Many hospitals experience the need for complementary doctors to work in place of their current employees at different times of the year ranging from a day to weeks or even several months. This is where the the services of locum tenens come into place, saving you many dollars and upholding your hospital reputation in the eyes of your patients and staff. Contrary to popular believe, the work of locum tenens is not only limited to replacing doctors on vacation but there are many other circumstances when your hospital might require locum tenens staffing.
1. Experimenting with new service
If your hospital needs to experience a new service without having to hire a permanent physician for fear of failing to impress the market, locum tenens can be the best solution for this dilemma. This is the best solution since you don’t have to retain them once the service is not needed anymore or if your hospital is not satisfied with the new service. However, in the case of success of the new experiment, you can consider hiring a full time physician or retain the locum tenens on a full time basis. This can also save you the stress of hiring the wrong person who can end up not delivering according to your expectations.
2. Increased patients volume
Your hospital may experience an abrupt increase in patient’s volume due to flu outbreak or when earthquakes or hurricanes strike resulting in urgent medical needs. The urgent overcrowding in hospitals can burn-out existing physicians or result in lack of patient care due wait times. Your hospital cannot run such risks as you need to maintain a good reputation for your hospital and earn revenue. However, this might not be a permanent situation since it’s either a seasonal occurrence or short term situation. It would not be a good idea to hire full time physicians during peak seasons then lay them off when the number of patients reduces. If this is the case, then a good solution can be locum tenens staffing.
3. Paying too much on overtime
When paying overtime to your existing physicians has proven a strain on your budget, that may be a sign that your hospital could to hire locum tenens staff. Having your physicians put in overtime can also result in burn-out and low performance. Every organization needs to ensure that their staff is rested with manageable workloads for continued good reputation and increased revenue. Hiring locum tenens is the best way your hospital can achieve this.
4. Cover for absent physicians
Absenteeism at work is sometimes unavoidable in organizations, hospitals are not an exception. Doctors experience the need for vacations, sick leaves and family day offs. However, whether your staff report to work or not, your hospital must still provide services to its patients. You may need to make a call upon a locum tenens staffing company to fill in for the absent physicians. Through the availability of locum tenens, you can easily provide vacation time for your physicians and prevent physician burn-out. Following these points, your hospital can hold a good employment reputation as many physicians are looking for employment in hospitals where they are offered vacation time.
5. Physician shortage
You don’t want to see your hospital understaffed with a physician shortage. A shortage of physicians causes too much wait time, overcrowding, strain, overworking resources, and raises patients health risks while they are awaiting treatment. The solution for this is to hire locum tenens to work in your hospital until you are able to hire permanent staff.
6. Abrupt retirements
A study shows that more than one third of physicians are 55 years old or older. This is the retirement age in most countries. Some people who are approaching retirement age may burn-out easily, make errors, and may contribute to lower job satisfaction which can result to lower patient satisfaction and loss of revenue. Moreover, your hospital can be unable to provide services when they retire, requiring a temporary replacement. If this is the case in your hospital, then it is a clear sign you’ll need locum tenens to cover for the retired physicians until you are able to hire new staff to replace them.