5 Ways to Develop a Winning Locum Tenens Strategy

Posted on: June 08, 2017

written by

Jess Huckins

Are you thinking about staffing a locum tenens provider? Before you do, you should consider how to properly integrate them into your workforce. Here are five ways to get started:

1. Evaluate Your Practice's Weaknesses

Figure out whether a locum tenens professional can solve your practice's most pertinent problems. Some issues these healthcare providers can assist with include:

  • Staffing shortages.
  • Budget constraints or cuts.
  • Patient overflow.
  • Errors because of high stress and overworked employees.

It's critical you take the time necessary to assess your practice for weaknesses before you bring new employees on board.

2. Understand How Locum Tenens Can Address Pain Points

Practices typically hire locum tenens clinicians to fill in for full-time staff members when they're on leave, whether because of sickness, business, childbirth, or active duty.

Facilities may also hire locum tenens healthcare professionals if there aren’t enough staff members to handle high workloads. A recent report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that the U.S. will be short 40,800 to 104,900 physician by 2030. This will undoubtedly increase the likelihood that facilities will hire locum tenens providers to meet their staffing needs.

3. Devote Time to Proper Onboarding

It's critical that your facility devotes just as much time to onboarding locum tenens clinicians as it does full-time employees. One of the main benefits of staffing these contract employees is that they are used to adjusting quickly to new work environments and assisting staff almost immediately. However, if they work at a facility that doesn't have a quality onboarding process, their integration will be hindered. This could cause medical procedures to stall and patients (and the practice) to suffer.

4. Know How to Pay Them

The rate at which these professionals are paid differs depending on economic factors, location, and the type of work being performed. There's also room for salary negotiation as part of the locum tenens process. Locum tenens are considered independent contractors and are typically paid by the day or hourly. They may also work overtime or on holidays, which may dictate different rates of payment.

Before staffing locum tenens clinicians, create a budget strategy that outlines the number of providers you can hire, and at what cost.

5. Follow Proper Working Guidelines

Facilities must follow certain rules when working with locum tenens providers. For details, read our free guide, “Billing for Locum Tenens Services.” It's important to fully understand the ways in which locum tenens clinicians and full-time employees differ. Not only will it ensure these contractors enjoy their time at your facility, but it may also help limit the risk of being exposed to unnecessary legal action.

Developing a winning strategy will ensure the locum tenens providers you hire provide your practice with substantial benefits and you patients with quality care.

It’s easy to improve your facility — fast! Contact a Barton Associates representative for more information.

About Jess Huckins

Jess Huckins was formerly the managing editor at Barton Associates’ Peabody, MA, headquarters. She joined Barton after nearly a decade of professional editing in the publishing, marketing, and healthcare fields, and she holds a master's degree in publishing and writing. 

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