SI Review: September 2010

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The Wright Kind of Medicine SI Review September 2010

Company: The Right Solutions
Headquarters: Tontitown AR
Founded: 1996
Industries Served: Healthcare staffing
Revenue: $20 million
Website: www.therightsolutions.com

Diana Wright vividly recalls the day she decided to become an entrepreneur. Back in 1985, she was working at a Louisiana hospital that sent her to Joint Commission training, which provided information on a number of healthcare-related issues including the aging population, rising medical needs and the nursing shortage in the United States. The event motivated her to start a healthcare staffing company of her own. "It was just a one-day seminar but it opened my eyes," says Wright, who decided to get an MBA and learn how to run a business. "It was a life-changing event for me."

Two-Time Entrepreneur
Today, Wright runs The Right Solutions, a Tontitown AR-based healthcare staffing company she started 14 years ago. But she was an entrepreneur even before that, having co-owned another healthcare staffing company, TriTek, with John Nowles.

A Mostly Travel Nurse Business
Founded in 1996, TRS provides travel nurses and allied professionals in all 50 states. Travel nurse staffing accounts for roughly 80% of the company's business while the remaining 20% comes from allied professional staffing, according to Wright.

Some of the many positions the company fills include respiratory therapists, medical technicians, surgical technicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. "I do basically everybody but pharmacists and doctors," Wright explains. "I don't do nurse aides [either]."

TRS generated $20 million in revenue in 2009, down from $25 million in 2008 due to the recession. "I am hopeful for a better year in 2010 and better than that in 2011," Wright says.

Goal of Increasing Government Staffing
One of the goals for this year is to increase government staffing, Wright explains. Currently, government staffing accounts for about 40% of TRS' business. Wright would like to see that go up to 50% this year.

Wright said she chose the name The Right Solutions because she wanted to incorporate her last name and wanted to provide solutions to staffing problems.

Focus
Wright attributes her company's success to focusing on honesty, integrity and what's important to clients.

"We understand that quality, speed, cost, retention and compliance are important to customers,"ÂÂÂÂÂ� she explains, adding that: "We take ownership for delivery, have a plan for clients' accounts and focus on quality."

The company's mission statement is: "We will take care of all customers, do the right thing and always strive for improvement."

Another contributor to TRS' success is that the staff have a background in healthcare, so they are very familiar with the jobs they are placing, Wright explains. "Our staff have the skills and qualifications that are being requested," she says.

And TRS doesn't staff independent contractors, avoiding problems and hassles with the Department of Labor and IRS.

Debt-Free -- and Proud of It
TRS is debt-free, something Wright is very proud of. "We are definitely going to be a strong company now and in the future as we are completely debt-free and have strong banking support in a time when the banks don't want to lend money to anyone,"ÂÂÂÂÂ� concludes Wright. "We have a strong infrastructure and management team that has been in place for years. We have strong technology that we developed ourselves that focuses on quality improvement. We are here to stay."

A Little Bit Different
One thing that makes TRS unique is that it has Website technology that maintains facility credentials, Wright says. "The credentials are always available at the facility's fingertips. The hospitals don't even have to worry about it. It's all right there. All they need to do is log in and pull it up."

TRS also provides free reviews for facilities to make sure they are in compliance with Department of Labor and independent contractor rules.

Among the First to be JCAHO-Certified
TRS was one of the first healthcare staffing companies to be certified by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

In fact, when it received the certification, it was only the sixth healthcare staffing company to have done so. Wright herself has served multiple terms on the Joint Commission's Advisory Board.

Challenges
One of the challenges of running TRS is that the cost of health insurance for temporary workers and internal staff has risen significantly, Wright says. TRS has experienced a 300% increase in healthcare insurance costs -- despite the fact that the number of people the company is placing is down 20%, she explains.

Another challenge is that TRS is getting hit with more lawsuits than it has ever experienced before, many of which are frivolous and don't even meet the statute of limitations. "People are suing on anything and everything," concludes Wright. "Some of it is just stupid. I'm getting frivolous lawsuits." She attributes the increase in lawsuits to these tough economic times. "Everybody is looking for any way they can make a dollar in today's economy," she says.

TRS Earns Clients' Trust, Respect
Roberta Haynes, nurse manager at Espanola Hospital, has worked with TRS for several years. "My experience has been a positive collaboration," she says. "They listen to my needs and try to find staff that want to come to this area and can meet my expectations. They are professional, communicating by email or phone, [and] very prompt with their communication and sharing of resumes. Also, [they are] very personal and friendly -- sharing pictures or sending personal cards. I have had a couple of staff [who] did not meet my needs, or there were problems. The follow-up was prompt, working with me to find a solution, listening to my concerns and accepting my evaluations at face value. They found replacements if contracts had to be cancelled. After the fact, they kept in touch if follow-up was needed in any way."

Concludes Haynes: "Diana has gone out of her way to keep a positive working relationship with our hospital. She has earned my trust and respect. I have worked with a few other companies. The staff have been okay but not of the skill level offered by TRS."

Haynes is impressed with TRS' turnaround time. She can get two to three possible candidates within 24 to 48 hours of asking. "They are very prompt once I have interviewed a person and we have agreed we want them to come and work at Espanola,"ÂÂÂÂÂ�she says. "The contract is completed and sent within three or four days. I cannot say enough about TRS and how pleased I am to work with them."

Karla Connelly of Blackfeet Hospital has worked with TRS for approximately five years. "My overall experience with TRS has been exceptional,"ÂÂÂÂÂ�she says. "I have enjoyed working with TRS due to the fact that they always provide quality nurses to our facility. I definitely feel TRS provides me with quality candidates. TRS has been able to provide quality candidates when I have been in a staffing jam with candidates' arrival within two weeks or less. I have had a good working relationship with my marketing manager from TRS. Someone else was going to be assigned to my facility, and I requested I remain with the same marketing manager, which TRS honored. I work with other companies and, in my opinion, TRS [candidates] have been exceptional compared to other candidates I have received. [On a scale of 1 to 10] I would give TRS an 8 or 9 due to the quality of candidates I have received."

Candidates Say TRS Is Helpful, Looks After Them
Mary Ann Decker has gotten ICU and ER positions through TRS for the past 13 years. "They've been very helpful. Diana is great. My recruiter, Robin Clark, has been helpful and gets me jobs. If I take a break, she always calls me and checks on me. I was sick for a while, but she would always call and check on me. And Diana is aware of what's going on. She's always been helpful and thoughtful. Besides being a good businesswoman, she's just concerned for her people."

Decker has worked with other staffing companies but prefers TRS. "It's local," she says. "I like the way they treat me. I say they go their mile every time. They do their best to help me. They're friendly and caring. They will try to find you a specific area that you want. You feel like family when you go in the office. If they're having a bad day, you don't know it. They've been good to me. I wouldn't stay that long if they weren't." Decker has recommended TRS to other nurses. "They're more like the hometown people. You feel good in supporting them."

George "Tommy" Martin has been placed in med search and administrative nurse positions and even worked in the urgent care unit of a clinic in Alaska through TRS. "I like to travel," he says. "I like to see the country. It gives you the opportunity to meet different people and work with different people, work with patients from different cultures and learn their likes and dislikes. They're a good company to work for. If you have a problem, they don't just step on it. They investigate it. They're willing to meet your needs. They have a good travel department that sets up your housing and arranges your travel. They are a very good company to work for. I highly recommend them to other people in healthcare."

On a scale of one to 10, Martin gives TRS a 9. "They're very accommodating with your travel," he says, noting that TRS tries to get travel nurses the shortest and least expensive flights and the best accommodations.

John Wilson has been placed in respiratory jobs and his wife, Jewel, has been placed in RN jobs through TRS. "They take care of their employees,"ÂÂÂÂÂ�says Wilson, who has worked on and off with TRS for the last 15 years. "Their reputation speaks for itself. It's just a great organization that really cares about its people. It's been great since day one."

Wilson has worked with other staffing companies before but now works strictly with TRS. "There is no comparison. Other companies have let me down. I have been stranded before at other companies."

Many Hats
Wright wears many hats. She oversees managers, corporate growth, planning and strategy, and works on advertising. "Anyone who has an issue in the company, they come to me and I deal with it," she says. "It's an overtime job. It's not an 8 to 5."

Accolades Prove It's a Great Company
Last year the Arkansas Business Weekly named Wright the Arkansas Business Executive of the Year. "This is a really big deal here in Arkansas," she says. "Over 1,000 were present in formal attire. After that event, my business town, Tontitown, named me Executive of the Year and gave me my own day. And the town I live in held a big celebration, and the mayor proclaimed a day in my honor."

Additionally, the U.S. Commerce System named TRS among the Best of the Best Healthcare Staffing Companies this year and in 2009.

A Tradition of Giving Back
TRS does a drive for children with cleft palates and has raised money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by doing such things as "crazy hat day."

Wright and her husband also are both involved in their local church. Wright herself is a Eucharistic minister for her church. Additionally, she supports the Walton Art Center.

Nursing Career Spans Three Decades
Wright, who has been a nurse since 1980, attended nursing school at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and earned her MBA from Centenary College in Shreveport LA.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking and painting. She's also an avid reader. And she loves to participate in any kind of water sport, be it boating, canoeing, swimming or water skiing. "If it's outside and water, I'm pretty much there," she says.

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