Staffing Solutions vs Locum Tenens: What’s Best For A Rural Hospital

  • Physician Websites
  • locum tenens
  • May 5, 2021

Read Time: 8 minutes Rural hospitals face the challenge of staff shortages. But which is a better option to fill these vital roles?

Hope For Rural Hospitals

Rural hospitals play a critical role in providing healthcare to communities. However, rural hospitals face several unique challenges, including staffing shortages. There are permanent staffing solutions that can lower overhead costs while continuing to provide excellent patient care.

emergency staffing solutions Staffing Solutions vs Locum Tenens Whats Best For A Rural Hospital

It’s hard to recruit staff to rural areas

There is a genuine shortage of doctors in many rural areas. Physicians usually prefer to practice in large metro areas with specific amenities, creating difficulties for rural hospitals to compete for talented physicians.

Rural hospitals are vital to many Americans

The ratio of physicians to patients in rural areas is 1 to 2,500. Rural hospitals are also the first choice for trauma care in these regions. Each medical provider and hospital play a critical role in the overall healthcare of the surrounding community.

Locum tenens is only a temporary solution

Some rural hospitals turn to hire locum tenens, medical staff. The work is unstable and short-term. Rural hospitals tend to serve lower-income populations with fewer resources. Given these challenges, rural hospitals require a consistent and dedicated staff of high-quality healthcare professionals.

Telemedicine can help rural communities

A significant challenge in rural communities is access to healthcare. The travel distance to hospitals can burden families. Also, these communities have a higher ratio of patients with multiple health conditions that require specialist care. Telemedicine can help patients.

The benefits of telemedicine

Telemedicine is a term that refers to any healthcare provided via technology. Patients can consult with physicians on a computer at home, instead of driving long distances. Telemedicine improves the efficiency of healthcare and also reduces the overhead costs for the hospital.

Advanced practice providers save hospitals money

Recruiting advanced practice providers (APPs) can offer a safe and cost-effective solution for physician shortages. APPs have a slightly more limited scope of practice than physicians, but APPs work with the support of physicians and can prescribe medications, write treatment plans, and perform check-ups. APPs can fill staff voids and ensure patients get immediate care.

Changes to case management

Case management refers to how a hospital attends to and successfully treats a patient upon entry into the hospital. Case management can consist of time-consuming paperwork. Remote case management can help rural hospitals with this burden.

Remote case management as a support

Proper case management is a continuous endeavor, and many rural hospitals consist of a small staff that juggles case management along with patient care. A remote case management team can support the hospital staff so that the hospital staff can focus on the patients.

The real benefits of staff solutions over locum tenens

The hospital budget is at the forefront of many rural healthcare administrators’ concerns. Long-term staffing solutions provide a consistent workforce. Revenue has been shown to increase with a stable and satisfied staff.

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