Hospitals constantly need skilled healthcare professionals to provide quality care to patients. However, staffing gaps can often be challenging to fill, especially for short-term coverage. These shortages create a troubling predicament for hospitals and clinics that need to provide round-the-clock care.
This is where locums, or temporary healthcare professionals, can be incredibly valuable.
Locums, also known as locum tenens, are temporary physicians or healthcare professionals who either fill in for or supplement a hospital or clinic’s workforce on a temporary basis. In recent years, utilizing locum tenens has become an increasingly popular staffing solution for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.
Locums present a welcomed and incredibly beneficial solution supported by healthcare staffing agencies, creating a mutually beneficial relationship that helps maintain better healthcare facilities, support pre-existing healthcare teams requiring assistance and, above all else, provides continued optimal patient care.
Here are some of the most prominent benefits of locums and why they are becoming an increasingly popular staffing solution for hospitals and clinics.
Benefits of using locums in hospitals
Flexibility: Locums allow hospitals to be more flexible with staffing needs. If there is a sudden staff shortage due to unforeseen circumstances such as sick leave, vacation time, or increased demand for services, locums can be brought in quickly to fill the gaps. Additionally, locums work on a temporary basis, allowing hospitals and healthcare facilities to adjust their healthcare staffing needs based on patient demand, required expertise, and other factors.
Quality of care: Locum tenens are experienced professionals with a proven track record of providing high-quality care, ensuring patients can receive the same level of care they would from a permanent staff member when they need it. Also, locums can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas to a hospital that could potentially lead to improvements in patient care and efficiency. The increased number of staff from integrating locum workers can also help reduce wait times for appointments and procedures, helping patients receive timely care.
Improved patient outcomes: By filling staffing gaps with experienced locums, hospitals can maintain their level of care, leading to better patient outcomes. Locums also present a fantastic opportunity to bring in certain expertise that healthcare facilities may not necessarily have on staff to provide specialized care to patients that need it. This benefit is particularly crucial for rural hospitals and clinics, which may not have immediate access to certain specialties on a permanent basis.
Reduced staff burnout: Burnout is a significant problem in the healthcare industry, particularly among nursing staff. Long hours, high stress levels, and heavy workloads can spread healthcare workers incredibly thin, resulting in burnout. By utilizing locum tenens, hospitals can reduce the workload of their permanent staff and help prevent burnout and ensure permanent staff has adequate time off to rest and recharge.
Improved recruitment and retention: By utilizing locum healthcare staff, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities can improve their recruitment and retention efforts. Locums can help fill staffing gaps while facilities are waiting for new physicians to start or while permanent staff are providing care elsewhere. Additionally, locums can provide incredibly valuable insights into a healthcare facility’s culture and work environment, helping them improve their recruitment efforts and retain permanent staff.
Cost savings of using locums in hospitals
No recruitment costs: Finding and hiring new staff can be an expensive process, particularly for specialized positions. By using locums, hospitals can avoid the recruitment costs associated with hiring new staff.
Reduced training costs: Temporary onsite new staff members require training, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. By using locums, hospitals can reduce training costs, as locum tenens are experienced, qualified professionals who require little training.
No long-term commitment: Hiring permanent staff comes with a long-term commitment, which can be challenging to manage if staffing needs change. By using locums, hospitals have the flexibility to bring in temporary staff as needed, without any long-term commitment.
Someone to lean on
Using locums in hospitals provides numerous benefits, including increased flexibility, improved quality of care, and reduced staff burnout. Additionally, using locums can result in significant cost savings, as hospitals do not need to incur recruitment costs, training costs, long-term commitment costs, or benefits costs. Overall, locum staff provide hospitals with a cost-effective solution to staffing gaps while maintaining high-quality patient care.
To find qualified, capable and experienced locum professionals for your facility, visit promedhr.ca.