT Scholarships for People of Diversity – PLEASE SHARE THIS!

Public Health, Seattle & King County, is offering full scholarships for EMT training, available to traditionally underrepresented diverse students!

Scholarship Opportunity: Emergency Medical Technician in King County, WA

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. (attributed to Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie, 1885)

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Leapfrog 2013 Top Hospitals Award for Quality Care

The Leapfrog Group’s Top Hospitals designation recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures, and reducing readmissions.  90 hospitals were recognized in 2013 including 55 urban, 22 rural, and 13 children’s hospitals. Congratulations to the Pacific Northwest’s four winners:

  • Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland, OR
  • Providence St Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR
  • Swedish Health Services in Issaquah, WA
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA

Rehiring Employees Who Quit

We all understand the coming shortage of healthcare workers is much bigger than just RN Nurses and Physicians. Furthermore, we agree that the true cost of hiring includes overtime for current staff, travelers, advertising, recruiting fees, interview and screening time from your HR and Unit staff, and orientation and training.

Finding a RN candidate who already knows your hospital’s electronic medical records EMR software is always a plus. Image if that person also knew your procedures. Especially if you knew you could rely on dependable references with accurate information. Sound too good to be true? Well, that’s why every employee who quits for ‘greener pastures’ should be in your Sourcing Recruiter’s Prospects database.

But it gets better than that. Would it sweeten the deal if they could start tomorrow or in a few days? Hire them when they resign! Take an objective look at their background and you know why they look appealing to another employer. Take a look at the replacement cost and you know two things: avoiding the expense could prevent management from future spending cuts; and including that savings will be a huge boost in HR’s next ROI calculation.

Of course it’s a moot point if you don’t have any other RN job openings.