With facilities in rural regions experiencing unprecedented physician shortages, it’s never been more important for rural facilities to invest in non-traditional staffing avenues to maintain high quality patient care. If you run a facility in a rural area and are struggling to meet patient demand, there are many reasons to consider hiring locum tenens providers as a solution. Here are some of the ways in which rural facilities can effectively combat the physician shortage with a locum tenens workforce:
Covering staffing gaps
Major gaps in physician staffing, especially in rural facilities, can be detrimental to your operations, organizational culture, and ability to provide essential services. Locum tenens providers play an important role when permanent staff need time off, allowing them the flexibility to take vacations or family leave. Additionally, locum tenens employees are an ideal option when unexpected vacancies occur or staffing levels need to be addressed immediately due to urgent needs. Providing this type of support for your full-time providers is instrumental to helping them achieve a healthy work-life balance and retaining them for the long haul.
Promoting productivity and efficiency
When there’s a lack of adequate physician support at any given time, it can quickly add up to negative effects on your bottom line. Supplementing your workforce with locum tenens providers allows for better efficiencies among all medical units, better patient to provider ratios, and ultimately, an improved patient experience. Furthermore, it’s common for locum tenens providers to expose permanent staff to more new or innovative ways of doing things which can be incredibly impactful for the long-term trajectory of your organization. Even the smallest staffing adjustments can result in noticeable enhancements among your entire organization, from a happier workforce to better systems and processes.
While the rural physician shortage continues to be an issue in the U.S., facilities that embrace a locum tenens workforce will be able to take advantage of the benefits locum providers bring to their organizations. The sooner you address problems associated with low staffing levels by bringing on necessary staff, the better off your entire organization will be.