Challenge: Communicating Effectively as a Team to Staff 200+ Nurses, CNAs, and Care Providers
Rebecca Vale is the Staffing Team Manager at AMS Healthcare Staffing in Louisville, Kentucky. She and her team of six work in shifts 24/7 to staff medical facilities with over 200 nurses, CNAs, and other medical care providers.
A normal shift for Rebecca and her team involves coming into the office, and taking action based on the previous shift’s reports. Issues get resolved and open shifts get filled at various contracted medical care facilities.
A lot of communication takes place. AMS fills open shifts and also sends employees HR messages for payroll, company updates, timecard reminders, and more.
Communicating with the contractors and the facilities AMS staffs used to be a tremendous problem for Rebecca and her team.
Many of the nurses and care providers working with AMS also prefer text messaging. Texting has significant advantages because it’s asynchronous. Care providers working in the field need to communicate in their own time. They often need a babysitter or have other personal life matters to consider before they can say ‘yes’ and fill a shift.
This need isn’t uncommon. In fact, some 58% of people say texting is the most effective way to reach them.
“More of our younger people don't like to call. A lot of them are texters and they love texting us for quick fixes––it saves them from having a full-on phone conversation.” - Rebecca Vale, AMS Healthcare Staffing
So to accommodate this preference for texting, Rebecca and her team used two different texting solutions.
To fill shifts, AMS shared an iPhone for 1-on-1 texting with nurses to fill shifts.
To reach all 200+ nurses, AMS used a texting service called SimpleTexting.
But using a personal phone and a separate business texting service led to problems.
“It was pretty difficult before when we had a single iPhone. We would literally pass it around just to text. Our employees had to physically take the phone with them while on call.” - Rebecca Vale, AMS Healthcare Staffing
But all of this was before Rebecca and her team at AMS found MessageDesk.
Solutions: Unifying Texts and Teams with a Single SMS Inbox and Reaching All 200 Nurse Contractors with Mass Text Broadcasts
Texting as a team from a single iPhone wasn’t working for AMS, so they sought new solutions.
“Wendy (one of our owners) found this program that we could all log in to individually on our phones and on our laptops (that was MessageDesk). This meant our team wouldn’t have to take home, travel with, or get stuck with our single iPhone. This was definitely a relief for us.” - Rebecca Vale, AMS Healthcare Staffing
During their trial the AMS team met with MessageDesk’s head of customer success, Ben. Ben showed Rebecca and the AMS team how to unify their text message communications with MessageDesk by:
“It didn’t take long at all to start texting our nurses with MessageDesk. We were able to log in quickly and start filling shifts.” - Rebecca Vale, AMS Healthcare Staffing
Speed, efficiency, and reliability are all critical for AMS; they’re on-call 24/7 to staff care providers.
So Rebecca and her team appreciated that MessageDesk could get AMS registered with network carriers for verified, high-volume text message delivery.
And nurses appreciated this too. It meant they’d never miss an opportunity to fill an open shift.
“Before we’d have to call or text everyone individually and say, ‘Hey, I have X, Y, Z shift available’ and they’d have to look at their schedule. Now when we send a message out, nurses respond in two seconds. They get a text on their phone with open shifts and they can text us back with what they want. When we send out a text it's right there in front of their faces. They don't have to go looking for more info. Shifts are so much more accessible and we can fill them faster––everyone wins.” - Rebecca Vale, AMS Healthcare Staffing
Another victory for Rebecca and her team came in the form of pre-saved templates for their mass text broadcasts.
“So, if we hit a payroll period, and it's Monday, we need everyone's time cards by Tuesday or Wednesday. We have a templated message in MessageDesk that says, ‘Reminder, please send your time card in by 2 PM.’ This saves us huge amounts of time because we have a group of all 200+ nurses already set up. All we have to do is hit send on the broadcast. It's a lot easier to just be able to template and send.”
Results: 250K Messages Sent, Nurses Staffed 3x Faster, and Texts and Teams Are Now Unified
AMS made the switch to MessageDesk back in 2021. Since then, they’ve sent nearly 250,000 text messages and netted the following results for their business:
“In order to promptly fill shifts and fulfill the demands of our clients, our staff found it difficult to effectively communicate with our field employees prior to the rollout of MessageDesk. After we implemented MessageDesk, we noticed that our team was more productive and could respond to client needs more rapidly. Additionally, it made shift transitions smoother because our staffing team could readily analyze and take responsibility for what occurred during the previous shift. Additionally, it provided me with the oversight I need as the company’s owner to ensure that the communication was quick and efficient and client needs were satisfied.” - Wendy Makowski, Owner & Cofounder AMS Healthcare Staffing
“MessageDesk makes communication a lot quicker––a lot easier; it’s definitely making a difference for us as far as profit. I’d say we can fill open shifts three times as fast.” - Rebecca Vale, AMS Healthcare Staffing
We asked Rebecca what would have happened had AMS not found MessageDesk. She told us this:
“With MessageDesk, we can focus on the things that actually drive profit for the company. Whereas if we didn’t have MessageDesk, we'd probably be filling shifts all day long. We’d be calling people, leaving voicemails, and waiting for them to call us back. But now we're able to do our jobs more efficiently and focus on the aspects of the company that really matter.”
As AMS continues to use MessageDesk, they’re considering expanding their messaging to reach their other contracted facilities and care providers.
Their use will mirror how they already text their 200+ nurse contractors, but on a larger scale.
Finally, we asked Rebecca if she had any advice for other staffing agencies and HR professionals considering texting. She told us:
“I would definitely list out the pros and cons with whatever program you’re considering using, then give it a try. MessageDesk has a 14-day free trial and it was worth it to be able to jump in, see how user-friendly everything was, and talk to Ben for additional help. I recommend just giving business texting software a try––in the end, MessageDesk has been super beneficial for us.”