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Donna Goestenkors

By: Donna Goestenkors on May 16th, 2016

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5 Tips for Integrating Locum Tenens Staff

Payor Enrollment | Payor

There is no question that a growing practitioner shortage is driving more and more medical facilities to team up with locum tenens staffing agencies. It just makes sense, especially during high workload periods. But filling gaps with temporary talent requires intensive onboarding coordination. This can be a cumbersome process if it takes months to get physicians acclimated.

Why not optimize the process for smoother integration? Making your onboarding process more efficient can make all the difference in how well a locum tenens physician can integrate and deliver a high standard of quality care. Take the first steps toward ensuring a seamless transition – check out our 5 Tips to An Effective Locum Tenens Integration Process:

  1. It’s never too early to involve Medical Staff Services

The best way to proactively manage a new physician’s responsibilities? For starters, have your medical staff services department involved in the contract review process. This allows them to become more familiar with the agreed upon conditions between the agency and the healthcare organization. It also gets everyone on the same page – the department is more acclimated with the privileges and credentials that are expected from the physician.

  1. Ask for exactly what you want!

Don’t spin cycles with poor communication. The healthcare facility must make their needs known – from board certification requirements to the acceptable number of malpractice instances to the desired years of experience within a specialty. This way, the agency has more information to better match the locum tenens practitioner to the facility. It is also prudent to forward a copy of the facility’s medical staff application, bylaws, privileges, and credentialing forms to ensure that the physician candidates are ready for processing.

  1. Roll out the welcome mat

Preparing a welcome packet in advance can go a long way toward orienting a new physician. Be sure to include facility site maps, parking instructions, and key codes to kick start their integration on Day One. Don’t forget information about their equipment training and a brief introduction to the key staff members, such as department heads, mentors, and colleagues.

  1. Don’t forget to schedule an EMR orientation

Another way to reduce mistakes during a locum tenens practice? Plan an electronic medical record (EMR) orientation for new physicians. Most healthcare facilities use an EMR system that gives physicians access to a patient’s medical history. However, different healthcare facilities may have their own EMR systems. Without prior knowledge and experience, these systems can be challenging for new physicians. An EMR orientation can ensure locum tenens physicians are familiar with accessing and diagnosing patient information. 

  1. First things first: facility and equipment tour

Familiarity with the equipment and rooms of a healthcare facility can build confidence in a locum tenens physician. During a spike in workload, it is easy enough for them to feel overwhelmed and lack confidence about using specialized equipment. Avoid this highly dangerous situation by making time for a facility tour with their department head or mentor. This can be a proactive step toward answering all questions they may have about their new environment.

The bottom-line: a locum tenens physician’s success depends greatly on the healthcare facility’s ability to effectively integrate them into their medical staff. Working these 5 Tips into your healthcare facility’s onboarding process is more than just a best practice. Ultimately, it will allow locum tenens physician to familiarize themselves with their responsibilities and colleagues and minimize errors for optimal efficiency during practice.

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For more information on how to improve the integration of locum tenens physicians into your medical staff, listen to our webcast series, Locum Tenens Credentialing. The webcast is presented by special guests Donna Goestenkors of Team Med Global Consulting, LLC., Susan Collier of CHG Healthcare Services, and Tammy Pressnall of Presbyterian Healthcare Services.


About Donna Goestenkors

Donna is a full time healthcare consultant, speaker, author, educator, and mentor serving the Medical Staff Services industry for over 40 years. Her diverse project experience includes assignments in every work environment and rapport building among all levels of professional and executive staff. Donna is a past President of NAMSS and her client work covers all of the industry's environments from Healthcare Systems to critical access hospitals.