Healthcare Outsourcing Services have become a popular way for healthcare providers or facilities such as hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, in both clinical and non-clinical areas, such as administration, to augment their internal staff or team or completely outsource their needs. Outsourcing in the clinical area can provide exceptional care and manage costs by bringing specialists with higher skill levels to a facility on an as-needed basis enabling a facility to only pay for such services when needed. This on-demand model scales directly with day-to-day needs enabling faster therapy and patient services. All of this results in better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.
Overall, Healthcare Outsourcing services can bring considerable benefits to a facility by providing coverage when the facility is faced with issues due to staff shortages, staff instability, and patient surges such as during the Covid pandemic; purchasing and maintaining medical equipment and supplies; and performing certain administrative duties. Healthcare Outsourcing has grown rapidly in the last twenty years and the services can be in a staffing model in which people are provided (such as nurses) to be managed by the facility, or in a procedure model (such as IV Access) when procedures are provided and managed by the vendor. These services can be an integral part of any healthcare provider’s coverage plan either by regularly using such services or calling on such services only as needed. Some Healthcare Outsourcing services have no upfront cost or commitment making it a good practice to establish these relationships prior to needing them.
| Nurse Staffing agency
A Nurse Specialist is a registered nurse who has expertise and training, such as certifications, credentialing, or advanced degrees, in a specific health care practice or setting such as diabetes or critical care. A Nurse Specialist in the Vascular Access field is an expert and practices solely in some or all aspects of Vascular Access services including program management, line placement, infection control and prevention, and training, and are usually employed in-house such as by a hospital or by an external company whose main focus is Vascular Access.
A Nurse Staffing agency provides both general bedside nurses as well as Nurse Specialists, and these nurses integrate with the healthcare provider to help ensure that the provider and the patient care needs are met to deliver quality care. Due to the volatility of patient care and staffing needed, this may be necessary to help support the healthcare system overall and especially to the patient. Vascular Access companies are somewhat like Nurse Staffing agencies that may provide Vascular Access nurses to meet the needs of both the provider and the patient; however, true and focused Vascular Access companies provide virtually everything including trained nurses, equipment, and supplies, and thus, usually charge on a per-procedure model rather than a staffing model, even when such Vascular Access companies are the exclusive provider of vascular access services inside the facility.
IV Access Outsourcing
| IV Access Services
IV Access Outsourcing is Healthcare Outsourcing in a specific niche of nurse-provided Vascular Access services. IV Access is an intravenous method of delivering medication and therapies into a vein for immediate access to the bloodstream. IV Access Outsourcing may include a range of on-call, on-demand, and on-site IV Access services. These IV Access services may cover IV lines and procedures (such as PIVs, Extended Dwell PIVs, Midlines, and PICCs), training, education, and infection consulting. IV Access Outsourcing is a way to either add to a hospital’s internal IV Access staff or to completely outsource their IV Access needs. With respect to hospitals, IV Access Outsourcing can be general team augmentation or can be targeted to advanced Vascular Access services such as Small Bore Internal Jugular Lines, Femoral Lines, and Axillary Lines and Large Bore Lines including Vas Caths for Dialysis and Quad Lumen Lines. IV Access Outsourcing for providers other than hospitals such as skilled nursing facilities is to outsource all ultrasound-guided IV Access services as those services are not provided generally as there are no internal Vascular Access teams. IV Access services can be provided by 1099 contractors that generally do not serve hospitals or highly trained, certified W2 employees, such as Vascular Wellness, that are hospital credentialed and serve at patients’ bedside locations in hospitals or non-hospitals.
The best way to utilize IV Access Outsourcing is by understanding the Vascular Access services the facility provides, should provide, or could use including the type of intravenous access device placements such as basic IVs, extended dwell PIVs, Midlines, PICCs, and other central venous catheters and advanced lines, the volume of IV placements, and the staff needed for potential or actual staff shortages or gaps. Understanding this will enable the facility to select the best option.
Insourcing & Outsourcing Advantages & Disadvantages
| Limits to Outsourcing Healthcare
Insourcing and Outsourcing advantages and disadvantages of Vascular Access services can vary depending on the healthcare facility. Insourcing is the use of a facility’s own personnel such as employees and dedicated independent contractors under a facility’s direct supervision and control. Outsourcing is the hiring of outside companies and firms to provide trained staff with the needed skills or to provide clinical procedures, in each case, with most of the control being with the outsourcing company. For purposes of this section, we will focus on the advantages of each as an advantage of one is typically a disadvantage of the other.
The primary advantage to Outsourcing Vascular Access services is well-trained staff, that are the experts and specialists in the field, with no training expense, risk of attrition, or the purchasing or maintenance of equipment and supplies. Having this certainty leads to better outcomes and patient satisfaction due to faster line placements with minimal pokes and getting the right line at the right time, the first time. Faster therapy leads to cost savings such as reduced length of stay at a hospital or the elimination of the need for a facility to send a patient to the hospital. Many advantages stem from the main point that having Vascular Access Specialists with equipment and supplies, on-call, on-demand, and on-site is impactful and makes a big difference across many facets of an organization.
Supporters of the Insourcing model focus on the limits to Outsourcing Healthcare and generally believe that Vascular Access specialists and equipment and supplies can be maintained in-house for less expense than outsourcing. Generally, this analysis fails to account for (a) coverage issues including weekends, holidays, and after-hours requiring overtime and higher-priced resources, spikes in volatility, attrition, training, benefits, and other direct and indirect costs that come with employees and (b) opportunity costs of doctors placing lines instead of performing higher skill set procedures that generally come with higher reimbursement rates. These same supporters may also believe that nursing services are a core component of the healthcare facility and Vascular Access services are just another part of nursing services. As such, the overhead and management are already in place, and thus, Insourcing is the obvious choice. This fails to recognize that Vascular Access services at the bedside are not bedside nursing services. Vascular Access is a non-benign, invasive, medical procedure and should be performed by medical specialists making it ideal to outsource like other specialized procedures. Outsourced Vascular Access nurses can integrate seamlessly with a facility’s policies and procedures making it appear smooth and logical to staff, patients, families, and others. While Insourcing Vascular Access can work, for the most part, outsourcing provides more advantages and fewer disadvantages than the Insourcing model. Whatever Limits to Outsourcing Healthcare exist, in Vascular Access, the limits do not seem to outweigh the advantages.
Vascular Access Specialists
| Vascular Wellness
Vascular Wellness is a team consisting of Vascular Access Specialists that can provide full or partial outsourcing services to your healthcare facility. Vascular Wellness specializes in all aspects of Vascular Access Device (VAD) placement including assessment, insertion, maintenance, difficult placements, and possible removal. Vascular Wellness Specialists are W2 employees who complete comprehensive training that can involve placing 50 to 100 lines per procedure type, follow best practices for line placement for vein preservation and to prevent side effects, and utilize the best equipment and supplies from Bard, a leading supplier to hospitals. Vascular Wellness clinicians can place Ultrasound-Guided Extended Dwell PIVs, Midlines, and PICCs, and many clinicians can place advanced devices including Small Bore Central Catheter Lines (such as Internal Jugular Lines and Femoral Lines) and Large Bore Central Catheter Lines (such as Vas Caths for Dialysis and Quad Lumens). Vascular Wellness also provides Vascular Access training, infection control, and comprehensive administrative support including quality reports and detailed patient records for The Joint Commission surveyors. Vascular Wellness clinicians are Vascular Access Specialists and serve as reliable, scalable, and trusted Outsourcing partners to any healthcare provider or facility.
If you require Vascular Access or want to learn more about our services, speak to the team at Vascular Wellness today. For the latest articles and insights, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.