Why Have Locums Tenens Become a Go-To Staffing Option for Healthcare Facilities?
Multiple studies indicate that up to 70% of healthcare facilities are using a locum agency at any given time. A number of interlinking factors have made the use of temporary medical staff their most effective staffing tool. The best locums tenens company can offer hospitals, clinics and private practices a means to employ healthcare professionals on an as-needed basis to fill provider gaps, protect existing workers and save money. Here’s why locums tenens have become a go-to staffing option for healthcare facilities:
Locum agency surveys reveal that the primary reason locum tenens jobs are more commonly offered in recent years is the ongoing effort to address staff shortages. According to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges, U.S. health facilities could suffer a shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians, nurse practitioners and specialists by 2033. Baby Boomers are aging just as their physician contemporaries are retiring. The advent and staying power of Covid-19 and “Long Covid” complications have upped the demand for medical professionals and respiratory specialists in particular. Add to those deficits a training and educational system that can’t keep up with a growing population… the projected and current gaps in service providers is an ongoing challenge. Locums tenens companies have become an invaluable resource, with over 70% of healthcare facilities reporting use of a locum agency in the last year alone.
Burnout is hardly a new issue. However, the increased patient loads as the result of pandemic and an aging population have made for harder work, longer hours and loss of restorative time. About half of frontline workers report symptoms of burnout, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Stress, sleep deprivation and difficulty achieving a life/work balance all contribute to a growing number of healthcare workers leaving the profession or seeking alternative employment, a trend that has led to significant gaps in patient care. Facilities perform better when they offer locum jobs to support existing staff and lessen the risk and consequences of burnout.
Every year now brings with it surges in Covid-19. In both 2021 and 2022, we’ve seen a seasonal confluence of Covid, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza. These factors lead to a number of challenges that affect the growing need for locums tenens companies to supply locum healthcare. Overflowing hospitals require more nurse practitioners, hospitalists and other providers to ensure that quality of care doesn’t suffer under the weight of the patient load. Without that support, providers are more likely to burn out and leave the profession altogether, creating more demand for locum workers.
As noted in an article published in part by the National Institutes of Health, locums tenens providers “can prevent a hospital, HMO, clinic, or physician practice from losing market share due to a gap in medical coverage.” Additional costs are incurred during the hiring process; recruitment, training and onboarding a new hire. Locum healthcare is a better choice as facilities strive to maintain quality of care while working within annual budgets.
Chances are your medical facility or practice is experiencing one (or many) challenges when it comes to maintaining an appropriate staff to patient ratio. MASC Medical, lauded as the best locums tenens company, can help. We’ve curated a community of ready locum healthcare professionals and we never stop recruitment efforts to ensure we have the physicians, nurse practitioners, specialists and support staff you require. Let us help you assess your needs, fill the gaps, support your long-term staff and save you money with locums tenens providers.