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Stories From
The Field



What are MSP’s and do they matter to your SPD staffing?

by Steve Flowers, RN


Many clinicians are likely asking what is a MSP?  MSPs aka Managed Service Providers are companies that assume full responsibility for your contract (traveler) labor while providing organizations with a single point of contact for all their staffing operations, including account management, customer support, order placement, and more.   In theory, they reduce the number of companies that any given healthcare organization would use to source temp labor from many, down to one.   Their value proposition includes cost savings by controlling billing rates, HR file compliance, and decreased admin burden on the facilities they serve.   It all sounds good on paper, but does it really work when it comes to staffing Sterile Processing Departments?  

Behind the scenes, MSPs work with a multitude of smaller, independent, staffing companies to fill their orders.  They act as a “middle-man” between the facility and the staffing company.   This is best described with a case study:  You have the approval to bring in “travelers”.   Your Human Resource department then alerts the MSP of the needs.  The MSP, in turn, alerts multiple staffing companies of the needs.  The staffing companies search for a viable candidate and submit them through an elaborate MSP controlled “ VMS” aka Vendor Management System.   If that candidate “clears” the VMS, *which is often a very cumbersome process”, they are submitted to the facility for final approval.   A process that should take days, can take weeks.    Unfortunately, the end-user is at the mercy of the system.   They have no input on who they want to work with or where the resources are ultimately coming from.  

MSPs certainly have their place and work well in several applications.  Think about it, most healthcare staffing companies are very “Nurse” centric.  Most do not provide Sterile Processing Technicians.   In other words, the MSP is tasked with sourcing Sterile Processing Technicians from staffing agencies that don’t typically provide SPD techs.  If they do, they certainly do not specialize in Sterile Processing, and as such, what is their vetting process?  What are their minimum qualifications?   This is the reason that so many clinical department leaders complain about the quality of travel SPD techs that are deployed in their facilities.   

If your organization has an exclusive relationship with a MSP for contract staffing services and you cant get or concerned with the quality of the Sterile Processing technicians that are being offered, please request an exception and give Moab Healthcare a call.  

Moab Healthcare provides “Traveler” Sterile Processing Technicians to support your productivity needs.   ALL our technicians are CBSPD and/or IAHCSMM certified and have a minimum of 2 years of relevant sterile processing experience and can be deployed as rapidly as needed.   


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