When you are responsible for staffing multiple contracts across the United States, enlisting the help of several locum tenens agencies seems like the best bet. But when the agencies are all vying for the same shifts, their staffing solutions tend to be self-serving and reactive, costing you precious time.
One national hospitalist practice management group’s exclusive partnership with Interim Physicians is mutually beneficial with ongoing consultation and industry insight. Over the last six years, this alliance has helped the group:
- Acquire and fully cover new programs by consistently placing an average of 5-10 FTEs within 30-60 days.
- Staff over 50 programs in hospitals ranging from 25-bed critical access facilities to 500+ bed Level I Trauma Centers.
- Assess the viability of new contracts and proactively adapt coverage to meet census fluctuations.
Forming a Trusted Partnership
When we began our relationship with this group in 2015, they were working with up to seven other agencies. After a year of working with Interim Physicians, we gained their exclusive contract and most importantly, their complete confidence in our physician network. In fact, they stopped interviewing our candidates.
To this day, when we present a candidate, the group trusts our extensive vetting process and our stamp of approval is equivalent to theirs. This level of complete trust is invaluable; it saves time from presentation to onboarding, and it allows us to foster a nearly 100% submittal to acceptance ratio.
“I will always work with Interim Physicians over other locum tenens companies because their people are the most proficient locum tenens representatives I’ve ever had,” says our client representative in the Physician Resources department. “Their recruiters always send the best candidates in a timely manner, our Account Executive continuously pulls through whenever we need locum support, and he is simply the best!”
Quality Physicians Over Quantity of Submittals
As a pioneer locum tenens agency, Interim Physicians has built an extensive database of physicians. Hospitalist medicine is one of our core specialties, accounting for about 80-90% of our business over the last decade. This broad physician network and volume of business allow us to send candidates who have likely worked with us before and are known entities.
We are well-versed with the nuances of staffing hospitalists, which means that we explore the details of each practice description and only present physicians who meet those criteria so that we don’t bombard our client. We iron out all of the details on the front end so that we never have a physician who enters a practice environment where they are clinically underqualified.
The consistent quality of our submittals has helped us sustain this great partnership for years. We have worked to understand the practice management group’s needs completely, allowing us to quickly mobilize our efforts in a variety of high-stress situations, including COVID-19 where we:
- Obtained over 20 emergency licenses to place physicians in critical settings.
- Staffed an extra 30-60 shifts a month (1-2 providers a day).
Transparent and Proactive Communication
They appreciate our deep understanding of their needs and our ability to fill them precisely. In fact, they trust us enough to consult with us prior to absorbing a new contract. Before hospital negotiations, they ask our opinion of the locum needs and expected timeframe, and we form a game plan with their leadership team. We’ve become a trusted advisor and a forward-thinking partner.
In the spring of 2020, when some programs were understaffed and some were overstaffed, we eased the financial burden by removing some of our providers. Although it wasn’t financially in our best interest, we knew that cutting locum costs for the time being would be the best decision for the practice management group. And when the census swung back up 6-9 months later, we were ready with additional FTEs to accommodate the increased demand. Our strategic alliance and communication allowed us to create a seamless staffing experience, even throughout the challenges of a global pandemic.
As Area Vice President at Interim Physicians notes, “Locums agencies typically worry about the here and now, but we’ve gotten to a point where that’s just not how we operate. Together, we’re always thinking big picture and always looking out for what’s best for each other long term. It’s a real partnership.”