Healthcare practice management groups routinely struggle to source enough physicians to cover hundreds of medical programs, especially amid the worsening nationwide physician shortage.
For those unfamiliar with these groups, they’re organizations or divisions within a larger healthcare entity that focus on the operational, financial, and administrative management of medical practices across multiple regions or even nationwide. Due to their size and structure, these groups often require unique staffing solutions.
While there are many locum tenens staffing agencies eager to fill their schedule gaps, not all agencies have the experience and versatility to get the job done right.
Interim Physicians takes a dynamic, tailor-made approach to locum tenens staffing. We treat every client relationship as a unique partnership, adapting our communication and strategy to precisely fit the specific staffing needs of each practice group. Our goal is to provide targeted, effective solutions that cater to their individual requirements.
One national group discovered that Interim Physicians produced better staffing solutions by:
- Adapting our internal workflow to match their new vendor management system (VMS).
- Advising them to build out job details to improve their candidate pool.
- Attracting better quality and more reliable talent than competing staffing agencies.
Our Strategic Response to a VMS Implementation
Since this practice management group is on the large side, they must work with a variety of locums agencies. For the past decade, we’ve provided multi-specialty coverage for several of their emergency medicine and hospitalist programs. Then, a few years ago they acquired another practice management group and found themselves in need of supplemental staffing to handle the increased volume of physicians in their system.
To better communicate and centralize their credentialing and scheduling with each locum tenens agency, the client implemented a new VMS. Some of their agencies stepped back because they didn’t want to adapt their process to fit the new system.
But Interim Physicians saw this as an opportunity to deepen our relationship with the client, and we collaborated to help the client get physicians to work more quickly and efficiently.
Throughout the client’s VMS implementation, we helped them develop orientation and pre-placement modules. And in our system, we designed an automated workflow to generate an instruction letter to each candidate who receives an offer.
This connects candidates with next steps and related IT information to meet deadlines and credentialing timeframes. Although this client historically wouldn’t even give out their phone number to staffing firms, they gave us a direct line to their decision makers because they truly valued our strategic input.
A Different Approach to Candidate Matching
After we helped the client with their VMS, they began to send us even more coverage requests. We noticed a pattern; most of the listings were missing valuable information required to secure the best candidate. Some of the job listings were as broad as, “We need a hospitalist to cover days ASAP.”
We understood that “ASAP” for a hospital with a four-month credentialing process is completely different from a facility that can take a temporary provider in a week thanks to emergency privileges. Other locum agencies often proceed without ironing out all the nitty gritty details. They play the numbers game, submitting several applicants and letting the client sort it out.
But Interim treats each request differently. Sometimes, the average daily census is 25 patients, a number that’s too high for many candidates’ liking. For other jobs, the shift requires procedures with which many submittals aren’t comfortable. Sifting through unqualified applicants not only wastes precious time for the client but in extreme cases can result in a misplaced provider who can’t complete the assignment.
We clarified all of the important details ahead of time: required procedures, certifications, orientation specifics, and more, to ensure our physicians were fully qualified, understood the expectations, and were the best fit for the assignment.
Streamlining Candidate Selection: Interim's Strategic Edge
Past experiences let the client know they can always rely on Interim’s providers. In fact, during one of this client’s recent candidate searches, they needed six FTEs for coverage. They submitted the job requisition to every locum tenens agency on their roster and received over 30 candidate submittals in two days.
There was a problem. The client was spending too much time reviewing the candidates, so they decided to isolate the submittals from Interim and another agency. Since we’ve proved our physicians are high-quality candidates who routinely meet the practice group’s needs, they asked almost solely for our presentations and ended up approving four of our FTEs for the job. After that experience, they rolled out a few subsequent job searches exclusively to Interim and the other agency.
“The most rewarding part of working with this client has been steadily watching our relationship transform from just another one of their vendors to a trusted partner,” says Travis Redman, the Interim Physicians account manager who works with the practice group. “I truly believe that Interim’s tailored approach makes us stand out among other staffing agencies. By continuing to facilitate open communication and collaborative conversations, we can continue to develop long-lasting, successful locum tenens placements.”
Looking ahead, we’re committed to supporting this client’s internal processes and optimizing their staffing outcomes. Interim plans to expand our roster of high-caliber candidates and continue to foster seamless alignment between our submittals and their open jobs.