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VIDEO: Maintaining Staff in a Challenging Healthcare Market

By: LocumTenens.com | Updated on September 26, 2023

VIDEO: Maintaining Staff in a Challenging Healthcare Market

Over the past few years, the United States health sector has faced issues related to high clinician shortages. Not only are there not enough physicians to fill vacant roles across the country, but the implementation and influences of the Gig Economy in healthcare are changing the demands of clinicians. Many physicians are choosing to retire earlier than ever before, and Millennial and Gen X healthcare providers have been pursuing greater work-life balance. 

A survey report conducted by LocumTenens.com on Innovation and Flexibility: The Journey to Sustainable Healthcare revealed what were reported to be the biggest concerns seen in physician staffing in today’s environment. According to the survey, the top stressors were attracting and retaining talent, and burnout.

Biggest Concerns for Hospitals Graph

Job Satisfaction and Turnover

Across all industries in the U.S., the turnover rate for the healthcare industry has been among the highest in recent years. The average hospital turnover rate over the last 6 years is 89%. One reason for this daunting retention challenge is the job dissatisfaction among medical staff.

Job Satisfaction by Specialty

Job satisfaction by specialty graph

The pandemic has had a major impact on recruiting. Virtual interviewing and virtual site visits have now become the new standard, so much so that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a 135% rise in remote job offerings across all platforms (Meetfrank, 2020).

Both full-time and part-time workforces are the backbone of care delivery. However, the over-reliance on permanent employees can lead to a cycle of scrambling for solutions when disruptors in staffing occur. Hiring locum tenens and contract-based medical staff increases flexibility and readiness when unexpected staffing issues or disruptions arise.

Workforce Flexibility with Locum Tenens Providers

It's important to highlight the benefits and advantages of becoming a locum tenens provider. Some of these benefits include an attractive salary with cost-of-living adjustments, loan repayment incentives, and opportunities for professional development.

Satisfaction with the work provided by locums-style staff is high. According to a recent survey, 89% of respondents were satisfied with the quality of care they received, and those positive experiences led nearly half of respondents (43%) to hire a locum tenens clinician as a permanent employee.

Reasons for Employing Locum Tenens

Reasons for Employing Locum Tenens Graph

Another necessity of maintaining staff is ensuring they are provided with an adequate support system. Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are vital to retention and supporting medical staff to ensure undisrupted patient care. With sufficient APP support on staff, patients gain increased access to care, clinicians have a reduced workload and can focus on direct patient care, and businesses expand their capacity to manage a larger patient population. Nearly a quarter of respondents from the 2023 MGMA Survey claimed their physicians would be more likely to stay with their organization if given additional advanced practitioner support.

Investing in staff is essential in ensuring a productive and happy work environment for both patients and providers. Doing this means implementing flexible scheduling, hiring sufficient staff including APPs, introducing technological advances to aid in care and diagnosis, setting wellness programs, and celebrating success. By displaying this level of care and attentiveness, staff will feel appreciated and perform well in return.