Locum Tenens. The term has quickly become known as a viable solution for the physician shortage. The number of physicians and physician extenders who practice in this capacity has grown tremendously in recent years. The healthcare community is relying on locum tenens providers to remain consistent in the quality of care they provide to their patients. The benefits of utilizing locums continue to outweigh the costs, ultimately improving the overall well being of your facility, your staff, and most importantly – your patients.
Healthcare facility decision-makers that are considering the locum tenens solution will often focus too much on the costs they incur for scheduling locums coverage without fully understanding the impact of their decision.
So while you ponder the question, ‘can I afford locum tenens?’ You might also want to ask yourself, ‘can I afford not to?’
Fighting Patient Migration
The mainstream media now covers the current healthcare climate daily. Patients are exposed to a number of headlines, such as those stories on the growing physician shortage. The public understands that the services they’ve come to rely on are being overwhelmed by an increase in the number of patients seeking care. Many facilities are struggling to meet new challenges such as an increase in wait time, making patient retention extremely difficult. When your healthcare organization is losing patients, it’s losing market share to the competition. Instead of experiencing their migration, retain your patient base and keep wait times to a minimum with a locum physician.
Prevent Provider Burnout
Healthcare providers need a break like everyone else, planned or unplanned. This includes vacation, holiday, medical, or maternity leave. When these providers need time off and a facility does not have proper coverage, many detrimental effects can occur. Here again we see a loss of revenue. Moreover, a staff which is spread too thin will result in physician burnout and low morale. Locum Tenens should be used to help keep the continuity of the care you provide for your patients, aid in retaining your staff, and continue your ability to drive revenue.
You Have Choices
Locum Tenens is not limited to strictly short-term coverage, but can also serve as an interim solution during periods of ongoing, permanent recruitment. Times of provider loss or facility growth, whether planned or unexpected, can be difficult and stressful for those involved. Locum tenens providers help offset that burden by allowing facilities to maintain revenue and continuity of patient care, as a facility looks to secure a permanent provider long-term.
We’d like to hear from our readers.
Have you experienced an increase in patient migration due to wait times?
Have you seen first-hand the consequences of being short-staffed in your facility, and witnessed physician burnout and low morale as a result?
Is there a calculation your organization has adopted that enables you to make better decisions on when to use locum tenens?
Tisha Schwartz is a Director of Client Sales with Consilium Staffing and can be reached at 214.272.6920 or [email protected]
Consilium Staffing, Your Partner in Locum Tenens.