Last updated:February 1, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. EDT
A letter from our president
We’ve received an influx of questions from clinicians, healthcare organizations and our associates about how LocumTenens.com is handling COVID-19. We want to assure you we are doing everything we can to help you maintain continuity of care.
We are monitoring the situation closely and enhancing our efforts to continue with our mission of increasing patient access to care. That mission doesn’t change during a time of crisis. In fact, we are proud of our associates for working harder than ever and around the clock to make sure patients are being seen, and we are supporting the clients and clinicians with whom we work.
We have information below for healthcare organizations and clinicians, but if you have specific questions about the logistics of assignments or travel, please reach out to your recruiter.We are committed to partnering with you to navigate this evolving situation.
Thank you to all the organizations and clinicians who are striving to provide the very best care to patients across the country.
COVID-19 guidelines for healthcare organizations
LocumTenens.com is committed to working with our clients to protect staff and patients from COVID-19 exposure. The clinicians we place onsite will adapt to the clinical and operational changes occurring at the facilities we serve to ensure a safe work environment.
Best practice recommendations for organizations working with locum tenens clinicians
We understand the primary focus of any healthcare organization is to make sure patients are being diagnosed and treated properly, while also taking care of its own staff. At LocumTenens.com, we are committed to helping our clients prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.
Four important best practices to keep in mind:
- Travel screening
- Emergency privileging plans
- Onboarding protocols
- Housing/quarantine considerations
Travel screening and precautionary clearance protocols
We recommend facilities complete travel screening on all locum tenens providers before arrival as part of precautionary clearance protocol. LocumTenens.com will do its own travel screening of clinicians, as well as facilitate our clients’ screening processes as needed and will disclose statuses and updates on our clinicians as we receive them.
The CDC's recommendations regarding the screening of clinicians by healthcare organizations continues to evolve. For up-to-date recommendations, please visit the CDC's website.
One of the first steps in any healthcare organization’s emergency contingency plan should include fast-track privileging for providers. You’ll need a carefully considered and planned process that is ready to be implemented quickly. The fast spread of the virus is causing gaps in current staffing, and the patient influx likely will likely continue to increase, leaving systems needing more providers.
Whether you’re considering locum tenens, telehealth, travel nurses or another form of additional healthcare coverage, make sure you have considered fast-track privileging to safeguard against staffing shortages.
Onboarding locum tenens clinicians
Make sure the locum tenens clinicians at your facility are well informed of your current safety precautions for patient arrivals. A comprehensive onboarding process is now more important than ever and LocumTenens.com will help facilitate this process as needed.
- Take proactive measures by providing your locum tenens clinician with the proper screening protocol within your buildings, including points of entry and triage stations.
- Make sure they know the list of screening questions to ask potential COVID-19 patients, as well as letting them know where these patients should be isolated or examined within your facility.
Should domestic travel restrictions or advisories occur, LocumTenens.com has many clinicians who are already located in your state or available to provide telehealth coverage for your facility. To learn more about implementing telemedicine services during this time, visit our Telehealth Resources or reach out to us today to learn more about how to implement these services at your facility.
Consider the implications that may occur if medical staff is quarantined or placed under travel restriction and if they will need housing. LocumTenens.com has customer care specialists on-call 24/7 to help navigate this process with our clinicians and clients. If a clinician is quarantined while on assignment, LocumTenens.com is prepared to cover quarantine-related expenses for housing and incidentals.
Our goal is to support the clinicians and facilities with whom we work to ensure effective patient care in a safe working environment.
Continuity of care for healthcare organizations
LocumTenens.com understands the importance of healthcare organizations being fully prepared to handle any situation. Effective treatment begins with high-quality clinicians, and our recruiters are equipped to continue providing healthcare organizations with high-quality clinicians across the country, regardless of circumstance.
LocumTenens.com commits to staying in close contact with the clinicians we have contracted to work at client facilities to keep our clients up to date on any changes that may affect a clinician’s ability to work. We will also proactively reach out to clinicians to assess availability to extend coverage as needed.
Alternative solutions due to travel restrictions
Should domestic air travel restrictions or advisories occur, LocumTenens.com is prepared to work with clinicians to secure alternate means of transportation. We work with many highly qualified clinicians who may already be in your state. We are currently working to source local clinicians in all states. In addition, we are monitoring FSMB actions to take advantage of emergency licensing provisions.
UPDATE: Licensing requirements relaxed
Congress has been working on various emergency healthcare measures, including the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), which would temporarily loosen restrictions for practicing across state lines, including increased access to telemedicine. Visit our legislative updates here.
Now, more than ever, effective remote patient care is critical to meet patient demand. LocumTenens.com's customizable telehealth solutions allow clinicians to remotely evaluate, monitor and treat patients from home, the office or at the hospital. With the passage of H.R. 6074, which includes provisions for waived Medicare/Medicaid restrictions and insurance updates regarding telehealth, many of our clients are utilizing our telehealth services. You can see real-time updates for telehealth legislation in our COVID-19 resources or at the Center for Connected Health Policy.
- Remotely deliver the appropriate specialists to serve your patient population.
- Bring high-demand infectious disease specialists to your patients, virtually, with the touch of a button.
For more information about our proven telehealth solution, contact our Director of Telehealth, Pamela Ograbisz, DNP, FNP-BC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-800-930-0748.
COVID-19 prevention and traveling tips for locum tenens clinicians
Our clinicians spend a considerable amount of time traveling to care for patients. Those traveling domestically should always follow best practices for disease prevention regardless of outbreaks, and preventive measures for avoiding COVID-19 are no different than those for avoiding the flu.
- People who are traveling are advised to practice good hand-washing habits.
- Bottles of hand sanitizer can now be up to 12 oz. in carry-on bags per TSA guidelines.
- It’s not advised that travelers wear masks. Undue panic has resulted in the public buying masks unnecessarily, when they should be reserved for patients experiencing symptoms of the disease or the clinicians directly caring for these patients.
Travel restrictions or itinerary changes
The safety and well-being of our clinicians is one of LocumTenens.com's top priorities. Through our travel partner, Travel, Inc. we are monitoring all travel and modifying itineraries when changes take place with airlines and hotels across the nation. Flights and accommodations are changing often, creating the need for multiple updates; so please be sure to check updates often. We will do our best to accommodate your needs and schedule, but please understand that our options are limited due to canceled flights and hotel closures.
LocumTenens.com is monitoring travel restrictions related to COVID-19 around the clock and will keep our clinicians up-to-date should changes to the current situation occur. As always, we recommend that you confirm your flight’s status with the airline before leaving for airport in case there are last-minute changes.
If you have any questions about travel required for an assignment, please do not hesitate to contact your recruiter or customer care specialist, or our 24/7 travel hotline at 800-562-8663.
If a LocumTenens.com clinician is asked to be quarantined while on assignment, we are prepared to cover quarantine-related expenses for housing and incidentals during that period.
Those most at risk
Older individuals and those with underlying health conditions are more likely to experience complications from a COVID-19 infection. It’s important to remind anyone who is concerned about the potential for a widespread outbreak that the majority of people who contract COVID-19 fully recover from the disease.
UPDATE: Licensing restrictions have loosened
Emergency healthcare measures are being enacted by Congress, including temporarily loosening restrictions for practicing across state lines, including increased access to telemedicine, as well as loosening the Ryan Haight Act, HIPAA restrictions for video chat and prescribing laws for Schedule II drugs.
To learn more about how clinicians can now access more patients than ever during this pandemic, visit our legislative updates here.
For specific questions about upcoming or current assignments, please reach out to your dedicated recruiter our 24/7 on-call customer care team member: 800-562-8663.
For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit cdc.gov.
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