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Why Healthcare Institutions Engage Locum Tenens Physicians

Today’s staffing nightmare is becoming the “loudest” challenge in the healthcare business. These days, it can take a lot of time for health organizations to find and hire a reliable staff physician. Highly qualified physicians are hard to find. Even harder to find are the high-demand specialists like radiologists or neurologists. Despite these shortages, health organizations must run their services. That means the organizations need to have interim replacements while they wait to hire a permanent physician staff. A locum tenens physician is a licensed interim physician who fills the gap in an organization’s medical team. The physicians can also help an institution attract and keep more staff and as a result increase their revenue.

It’s a Huge, Promising Industry

Recruiting firms providing locum tenens physicians produce over $2.5 billion in annual revenue. Moreover, more and more people are shifting to working as locum physicians due to the perks and flexibility this position offers. That means this huge industry will keep attracting more professionals making it easier to be relied upon. In fact, statistics show that over 7% of US physicians work locum tenens at least some of the time.

Why should an institution hire a locum tenens physician?

* To act as an interim replacement for a staff member who may be away on sick leave, on a vacation or on a maternity leave.

* To supplement the services of permanent staff especially during busy times.

* To staff new positions where physicians are recruited.

* To cover staff especially when they are engaged in CME studies.

It’s a Good Cost-Cutting Strategy

Today’s healthcare business is very competitive. Executives are continually looking out for more ways of cutting costs. They need to cut the perks that go to their inflated medical staff. One effective strategy they are using is cutting down the number of medical staff they have during the low season. The trick is, when the peak season sets, they engage locum tenens physicians to help them with the increased workload.

When used strategically locum physicians can help these organizations retain more staff and skyrocket their revenue.

Today’s Locum Physician is Highly Qualified

Various bodies are coming up to accredit these physicians. For example, JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) is one of the bodies involved offering further training, verifying physicians’ education, licensing and credentialing them. In fact, about 86% of locum tenens physicians are licensed to work in more than one state. That means they are able to work in different a states which is an advantage to the existing staffing nightmare in most institutions. Because of the training, locum physicians are more up-to-date with the latest technologies in the medical field.

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