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Finding Flexibility through New Staffing Models

By: Locumtenens.com | Updated on 6/10/2022

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Each week during the month of June, we will highlight a hospital that is taking a creative approach to addressing the challenges of physician staffing. While their situation may be unique, in most cases, these examples serve as a roadmap for how a healthcare organization can deliver access and value to its patients and community.

Following years of fast-paced change in healthcare, organizations have embraced the need for flexibility in staffing. Market factors like the clinician shortage, burnout, increased competition, and a rising interest in self determined schedules have put healthcare organizations on unstable footing. As a result, physician staffing has become the cornerstone of healthcare strategy. An important part of these strategies is how to best utilize contingent physician labor.

One LocumTenens.com client that runs a national chain of behavioral health centers has adopted a hybrid physician staffing model that brings flexibility to providers, patients and to the organization.

Originally, the system was focused solely on providing patients with onsite clinicians. Through discussions with LocumTenens.com, the organization hired a physician working in a hybrid capacity across two facilities. As part of this engagement, LocumTenens.com helped build the workflows and infrastructure needed to make a hybrid model successful.

The provider splits time between onsite and virtual with one full day onsite each week. Beyond that, the system does not dictate a schedule, providing flexibility to set a schedule and shift hours in order to best meet patient needs. New admissions are often covered via virtual visits, allowing for the organization to meet required response times.

Hospital administrators say the hybrid model has been great for both the locum tenens physician and the permanent staff, because the permanent staff feel better equipped to meet the CMS requirements regarding time for first visit.

The hospitals have seen employee and clinician satisfaction rise since the program was implemented. Previously, it was a challenge for the staff to provide the needed care and meet CMS requirements to complete the first psychiatric evaluation within 48 hours of admission. By adopting a hybrid model, the staff have reduced their stress level and feel better equipped to meet regulatory requirements and the patient’s needs.

Before working with LocumTenens.com, the system did not have a hybrid staffing program in place. Due to the success of the approach, they have made it a permanent fixture of its staffing strategy, bringing flexibility to providers and the facility, while allowing teams to deliver results for patients.

For more on Flexible Staffing and how LocumTenens.com can help you on your journey, visit our telehealth resources page.