Growing up in Australia, I only recently had my first opportunity to visit Las Vegas. Last week I was lucky enough to attend Healthcare Staffing Summit as my first trip to Vegas. As with everyone, my first trip left an impression, but some of the things I take away from this visit are not what you would expect! Whilst the opulence, myriad of entertainment and the spectacle of the night life didn’t disappoint, some of the insights into the healthcare industry were worth sharing:

1. Growth. – Access to healthcare is at an all-time high and predicted to continue to grow. USCBO project over 17 million additional people will have health insurance in 2015 and an additional 7 million in 2016.

2. Some good players. – There are some fabulous staffing agencies delivering great services augmenting the teams of healthcare organizations. These organizations have been crucial in dealing with dynamic demand for healthcare. I was impressed with some of the organizations innovative approaches to meeting the demand in areas that have had shortages of talent. Investing with candidates in education and strategic partnerships with healthcare providers are going a long way to ensuring that the increased demand in healthcare’s services are being met with a talented workforce ready, willing and able to deliver outstanding services.

3. Focus on the talent. – Those staffing organizations adding value to clients, but also focused on attracting the best talent seem ahead of the curve. I met with a number of senior executives who are investing heavily in their B2C marketing over B2B. Their focus is that if you have the best talent on your books, marketing to prospective clients is much easier.

4. Enablement through technology. – Many of the senior technology execs I spoke to are in the driver’s seat. One used an analogy I loved: He described the healthcare staffing market like salmon in the springtime. There is plenty of work/fish, everyone is scrambling to get it, and he saw technology as the way to catch more salmon. Key areas CIOs were talking about were:

  • Winning the war for talent utilizing social, federated search, but more importantly creating a user experience for candidates that was a point of difference.
  • Integration – I spoke to a number of execs that were struggling with integrating front office with back, a bespoke solution for this, a bolt on for that. I enjoyed the looks on their faces when they saw 1Staff for the first time…
  • Collaboration – Technology leaders are now starting to unleash better collaborative technology, they see it as a key enabler.
  • Business Intelligence – CIO’s are looking to empower the organization through data. Some were looking for one version of the truth, others were looking for insights in their data, but all wanted to enable the organization with better decision making and access to data.

Of course on the lighter front there were some of the more traditional lessons you’d expect an Aussie to learn their first time in Vegas. The ones I will share include:

  1. Free drinks are just as potent as purchased drinks.
  2. When it comes to Blackjack, always stand on a hard 17.
  3. Don’t take gambling advice from someone sitting at your poker table.
  4. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… Except the bill, that might follow you around for a bit.

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