One Staffing Shortage, Two Hurricanes, Three Busy Weeks and 100% Success

Rapid Response

Executive Summary

  • Within three weeks, two natural disasters and an urgent staffing shortage for highly-specialized pediatric nurses occurred
  • Fastaff met the critical needs for all three situations, delivering nurses in less than 48 hours
  • Fastaff expedited recruitment, hiring and credentialing for nurses, including most in a hard-to-fill specialty
  • In order to deliver nurses for hurricane relief, Fastaff nurses were transported by the National Guard to the facility.

How Fastaff Mobilized Quickly to Provide Operational Flexibility

Hospitals that face unexpected emergencies, whether from natural causes or from unplanned staffing shortages, need a partner as nimble as they are to adapt quickly. Trusting a partner to fill staffing gaps is critical in times of urgent and crucial situations, and requires flexibility outside of standard business practices. As the pioneer and industry leader in Rapid Response® nurse staffing solutions, Fastaff’s experienced in-house team of experts are trained in filling critical positions fast, even on nights and weekends. Including Fastaff in a staffing strategy can ensure complete coverage throughout a crisis. In late August 2017, Fastaff met 100% of the needs for three independent urgent staffing situations, demonstrating a unique ability to provide flexible solutions with minimal notice.

Hurricane Harvey Hits Hard

Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, and facing a dangerously high patient to nurse ratio in the NICU, a major hospital system contacted Fastaff to request a large number of experienced NICU III nurses in 48 hours. Fastaff interviewed and hired the nurses directly, including arranging transportation to Houston. Without yet knowing the full extent of the impact, the hospital needed operational flexibility with the contingent nursing staff, opting for two-week assignments rather than the traditional travel fixed length of 13-weeks. The first nurses arrived in Houston the following day, with the remaining nurses on the ground within 48 hours. The experienced nurses were ready to hit the ground running, and brought an adaptable and critical response spirit, such as bringing sleeping bags to sleep on cots within the facility. Fastaff flew the nurses into Dallas, then transported via bus to Houston, where a National Guard helicopter carried them to the facility. The hospital’s NICU III was kept fully operational 24/7 during the devastating flood.

Urgent Need for Highly Specialized Nurses

The following week after Fastaff delivered the full order of nurses for Hurricane Harvey relief, a children’s hospital experiencing a critical staffing shortage in California called for a large number of high acuity nurses, requesting experience in NICU III, PICU and CVICU. The facility contacted Fastaff to deliver the hard-to-fill nurses, also within 24-48 hours. The facility delegated the interviewing, selection and hiring process to Fastaff’s in-house recruitment, credentialing and clinical teams, which expedited the order to meet the urgent deadline. Within 24 hours, Fastaff secured 100% of the order and the nurses were on their way to California. Fastaff offered the hospital two-week assignments to accommodate the temporary staffing shortage, which enabled the facility to function with complete operational flexibility.

Along Came Irma

When Hurricane Irma hit southern Florida, a collection of five hospitals contacted Fastaff to provide several relief nurses immediately. Nurses were needed in hard-to-fill specialties, such as ER, ICU, L&D, and NICU, within 24 hours of the order. Fastaff successfully recruited the experienced nurses for flexible-length two-week assignments. Several nurses arrived safely in Florida the following day, with the remainder arriving within 48 hours. A member of the Fastaff leadership team met the nurses in Florida to ensure a smooth arrival to the facility, and facilitate any unexpected challenges resulting from the hurricane. From late August to early September 2017, these three urgent and crucial situations occurred concurrently and Fastaff met 100% of their needs. In addition to receiving the highly specialized nurses quickly, the facilities were able to minimize cost while maximizing coverage due to flexible-length assignments.