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The Impact of Physician Shortages and How Locum Tenens Can Help

Posted by VISTA Staffing on Mar 19, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The growing physician shortage has a huge impact on healthcare staffing, creating challenges for medical facilities. More specifically, it’s making it difficult for them to recruit and retain quality physicians to provide proper care to patients.

According to a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, one of the top factors contributing to the physician shortage and demand is a growing, aging population. Other factors include turnover in rural areas and physician burnout. As a result, many specialties are in high demand, including family medicine, internal medicine, and radiology. This can affect staffing in a number of ways, but utilizing the services of locum tenens can help healthcare facilities alleviate its effects and maintain consistent staff coverage.

How Physician Shortage Impacts Healthcare Staffing

One way physician shortage can affect a facility and its staffing are by increasing the time it takes to fill certain roles and positions. According to the AAPPR 2018 Benchmarking Report, neurology had the highest number of days to fill at 211 days. Additionally, roles in the family and internal medicine took almost six months to fill at a typical-sized health system.

It also increases the competition between facilities to acquire qualified physicians. This means that they will need to go to greater lengths to attract and retain healthcare staff.

Ultimately, without an effective plan in place, these facilities can experience low staffing, which impacts other factors such as the quality of care, reputation of the facility, patient coverage, and physician burnout.

How Locum Tenens Can Help

In the report mentioned above, data indicates that locum tenens physicians are increasingly relied on to provide supplemental coverage due to the overall shortage and increased time to fill certain positions. Creating a long-term relationship with a locum tenens agency is one of the best ways to maintain medical staffing while fulfilling current needs.

Utilizing a locum tenens agency like VISTA can give facilities access to top-quality physicians to ensure continuity of care and financial stability, with the full support staff at your service. VISTA pairs its experienced recruiters with hiring staff to locate the best physicians in the specialties needed. This alleviates the need for facilities to vet recommended physicians, as the agency handles everything from verification of licenses and credentials to onboarding. Prior to being placed, physicians are counseled and prepped to step into the role and get right to work with no lag time. Another advantage of using an agency like VISTA – they work on behalf of both parties to ensure a smooth transition

Although there is a current physician shortage, healthcare facilities can still maintain continuity of care with locum tenens physicians. As an agency that has helped hundreds of medical facilities and practices ensure access to care while preserving revenue, VISTA quickly matches experienced providers with the organizations that need immediate and ongoing support. To learn more about how a locum tenens agency like VISTA can help ensure stability and profitability despite the shortage, contact a team member today!

Technology Based Approach to Healthcare Staffing

Topics: Industry Updates, Physicians, Facilities & Practices, Locum Tenens Work, Recruiting


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About VISTA Staffing Solutions

VISTA Staffing Solutions has over thirty years of experience providing award-winning customer service to clients and providers alike. Headquartered in Salt Lake City with additional offices in Atlanta and Houston, and employs approximately 1,000 people between corporate staff and field clinicians and contracts with over 2,500 physicians across 60+ specialties and subspecialties. VISTA helps U.S. hospitals, medical practices, and government agencies optimize their physician staffing, ensure quality and continuity of care for patients, and maintain financial stability. As a leading provider of U.S. Locum Tenens and Permanent Physician Search Services, VISTA also operates VISTA Select, a first-of-its-kind technology and services solution utilizing advanced data and analytics to provide healthcare organizations with customizable workforce optimization solutions.