NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- "Many hospitals react to temporary staffing needs with varying degrees of panic, working at the last minute to fill upcoming vacancies," said Talbot "Mac" McCormick, M.D., President and CEO of LocumConnections, a rapidly growing locum tenens physician placement firm built on a unique, physician-led model. "Granted, the costs of temporary staffing don't go away by planning for physician absences, but they can be mitigated by forethought and appropriate risk management."
At Booth 25 during the Southern Hospital Medicine Conference in New Orleans Oct. 21-24, LocumConnections will share insight on helping hospitals take a proactive approach to temporary staffing and other staffing best practices. "Most important is partnering with a locum tenens firm that has clinical experience," said McCormick. "The industry is changing today, and hospitals can benefit from a new model that is emerging to bring equilibrium to what has been an erratic market."
A proactive approach works best
Specifically, LocumConnections will offer guidance to hospitals in:
- Planning ahead—Sensible tips to prepare for staff vacancies and avoid 'react mode'
- Building a bench of physicians—The benefits of having a pool of physicians who have already been vetted, licensed and credentialed and have availability for the foreseeable future
- Using technology when appropriate—How telemedicine can supplement healthcare teams in remote and rural locations
Greater ROI from placement firms
According to McCormick, success in the industry used to be a matter of which recruiting and staffing firms could get to a healthcare organization first when a physician slot came open. The winning firms ran like call centers. There was no clinical experience required for the company to match a candidate's list of qualifications with a healthcare organization's stated need.
But times have changed for the better. "Locum tenens placement firms with clinical experience bring new value to hospitals looking for temporary staffing," McCormick said. "Rather than plugging a physician candidate with the minimum qualifications into an open spot, leading locum tenens firms place qualified, credentialed physicians into a system of care. Today's top firms understand the healthcare continuum, how to manage it, how to integrate providers within it to yield the greatest results. With this clinical acumen, one also has the ability to attract the best locum tenens physicians, and to expect the best results without charging inflationary rates."
The proactive approach ensures hospitals get a better fit to their culture. "They also are more likely to get physicians who are dedicated to help an organization meet its compliance requirements and improve its metrics in such areas as average length of stay (ALOS) and ED throughput," said McCormick. "Rather than acting like visitors for the duration of their placement, temporary physicians today have the skills to get into the muscle of an organization and do whatever they can within appropriate boundaries to improve its performance."
He cited an example of a case in which LocumConnections staffed a rural hospital's entire hospitalist schedule, and helped the facility become profitable for the first time. "We relied on our network of physicians who are comfortable in small-town settings, who understand the importance of rural hospitals and have an altruistic desire to help them survive. It took about six weeks, but we provided them with a solution that is enabling them to transfer fewer patients to metropolitan hospitals and thus increase their admission rate," he said.
LocumConnections provides locum tenens physician (MD/DO) and physician extender (PA/NP) staffing to healthcare and hospital systems, practice management groups and clinics. Because LocumConnections is built and led by physicians who come from both the practice and clinical setting and locum tenens background, the company is uniquely qualified to understand and solve the challenges faced by modern healthcare organizations. With a rapidly growing footprint in the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, LocumConnections continues to expand its services to meet the needs of doctors and hospitals across the United States.