Connecting with locum providers in a streamlined way is crucial for healthcare organizations to maintain high-quality patient care. Locum providers, or temporary fill-in physicians, are an essential resource when permanent staff members go on leave or there are gaps in the schedule.
Building relationships with a pool of reliable locums creates stability amidst the uncertainty of fluctuating provider availability.
Easing the Onboarding Process
Agencies focus on connecting you to locums providers. Once this connection is made, their work is done. It falls on the requesting agency to move forward with the process. Locum tenens play a vital role in healthcare organizations by filling short-term staffing needs.
However, starting at a new facility can be challenging for locum tenens providers who are unfamiliar with the environment and processes. Organizations can ease this transition through a robust onboarding program focused on locums.
Key elements include assigning each locum a dedicated onboarding contact who can answer questions and provide guidance. Provide locums access to online resources and training materials that outline organizational policies, EHR navigation, and departmental workflows.
Schedule additional shadowing shifts, allowing locums to become oriented under the guidance of a preceptor. With a welcoming and supportive onboarding process, locum tenens can become productive members of the team starting on day one.
Clear and timely communication is essential when working with locum providers. Establish preferred methods and frequency early on, such as texting for quick questions and emailing for more formal updates.
Set expectations for response time to urgent issues that may arise while on duty.
Schedule phone or video conferences to touch base before and after assignments. Proactively seek locum feedback about what communication methods work best. Maintaining open channels sets the stage for a positive experience.
Defining the locum’s role and responsibilities is key to productivity.
Provide detailed documentation about the patient population, typical daily workload, EHR workflows, and practice protocols. Clarify scheduling logistics, on-call expectations, and backup coverage procedures.
Outline documentation, billing, and other care delivery requirements. Explain how the locum fits into the larger care team’s structure. Addressing role specifics right away prevents misunderstandings down the road.
Regularly gathering feedback offers valuable insights into improving the locum experience. Seek input about the contract terms, onboarding process, communication methods, workload, facility operations, and organizational culture.
Ask what would improve the overall experience.
Provide multiple avenues for sharing confidential feedback, such as anonymous surveys, structured reviews, and informal check-ins. Demonstrate genuine commitment to acting on feedback. This fosters goodwill and retention.
Cultivate Long-Term Relationships
Developing long-term locum partnerships is advantageous for meeting fluctuating coverage needs. Offer rewards for loyalty, such as higher pay rates, priority scheduling, or bonus opportunities. Maintain constant outreach about upcoming openings.
Get to know each provider’s strengths and preferences to determine ideal assignments.
Share feedback from staff and patients to help locums grow professionally. Champion high performers as ideal candidates when permanent positions open up. Investing in relationships leads to a more stable, experienced locum workforce.
By taking a proactive approach, healthcare organizations can optimize efficiency, communication, role definition, feedback exchange, and relationship building with locum tenens providers.
A streamlined locum strategy allows for seamless temporary coverage, continuity of patient care, and valuable professional partnerships.
With deliberate efforts to integrate and support locums, healthcare leaders can enhance stability and quality even amidst the uncertainties of staffing. A little extra care in connecting with locum providers goes a long way.