How to Attract and Keep Your Locum Tenens Provider Happy

Dawn Pascale

How to Attract and Keep Your Locum Tenens Provider Happy

You know the expression, “Happy wife, happy life?” It also applies to your clinical teams. If you take care of your nurses, doctors, and other clinical professionals, they will reciprocate, boosting your patient satisfaction scores and improving employee retention. But somewhere in taking care of your staff, it’s easy to miss critical locum tenens resources.

Locum tenens providers play a vital role in healthcare organizations by filling temporary staffing gaps and ensuring uninterrupted patient care. Yet many healthcare organizations put their locums on a back burner. Perhaps they consider these critical resources a “necessary evil?” As a healthcare facility, attracting and keeping your locum tenens providers happy is crucial for maintaining high-quality care and building a positive working environment.

Here are some strategies to help you achieve this.

Why Should You Worry about Your Locums?

Good help is hard to find, particularly in healthcare. Locum tenens is increasingly attractive to the best clinicians seeking greater work/life balance. It’s estimated that about 6% of doctors currently work locum roles, but the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reports 80% of residents today are willing to consider locum work. With that said, there is a shortage of qualified resources in this area. Ironically, 85% of hospitals rely on these professionals to serve patients.

As a healthcare facility, attracting and keeping your locum tenens providers happy is crucial for maintaining high-quality care and building a positive working environment. But it’s also essential to ensure the word doesn’t get out in a small community of providers that your organization doesn’t treat their locums well.

What can you do to ensure the next locum you hire has a positive experience?

  • Orientation and support: Ensure that locum tenens providers receive a thorough orientation to familiarize them with your facility, protocols, electronic health record systems, and any unique assignment aspects. Offer ongoing support, such as access to clinical staff, IT assistance, and administrative support.
  • Clear communication: Establishing effective and transparent communication is essential for both parties. Provide clear expectations and job details upfront, including schedules, duties, and unique requirements. Ensure open lines of communication throughout their assignment, allowing them to express concerns, ask questions, or provide feedback.
  • Competitive compensation: Locum tenens providers are typically compensated differently than permanent staff due to the temporary nature of their assignments. Ensure that your compensation package is competitive and fair, considering factors such as specialty, experience, location, and market rates.
  • Work-life balance: Recognize the importance of work-life balance for locum tenens providers. They often travel and work in different locations, which can be demanding. Strive to provide a schedule allowing for adequate rest, time off, and a manageable workload. Respect their time and ensure they can explore the local area and enjoy their surroundings.
  • Recognition and appreciation: Acknowledge the efforts of your locum tenens providers. Express gratitude and celebrate their successes. Simple gestures such as thank-you notes, public recognition, or small tokens of appreciation can go a long way in fostering a positive and supportive work environment.
  • Streamline administrative processes: Simplify credentialing, licensing, and reimbursement procedures to reduce their administrative workload. Helping with travel arrangements, accommodation, and other logistical aspects can also alleviate their stress and make their experience more seamless.
  • Seek feedback and act on It: Actively listen to their suggestions and concerns and take appropriate actions to address any issues.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum:  One of the biggest stressors in medicine can be the lack of control over a provider has over their day.  Even if the morning starts with a manageable patient census, there is no way to predict how many new consults, curbsides, provider phone calls, resident questions, staff interruptions, or procedural delays will influence work hours and stress levels. Help your Locums provider develop a routine that can help reinforce his/her self-discipline and minimize distractions.

A welcoming and supportive environment helps locum tenens providers feel valued and enables them to deliver quality care more effectively. Feeling valued and appreciated strengthens their commitment to your organization. It also ensures the provider might return to your organization if you need them down the road. These are all good reasons to improve how your organization handles the relationship with locum tenens staff.

Contact MedSource Consultants Today

MedSource Consultants can help by providing you with the best and brightest in temporary healthcare staffing in Chicago, IL, Boston, MA and beyond. Talk with our team today about our nationwide locum tenens program. We can help!