Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are an integral part of the care continuum and their value is increasingly recognized across the U.S. healthcare industry. Hospitals and medical practices are looking to expand APP coverage in an effort to lower cost, increase flexibility and improve access to care.
Succeeding in a competitive hiring market requires a keen understanding of the situation and mindset of APPs. This is particularly true for APPs hired in a locum tenens capacity.
Here are a few ideas and resources that may help to get you on the right path when hiring APPs for locums work.
APP Hiring is on the Rise
It’s a hot job market. Most positions in healthcare are at a premium right now and APPs might be the most desirable. A recent study by LocumTenens.com found that nearly 74% of medical practices planned to expand APP coverage this year. That means more competition for talent in an already strained staffing market.
Currently, 26.2% of facilities use both physician and APP locums staffing. With 9.2% of facilities using only APPs in a locums capacity. Expect that number to climb in the near future as the benefits of APPs utilization become more evident to all aspects of the care model.
Physicians are the undisputed leader of the care team, but the exemplary work they do needs to be supplemented in order to increase access to care. Administrators who utilize APPs often call out the lower cost associated with APP coverage, as well as the increased access.
Another area that comes up is collaboration. By creating partnerships between APPs and M.D.s, there is greater collaboration between caregivers, which can result in a better experience for the patient. This creates a stronger care team that can deliver sustainable results for patients and communities.
APPs Have Different Career Goals
APPs see the world differently from physicians. With differing educational backgrounds, experience levels and roles within the care team, APPs are less likely to be interested in non-clinical or administrative roles. Looking at the data from a recent report, The Future of Work: Redefining the Role of Physicians in the Gig Economy, only 7% of APPs said they are interested in executive leadership.
When we look at direct patient care roles, APPs are closely aligned with physicians on expectations and career steps, but there are some differences. Overall, APPs are more likely to be on the lookout for new practice opportunities or positions. In addition, APPs are more likely to be interested in working locum tenens in the area where they live.
APPs have become a critical component of the care continuum. It is important to employ strategies that support their needs in order to boost recruitment and retention in service of better outcomes for patients.
Geography Matters to APPs
Hospitals have an opportunity to increase access to care and improve their efficiency with increased utilization of APPs, but that will require a more consistent approach to regulations around APP oversight. Currently, APP practice guidelines vary greatly by state with three main practice models, which determine how much independence clinicians have in the treatment of patients.
In many cases and locations, APPs are not allowed to practice to the top of the license. This serves as a major factor for APPs when considering a locums assignment. Additionally, it is a major factor for how medical practices can optimize staffing and increase access to care for patients. It is important to understand how local legislation and regulation can impact a facility or practice’s ability to recruit APP talent and to implement staffing solutions.
More Flexibility, Sustainable Staffing Model
One size does not fit all in healthcare. There is value in flexibility. Flexible staffing can take many forms. It can be a blend of permanent and locum tenens clinicians. It can be onsite and telehealth. It can be APPs and physicians. Finding the right answer for your practice can lead to new care models that improve the clinician and patient experience.
Looking through case studies, we can see numerous examples of facilities that have adopted a flexible staffing model that integrates APPs (both onsite and virtually). This has alleviated many challenges by delivering a high level of care at a lower cost, creating a larger pool of clinicians for scheduling and increasing access to care. Flexible staffing can create a sustainable solution that benefits patients and the facility’s bottom line.
Incorporating APPs in a contract or locums capacity provides a great opportunity for hospitals and medical practices to meet the needs of their patients and communities quickly. Hiring clinicians for full-time onsite positions is both expensive and time-consuming. That makes locums a viable solution as part of a sustainable staffing model for many healthcare organizations.
If your healthcare organization needs to staff APPs, be sure to post the roles you need to fill on AdvancedPractice.com, a premier source for NPs, PAs, CRNAs, CNSs, and CNMs to find a wide range of assignment types posted by top health systems and recruitment agencies across the nation.