New Study Highlights Locum Tenens Growing As A Healthcare Business Strategy

LocumTenens.com announced the results of its study, Locum Tenens Engagements: Strategies, Usage and General Attitudes. The 2019 survey measures the perception and attitudes of hundreds of clinicians and healthcare executives and administrators across the United States about healthcare industry issues, priorities and staffing solutions.

Positive Perception of Locum Tenens Staffing

A central theme in the research is the progression of locum tenens from solely a short-term measure to address gaps in staffing, to now a core part of the long-term strategy within today’s healthcare organizations. Healthcare executives and administrators alike reported strong regard and consideration for long-term locums assignments within their facilities over the next 12 to 24 months.

According to the study, improving quality of care and the patient experience, as well as meeting increased demand for patient services and retaining physicians, were identified as the top strategic priorities for healthcare organizations over the next 12 to 24 months. Locum tenens helps healthcare facilities—whether large health systems, regional hospitals, rural facilities or clinics—address all of these.

“The role of locum tenens has evolved from an option that in the past was used during times of crisis to now a foundational part of a healthcare organization’s strategic business model,” said Chris Franklin, president of LocumTenens.com. “Locum tenens directly addresses many current challenges, including making medical specialists accessible to rural areas, enabling fractional staffing on demand to meet peak workforce needs, and giving clinicians flexibility and control of their schedules.”

Key takeaways from the Locum Tenens Engagements: Strategies, Usage and General Attitudes study include:

Burnout Identified as a Significant Challenge for Clinicians and Facilities

Beyond the growing interest and uptake in locum tenens as a business model, the study Locum Tenens Engagements: Strategies, Usage and General Attitudes revealed clinician retention, burnout prevention and quality of care as key priorities and focus areas.

Findings from the study pointed to a lack of balance in physicians’ and advanced practitioners’ lives as a key contributor to burnout—which dramatically impacts quality of care, the overall patient experience and patient outcomes, as well as physician and advanced practitioner retention. Clinicians reported that they seek work-life balance more than any other job aspect, including income generation (ranked second) and location (ranked third).

Healthcare executives and administrators surveyed indicated that locum tenens is an essential part of their treatment plans to add more balance and flexibility back into their facilities and within their own staff over the next 12 to 24 months. In fact, locum tenens is viewed as a critical solution to addressing physician and advanced practitioner burnout, ranking it a top three benefit (above 16 other benefits of locum tenens).

“Locum tenens allows permanent staff to free up hours to achieve more balance in their lives by spending more time with their family and friends, living well, exercising and pursuing activities outside the hospital,” added Franklin. “Clinicians can leverage locum tenens as an approach to take back control of their schedules, taking temporary assignments on their terms, and creating the time and space essential for renewal.”

About the Study: Locum Tenens Engagements: Strategies, Usage and General Attitudes

The survey sample, completed in May 2019, included 545 clinicians and 260 staffing administrators across the United States. The sample was sourced from both LocumTenens.com data and an external survey panel. LocumTenens.com provided 274 clinicians, and the panel provided 271 clinicians (N=545). The clinicians’ areas of specialization included psychiatry, primary care, internal medicine, anesthesia, surgery, cardiology, hospital medicine, neurology, radiology, OB/GYN, emergency medicine and gastroenterology. LocumTenens.com provided 94 healthcare facilities, and the panel provided 166 healthcare facilities (N=260). Healthcare facility respondents were comprised of a representative mix of executive decision-making roles, staffing administrative and recruiting functions and facility sizes.

For more information about the Locum Tenens Engagements: Strategies, Usage and General Attitudes study, and to access the full report, visit https://www.locumtenens.com/balance/segmentation/.

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