In today’s rapidly changing healthcare landscape, it’s important to be cost efficient in all aspects of running a facility. However, sometimes administrations don’t realize that they could be leaving money on the table by leaving staff positions open. Utilizing locum tenens providers can be a great way to continue generating revenue while continuing to look for a permanent staff member for that opening. Let’s take a closer look at why:
Open Positions Are Costly
When there is an open position on your medical staff, it’s costing you money. Not having enough essential providers on your staff can add up to greater costs than hiring locum tenens providers to fill in for a variety of reasons. If the opening is for a specialist position and you do not have another provider who can cover those duties, then patients have to seek that specialized care elsewhere. This means that you are not billing for those services, losing valuable dollars that are likely going to a competitor instead. With the current state of the healthcare industry, it can take a long time to fill certain positions due to the nationwide staffing shortage. Hiring a locum tenens provider to fill in while you continue your search can be a cost effective way to maintain that income flow because the cost of a locum provider is less than losing that business entirely.
Ease the Burden on Your Staff
If you have open positions on your medical team, then it is highly likely that your other staff are picking up the slack in the meantime. This can quickly lead to your permanent staff feeling burned out and overworked after trying to keep up with demand for a long period of time. Utilizing locum tenens providers to fill in the gaps and take on some of that burden can make a huge difference for your full time staff members. Reducing the load and allowing your permanent staff to take time off and recharge can greatly improve morale and retention. If you are already experiencing staffing shortages, then it is imperative to take care of your current staff and avoid losing anyone else. Locum tenens staff can help you avoid being put in that position.
Improve Patient Satisfaction
In addition to not being able to bill for services when you are short-staffed, leaving open positions on your team can lead to poorer patient satisfaction and outcomes. If patients are unable to schedule appointments, experiencing long wait times to get an appointment on the calendar, or having to wait for a long time at your facility, they will be unhappy about the experience. Long wait times can also lead to poorer outcomes if the situation is time sensitive, and patients may be less inclined to come back for further care after a bad experience. In addition to these potential problems, patients know when they are dealing with burnt out, unhappy staff members during their visits, adding stress to the situation. Utilizing locum tenens coverage to fix these gaps in patient care can improve patient wait times and ensure that people are receiving the care they need in a timely manner, resulting in better patient satisfaction.
Utilize Advanced Practice Providers
Sometimes it can be very difficult to find a permanent staff member for certain positions, for example, due to the exacting nature of the position or due to the facility being in a more remote area. If your facility is experiencing an extended search for a new physician, it may be possible to ease the burden by having locum tenens advanced practice providers step in. These medical professionals can be a cost effective way to get coverage for certain roles, depending on your facility’s needs. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can help with a wide variety of patient care needs, helping to reduce operational costs, maintain volume, and most importantly, maintain quality patient care. Once again, utilizing NPs and PAs for locum coverage can be a great way to ease the burden on your permanent staff as well.
Need locum tenens coverage?
If your facility is experiencing a staffing shortage, it’s important to put measures in place to protect revenue streams, ensure that your other staff do not become burned out, maintain patient satisfaction, and continue providing quality care. Locum tenens providers can be an excellent, cost effective solution to these problems. Working with a trusted locum tenens staffing partner can make all the difference when it comes to getting the coverage you want. That’s why we’re here to help with your coverage needs. Get in touch today to learn more!