How Locum Tenens Can Staff Rural Facilities Facing Physician Shortages
The healthcare industry, and healthcare in rural communities especially, is facing a problem.
The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) recognize there is a current and growing shortage of primary care physicians (PCP) and specialist in the U.S. By 2030, experts predict a deficit of up to 120,000 physicians and a population growth of approximately 11 percent (Census Bureau).
Attracting and keeping talented providers is complicated in rural communities. Many doctors and specialists choose urban areas and cities first, especially near where they trained. Rural communities have fewer opportunities to attract new doctors. Staffing challenges put pressure on existing employees, especially as management works to improve patient care and expand services.
As the shortage of providers becomes worse and the population expands – including aging baby boomers requiring more care – rural healthcare systems will struggle unless healthcare leaders work to address it now.
The Solution for Rural Hospital Staffing
Locum tenens was designed as a solution to healthcare needs. It provides not only an answer to current shortages, but also offers a program to address future problems as the country grapples with the ongoing provider shortage.
Locum tenens provides ongoing staffing for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other advanced practitioners. With a partner locum tenens provider in place, you are assured your rural hospital staffing concerns will be met with high quality, trusted medical experts. Here’s what it can do for you and your facilities:
- Options for short-term or long-term coverage and direct hires. Staffing agencies have a wealth of candidates and employment options to let you plan for now and future successes.
- Staff is screened, background checked and credentialed. Locum tenens staffing agencies provide experts in their fields. A partner agency removes the hassle of hiring and cuts down on lead time by pre-screening candidates.
- Keeps rural healthcare facilities continually staffed and compliant. Gaps in coverage can not only leave your facility open to violations, but it can also damage your community standing and referrals.
- Improves patient satisfaction. Relationships can determine success in rural hospitals. Additional staff can help decrease the wait time, bring fresh perspectives to treatment, and ensure patients leave happy and return for care.
- Coverage for leaves, holidays or expansions. Locum tenens staff are the ideal solution for any sudden or expected leaves of absence. They can also bridge the gaps during expansion or development of new service lines and procedures.
- Reduces pressure on existing staff. Rural healthcare facilities are often one of the largest community employers. Auxiliary staff can relieve the pressure of your current workforce, which not only boosts morale and productivity, also pays dividends in employee/patient goodwill.
- Try before you buy method to recruit physicians. Locum tenens opportunities may attract a locum tenens physician to your rural facility who may have not otherwise explored a rural opportunity. If there is a good mutual fit, you may have found yourself a new permanent physician.
Rural Healthcare Staffing is our Strength
If you are interested in learning more about locum tenens staffing positions or discovering how reliable locum tenens providers can benefit your facility, then contact the team at NEXTLocums today.