How long is the waitlist at your physiotherapy department or facility? Weeks? Months? Did you know that a physiotherapy locum can reduce it?
As the Canadian population ages, the demand for physiotherapy services has increased significantly. When you consider the fact that physiotherapists already play an essential role in sports medicine, accident recovery, and women’s healthcare, it’s easy to see why most facilities have such a long waitlist.
While waitlists are inevitable in healthcare, certain challenges can make them more of a problem. Staffing issues can arise without warning, resulting in longer wait times, reduced patient satisfaction, and team burnout. Even when an absence is scheduled, such as vacation or parental leave, an absent team member can increase wait times.
Engaging a physiotherapy locum for your facility can help you overcome these issues by maintaining service continuity and team morale. In this blog, we’ll highlight the ways that locum physiotherapy staffing can keep your waitlist reasonable and even reduce it altogether.
What is a Locum Physiotherapist?
A locum physiotherapist temporarily fills in for other physios when they take time off or when a hospital or facility is short-staffed. They have the same qualifications and do the same work as the physiotherapist they are covering for, although they may not work the same set hours as in-house therapists. This means that they can:
- Identify a patient’s needs and problems by taking or studying a detailed history of their symptoms.
- Develop or follow current treatment plans for patients.
- Help patients recover from health problems, surgery or injury by using hands-on manual therapy, such as massage techniques and exercise.
- Monitor the patient’s recovery progress and liaise with physicians and other healthcare professionals.
- Make suggestions on what patients can do to lead a healthier lifestyle.
- Collaborate with other health professionals to develop care plans tailored to each patient’s needs.
Depending on the needs of the employer, locums may work for anywhere from a couple of days to a year or more. Facility locations range from major cities to remote locations where physiotherapy services have a longer waitlist.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Physiotherapy Locum?
Physiotherapy departments are like any other service provider in that they have to manage costs while reducing delays in service delivery. This means that if any of your staff are sick for more than a day or two, go on vacation, or take parental leave, you don’t always have the option of hiring another physiotherapist to pick up the slack.
Locum physiotherapists are a cost-effective means of maintaining quality and continuity of care. A physiotherapy staffing agency like ProMed HR Solutions can provide you with skilled and pre-vetted professionals who will care for your patients and support your team during staff absences and times of increased demand.
Here are some of the many benefits of hiring a locum tenens physiotherapist.
Cover Surges in Demand and Extended Hours
Demand for healthcare services is always strong, but during the pandemic, many physiotherapy departments were forced to postpone non-urgent treatments. Now that restrictions are relaxing, healthcare facilities are probably dealing with a backlog that can either increase wait times or make extended hours necessary.
Inevitably, the increased demand will put a strain on staffing schedules. Physiotherapy locums can play a crucial role in ensuring that your team has sufficient provider coverage to meet waitlist deadlines without overwhelming your team.
Substitute for a Sick Staff Member
Physiotherapists are like anyone else in that illness or injury can strike without warning, forcing them to take time off of work. When this happens, other physiotherapists at the facility have to step in to help with their colleague’s patient list. With locum providers available to fill in, your facility can keep delivering the care your patients need without resorting to overtime and risking staff burnout.
Improve Work-Life Balance for Existing Staff
Most physiotherapists struggle to maintain a work-life balance. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving a balanced lifestyle has become more difficult than ever for overworked professionals. When physiotherapy locums come in to help facilities deal with increased patient load, they provide welcome relief to in-house therapists who may be overworked and overstretched.
Reduce the Risk of Error
While anyone can make a mistake, they are a lot more likely to occur when a physiotherapy professional is tired, burned out, or in a hurry to see as many patients as possible. By providing additional support, a physiotherapy locum can help ensure that all facility patients receive care from a well-rested professional who is not likely to make a treatment error.
Offer More Services to Patients
Many smaller health facilities struggle to meet the needs of local residents. These facilities can provide more services to their patients with the help of locum physiotherapists. If your facility is seeing an increased need for (for example) pediatric physiotherapy, women’s health or clinical electrophysiology, you can bring in a locum provider to offer specialized treatments that are not locally available.
Increase Facility Revenue
If patients have to go to other facilities for specialized care because your location does not offer it, revenue will suffer. By ensuring that specialty treatments are available when needed, locum physiotherapists can help your facility maintain revenue, improve the quality of care it provides for patients, and retain its staff.
Locum physiotherapists are an excellent option for hospitals and facilities that need temporary coverage. You can hire them to cover shifts without the cost of onboarding temporary replacement staff, which is often prohibitively expensive and slow to implement.
Talk to Us About Your Physiotherapy Staffing Needs
As specialists in healthcare recruitment, ProMed HR Solutions has years of experience in sourcing and providing locum professionals to clients across Canada. Whether providing large volume or ad hoc placements, our physiotherapy staffing agency offers personalized, bespoke services to meet your facility’s staffing needs.
Our personnel are skilled, experienced, and contribute to optimal patient outcomes and uninterrupted treatment delivery. To learn more about how they can help you reduce your waitlist, please call ProMed HR Solutions at 1-833-776-6336 or contact us online.