Second Surge: Bracing for the Next Wave with Locums

Cross Country Locums
May 20, 2020 03:12 AM (GMT-05:00)
Cross Country Locums News

The second wave of COVID-19 may present even greater staffing challenges for health administrators. A trusted locum tenens partner can help leaders shore up staff and brace for impact.

No one can portend whether the magnitude of another coronavirus surge will rival that of the first wave of the pandemic or whether the timing of a resurgence will coincide with the flu season. But if this initial outbreak has taught us anything, it’s how to prepare for and react to the disease. We can draw on lessons from early in the pandemic to predict staffing challenges that might occur due to a second surge and to explore how locums physicians and locums advanced practice providers can help.

Healthcare Staffing Challenges Due to a Second Coronavirus Surge

  • Growing numbers of healthcare staff may become ill or quarantined, leaving gaps in coverage
  • Employees may be exhausted and stressed and may need time to recuperate after the last wave
  • Patient satisfaction may dip
  • Providers with children may have limited childcare options, impacting their work attendance
  • Facilities could become overwhelmed if the next wave coincides with flu season
  • Rural communities may be hit harder due to limited resources and staff
  • Higher-risk healthcare providers may choose to stay home or retire early
  • Elective procedures may be halted again
  • Telehealth may be needed to promote social distancing
  • Certain specialties may be particularly difficult to fill
  • Hiring, credentialing, and onboarding may take up already limited time
  • The tight healthcare labor market may make it hard to fill positions

Healthcare Staffing Solutions for a Second Coronavirus Surge

  • Temporarily fill absences with locums providers while staff members recover or quarantine
  • Hire locum tenens providers to give your staff time off to recuperate and to stave off burnout
  • Supplement with locums to help improve patient experience
  • Use locums so providers faced with childcare and school closures can have flexible scheduling
  • Bulk up staff to protect against the synergy of a second COVID-19 wave and a seasonal flu wave
  • Use locums to strengthen provider numbers in vulnerable rural areas
  • Shift higher-risk providers into telemedicine, virtual rounding, or training roles, and use less vulnerable permanent providers and locums to cover face-to-face patient encounters
  • Plan strategically after a second wave by using locums to help resume elective surgeries
  • Use locums for telehealth, as they are generally flexible, adaptable, and tech-savvy
  • Connect with your locum tenens recruiter now if you foresee the need to fill specialized roles
  • Trust your locum tenens agency to quickly and easily credential and hire locums staff
  • Be aware that states have relaxed licensure requirements, and locum tenens recruiters are particularly attuned to these latest developments in licensure

We Can Help

The locum tenens arrangement is ideal for this type of scenario. It is specifically designed for flexibility and ease. With the help of a trusted locum tenens partner, you can have confidence in your staffing strategy. We can help.

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