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 is by increasing the time it takes to fill certain roles and positions. According to the ASPR 2018 Benchmarking Report, neurology had the highest number of days to fill at 211 days. Additionally, roles in 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 a full support staff at your service. VISTA pairs their 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!