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5 pro tips for getting the most out of Locumsmart

Locumsmart can help you find locums providers, manage scheduling, and confirm assignments, but are you using it to the best of its ability?

During the 2020 Educational Conference, Julie Brooks, director of RPO services, shared how you can save money, increase provider quality, and reduce the number of calls from vendors. In case you missed it, here are her top five ways to use the Locumsmart platform even more effectively.

1. Be detailed when creating a request

Creating assignment requests takes time, but the more detailed you can be in the initial request, the fewer phone calls and emails you’ll receive asking for more information.

Brooks recommends including the following information in the “other details” section of the assignment request:

  • details about the practice
  • procedures the provider is expected to perform
  • dates and hours the provider will be required to work, including any on call hours

By providing additional information, vendors will have a better idea which providers meet your requirements and can submit better candidates.

2. Move quickly once you’ve posted an assignment

In order to procure the best candidates, Brooks recommends keeping an assignment open for no more than seven days. Vendors will typically look at the newest postings first, and the longer your assignment request is open, the fewer bids it will receive.

In order to meet this turnaround time, Brooks says it’s important to be responsive to vendors at all steps of the process: answering questions about the assignment, arranging interviews, and providing feedback about those interviews to the provider and vendor. Once you’ve selected a provider, make sure to confirm them in a timely manner so the provider doesn’t accept a different assignment in the meantime.

3. Negotiate, well, anything

The locums market is currently favorable to healthcare organizations, and this means that it’s easier than ever to negotiate with vendors. “Don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re looking for,” says Brooks. This includes negotiating rates as well as travel reimbursements.

You can set the ground rules for what you’ll reimburse regarding travel, says Brooks. She adds that you can be explicit, stating you’ll only consider local candidates who can drive to the facility, or that you’ll only reimburse hotel stays at a specific hotel or a specific rate. Not only does this eliminate uncertainty on the provider’s end, it can save your facility money by avoiding unexpected expenses.  

4. Ask the right questions

Brooks recommends taking the time to interview every new provider before finalizing an assignment. While it does take time, it shows you’re invested in finding the right person for the position, she says. When speaking with a provider, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Can you work the required dates?
  • Can you perform the required procedures?
  • Are you licensed in this state? (This is especially important if you need a provider quickly.)
  • Can you provide the required documents for credentialing and privileging by a specified date?

Knowing the answers to these questions ensures the provider will be available and able to do the work requested. It also gives you a chance to see if any red flags pop up that might make you reconsider the hire.

5. Streamline your processes

The Locumsmart platform can help you with filling assignments, but it can also make other processes easier, too. Brooks says that healthcare organizations can customize their workflow when setting up the platform, ensuring that vendors know exactly which documents are required for a provider to begin work. Contracts and confirmation agreements are also standardized, reducing the chances for error.

Setting up consolidated billing and payor enrollment systems will also simplify your workflows, says Brooks. It can reduce time spent on invoice audits and increase your revenue by automatically billing for the procedures your locums perform.   

Make Locumsmart work for you

A technology platform is only as useful as its operator, and there are many ways to easily improve your results when hiring, scheduling, and credentialing locums. If you have questions about how you can increase productivity and implement better workflows, contact us for a consultation.

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