A Locum Tenens Agency is often necessary to fill in temporary positions for healthcare facilities. When medical providers need additional assistance to cover labor shortages, the Locum Tenens agency can match them with someone who meets their needs and can fill the position temporarily. When choosing a Locum Tenens agency, there are some things to keep in mind.
What to Do
Take some time to look into the potential options when choosing a locum tenens agency to find the right one to work with when additional personnel is needed. Since this is likely going to be a long-term partner for the healthcare facility, do all of the following.
Carefully research the agencies available and look at their reputation, reviews from other healthcare facilities, and their history of placements. Look for a facility that has a good reputation, positive reviews, and successful placements.
Look Into Specialties
Whether you require a locum tenens provider to fill in for vacations, sabbaticals, maternity leaves, or staff shortages, their deep bench of pre-screened clinicians reduces disruption and ensures your patients’ needs are met.
Take a look at their licenses and other credentials to make sure they have anything required by the local government. If needed, check with placements for licenses and credentials before accepting them to make sure they will be a good fit.
Check Into Transparency
Make sure the agency will be completely transparent about the process, expectations, and more. They should be forthcoming with any critical information and able to make sure you have any information needed to make an informed decision.
Check the Communication
Communication is extremely important when working with a locum tenens advocate. Here are some key reasons why:
– Understanding needs – The advocate must fully understand the practice’s staffing needs, expectations for providers, and work culture in order to source and match the right locum tenens providers. Clear, ongoing communication ensures proper alignment.
– Provider vetting – The advocate conducts extensive vetting and qualification of providers in their network. Communicating details on credentials, experience level, and personality fit needed allows them to select appropriate candidates to present.
– Interview coordination – The advocate can coordinate and often participate in interviews to assess mutual fit between a locum provider and the practice. Communication during interviews helps determine if a provider is a match.
– Onboarding – Locum providers require thorough onboarding to the practice’s systems and procedures. Communicating onboarding plans and availability of training resources is crucial for a provider’s success.
– Performance feedback – Regular check-ins and feedback about a placed provider’s performance enables the advocate to support and counsel the provider, or make adjustments if needed.
– Extension or replacement – Ongoing communication ensures the advocate can negotiate extensions or provide alternative locums if situations change.
The best patient care, provider performance, and staffing coverage relies on continuous, open communication with a knowledgeable locum tenens advocate throughout the process. Their expertise and network depend on understanding each client’s unique needs.
Look at Compliance and Legal Support
Make sure the agency prioritizes compliance with local healthcare regulations and that they will meet required standards at all times. Now is the time to look into their compliance to make sure they will meet all regulations when you work with them.
What Not to Do
While there is a lot you can do to find the right Locum Tenens agency to work with, there are also some things you should avoid doing. Make sure you don’t do any of the following.
Overlook a Reputation
Agencies get reputations for a reason. If they have a poor reputation or many negative reviews, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Ignore the Contract
Be sure to read through the contract thoroughly before signing anything. You should get a good understanding of their policies and make sure you agree with the terms.
Ignore Red Flags
Never ignore red flags you might notice while you’re researching which agency to use. If you’ve already spotted red flags during the investigation period, you’ll likely see a lot more once you start working with them.
A Locum Tenens agency can be a crucial ally when you’re dealing with shortages and require temporary assistance for your healthcare facility, but it’s not always easy to find the right one. Use the tips here to make it easier to find one that’s going to be a perfect fit for your facility.