Physicians are at the heart of the care team. It is important to care for their wellness and empower them to perform their job to peak of their ability. At one state department of mental health, they have embraced a hybrid staffing model, allowing clinicians to work a mix of onsite and virtually.
For the organization, clinicians have been the driving force behind the expansion of the hybrid model. With 16 mental health centers across the state, a fully in-person schedule would require significant amounts of travel. By embracing a hybrid approach, clinicians can be flexible, see more patients and safeguard their time. It is seen positively by providers, who are empowered to deliver care in the appropriate format. In addition to adding telehealth to the mix, the system increased utilization of nurse practitioners, which makes a marked impact on the organization’s ability to increase access to service.
The organization’s Director of Medical Affairs found particular benefit in the hybrid model’s ability to offer coverage for scheduling gaps. He said the organization has maintained the quality their patients expect while increasing access to care. The in-house clinicians recognize the benefits as well.
Currently, the organization is open to a 50 percent blend of onsite and telehealth services, believing that an onsite presence is important for their patients. Provider preference has driven this increased adoption of telehealth with some clinicians working 100 percent virtually By not having to pay expenses or travel, the organization has seen cost savings in using locums within a hybrid model versus only onsite. Even with a greater emphasis on telehealth services, patient satisfaction scores have remained steady and patients have received a consistent experience. For physicians, they have been given more time and resources to ensure they deliver the best care possible, which helps with retention.
The global pandemic has expedited change in healthcare. The rate of adoption for telehealth services has increased and remains a valuable tool for clinicians. Looking forward, healthcare administrators and physician leaders see opportunity in embracing a hybrid staffing approach that increases access to care, brings flexibility to both patients and providers, and increases the speed in which providers can see patients. All of this can be achieved while maintaining continuity of care and safeguarding the patient experience. A hybrid staffing model is the next step to transform care delivery for innovative healthcare organizations across the country.
For more on Flexible Staffing and how LocumTenens.com can help you on your journey, visit telehealth resources page.