Locum tenens physicians want to find work. Healthcare administrators are looking for new talent to fill their coverage needs. Both physicians and administrators share the same goal of onboarding as quickly as possible with the least amount of hassle.
Practice owners and administrators have a vital role to play in preparing new hires, but it isn’t as onerous as you might think. They can standardize and streamline the onboarding process by prioritizing relevant procedures, policies and paperwork.
Here are four ways to help set up locum physicians for success at your facility.
1. Provide rapid and high-impact locum tenens orientation.
Throughout their education, physicians have had to rapidly acquire information. (If in doubt, ask one about the “see one, do one, teach one” model of learning.) As a result, orientation does not need to be a time-intensive process.
On the first day, locum tenens physicians need to know where to park, where to report and where key departments are located. Someone at the facility should be tasked with introducing the locum tenens provider to colleagues, nurses and other staff in their immediate work area. Unless the locum tenens is required to respond to codes, a detailed map of the entire facility can suffice instead of a formal tour, although this can be helpful if time allows.
2. Streamline credentialing and IT training.
Systems research from the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment has revealed that one of the main delays in onboarding locum tenens physicians is the credentialing process. Locum tenens physicians, and even new permanent hires, spend a considerable amount of time obtaining the identification, IT credentials and passwords required to do their jobs.
To speed the process along, administrators can ensure that as much of the credentialing process is completed before locum tenens physicians arrive on site. Clearly communicate with your locum tenens agency in the months leading up to the assignment, so they can do the heavy lifting for you with regards to document preparation, background checks, drugs tests, immunization records and so forth.
Ideally, the Day One administrative process should be as easy as taking a picture for an ID badge and picking up an orientation packet. Pagers, key codes and all relevant logins and initial passwords should be included in the locum tenens’ orientation packet.
You may think assigning an IT professional to teach locum tenens physicians the ins and outs of your EHR is helpful but, in general, it’s not. IT-led EHR trainings are usually too detailed and exhaustive for most locum tenens physicians.