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Integrating locum tenens into healthcare float pools

In today’s complex healthcare landscape, managing provider schedules efficiently is critical to ensuring patient care and supporting profitability, and it has become more challenging as the healthcare provider shortage intensifies.  As a result, more and more healthcare facilities are turning to internal resource pools, commonly called “float pools,” as a strategic solution. However, internal staff aren’t the only way to staff a float pool. Having a float pool of locum tenens providers to tap into on demand is an effective way to supplement your staff and maintain desired staffing levels.

Using locum tenens provider to support float pools

Many healthcare facilities try to staff their float pools using their internal staff providers, but this can be challenging to manage when you are understaffed and may increase the strain on internal resources. Using locum tenens providers to help staff float pools has several advantages:

  • Locums are accustomed to adapting to different environments, making them an ideal fit for the dynamic nature of float pool assignments.
  • A credentialed and privileged pool of locum providers can provide on-demand support, filling gaps in coverage without the normal delays associated with the recruiting process.
  • Once they have been through the initial onboarding process, locums can seamlessly integrate into the team without a lot of extra supervision.

Locum tenens supports staff wellness

In addition to avoiding gaps in patient care, another benefit of using locum tenens to help staff your float pools is it can help prevent permanent staff burnout. By lightening the burden of existing employees, locum tenens–supported float pools can contribute to a better work/life balance, in turn leading to increased job satisfaction and retention rates.

“One of the biggest benefits of working with locum tenens providers is the ability to support better work/life balance for employed staff,” says Resa Konkright, director of healthcare organization management at Locumsmart.

“For example, by supporting call coverage, employed physicians can work the shifts they prefer, and locums can help fill in the gaps. Including locums providers in the recruitment mix also gives organizations the ability to cast the widest net possible.”

Locum tenens can help generate revenue

While locum providers are often seen as a cost center, they can still be an invaluable addition to an organization’s float pool. Offsetting the higher rate for locums is the fact that locum providers don’t come with the overhead of employed physicians. They can be brought on temporarily as needed until the facility no longer requires additional staff.

And, when enrolled with payors and billed for correctly, locums can help generate revenue that would otherwise be lost for facilities that don’t have the internal resources to fully staff a float pool.

Tools for healthcare float pool management

While float pools are essential for covering gaps in care, it can be challenging to manage a mix of permanent employees, per diem workers, and locum tenens providers. It can be especially difficult for healthcare organizations that use a manual process to manage scheduling and availability, track and forecast costs, and align skills and credentials with coverage needs.

There are many tools available to help manage this complex process. Locumsmart offers robust services and tools that can help healthcare facilities manage their entire float pools. Organizations can create a float pool management group on Locumsmart’s digital platform to streamline scheduling, forecast coverage needs, project costs, identify which providers are credentialed at their facility, and evaluate trends over time.

Float pools are a valuable solution for addressing gaps in coverage, but they can quickly lead to headaches if they’re not well-managed. By leveraging the expertise of locum tenens professionals and employing a robust float pool management system, healthcare organizations can better navigate the complexities of staffing while prioritizing patient care.

Locumsmart Pool Coverage PDF

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Float pools can help you manage gaps in your provider schedule. Locumsmart’s technology and services can help you manage your float pool. To learn more, email us at support@locumsmart.net.

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