All hospitals need physicians and clinicians. But as their leaders and medical managers review their health staffing plans, there has been a shift in the way they want to staff their hospitals. There’s a growing acknowledgement acknowledgement that the use of locum tenens physicians and clinicians isn’t just an occasional option but, increasingly, a necessity.
Locum tenens providers have many uses. They provide a tremendous amount of support for healthcare systems across the country. They are also a great option that may make your health staffing plan more successful.
Here are five:
Maintaining Care During Periods of Turnover
A primary use of locum tenens physicians is to fill in for a permanent doctor. Some examples are when the doctor unexpectedly quits or takes an extended leave. Additionally, locum tenens providers are great to have before a suitable permanent replacement can be found.
Trial Runs for New Services
Let’s say a facility wants to test-market the viability of establishing a women’s center. Instead of recruiting new full-time physicians, they can start by using a locums obstetrician/gynecologist, anesthesiologist and mammographer to determine the potential caseload. This also allows time to assess the patient receptiveness to the new services. Ultimately, this allows the facility to make a more informed decision regarding whether or not to add the service.
Opening a New Location
Similarly, hospitals seeking to establish satellite clinics may not wish to gamble on hiring a permanent physician. Instead, they may staff the clinic with one or more locum tenens physicians to establish a foothold in the new location.
Maintaining Trauma Level Status
Locum tenens physicians can provide trauma coverage when local doctors aren’t available to be on call. Typically, this means providing coverage at night and on weekends.
Strengthen Recruitment Efforts for Permanent Personnel
Locum physicians and clinicians can help build a patient base. This way, when a permanent physician joins the community he or she can hit the ground running. In addition, a locums physician with a thriving patient load demonstrates to permanent recruitment candidates that a sound practice really exists.