Subscribe  |  Past Issues

The Standard Q3 2011

Choose which Standard you would like to view:






3rd Quarter 2011
October 2010 - September 2011

Industry Perspectives

Successful Onboarding of Locum Tenens

In the last issue of The Physician Recruiting Standard, we discussed what occurs during the first year of a new physician’s practice impacts their long term success, both personally and professionally. What many healthcare executives overlook, however, is that the first few days and weeks of a temporary physician’s experience in a facility are as critical to their success as the first few weeks and months are to a permanent physician.

The fact that locum tenens physicians are typically engaged to practice for only a few weeks or months at a time, and because when they’re brought in it’s usually because there is an acute need for their services, it’s tempting to show them their work area, make a few introductions, and then turn them loose to see patients within moments of their arrival. You can do that, but you’ll likely find that skipping the step of orienting a new physician might be a “pay me now, or pay me later” situation.

Not investing sufficient time and resources to ensure that a temporary doctor is comfortable in his or her new practice setting and understands the policies and systems that are unique to your facility will result in wasted hours as “orientation” unfolds in dribs and drabs. Aside from the fact that on-the-job onboarding is inefficient, it can result in increased documentation and medical errors, a lower quality of care, and poor patient satisfaction. You can avoid these potential problems by following a few simple steps to successfully onboard and orient locum tenens physicians.

Before the start date.
Prior to a locum tenens practitioner’s start date, help them become familiar with your area by sending a packet of information and/or links to websites that describe what the community has to offer. Make sure they know what to expect in terms of where they’ll be living while they’re with you, and how to find their new abode when they get into town.

A warm welcome.
A locum tenens physician should know in advance whom to ask for when they arrive at your facility. Let the front desk receptionist and other key staff know that a new doctor is coming in to practice, and have a designated individual ready to welcome the physician, provide a facility tour, and share basic information such as where to park, how to get a security badge, and where to find a cup of coffee.

Orientation: formal or informal?
You’ll need to decide (or facility policy may decide this for you), whether to conduct a formal or informal orientation. You may wish for your temporary physician to engage in the usual day-long employee orientation required for all new staff members, or you might opt to turn the temporary doctor over to a department manager or supervising physician for a less formal, but still comprehensive, one-on-one orientation.

Attention to detail.
In addition to ensuring that a new physician is trained on how to use the electronic medical records system, can find supplies and equipment, and knows the chain of command within the department, simple things like providing a directory of internal telephone extensions, printing out a copy of the schedule so they have a sense of the patient load for the day, or making sure they have scrubs that fit will all help your locum tenens doctor stay focused on providing quality care.

Assign a “go to” person.
Introduce your locum tenens physician to one point person who has the breadth of knowledge to answer the wide variety of questions that will inevitably arise during the practitioner’s time with you. Choose someone personable who has worked in the organization for several years and who can offer advice on simple personal issues like which dry cleaner to use and where the locals go for the best Italian food or most adventurous hiking.

Taking the time to properly onboard locum tenens physicians is a good investment, whether you plan to have a temporary doctor on site for a few weeks or you’re trying to woo them to stay on permanently after their temporary assignment is complete. Remember, too, that once a locums is familiar with your facility and community as a result of your good planning and work, you can save time and resources by requesting that doctor again the next time you have coverage needs.

Placements & Interviews

Placement Data by Specialty

This data represents average statistics of placements and interviews by Delta Physician Placement over the twelve-month survey period. Since these averages only include placements and interviews, the compensation information presented indicates the rate at which candidates are choosing to interview or sign. Average days information can be used to forecast a probable timeline for a recruitment effort in a particular specialty.

Average Compensation Average Days
Starting Compensation Sign-on Bonus Total Annual Compensation From Interview to Placement Total Placements Fastest Days-to-Fill
Primary Care
Family Medicine $190,634 $25,275 $235,460 50 96 21
Internal Medicine $194,692 $29,545 $272,000 41 146 42
Pediatrics $203,750 $26,250 $250,000 30 101 72
Psychiatry $190,000 $20,000 $217,500 45 143 110
Obstetrics/Gynecology $312,000 $30,000 $350,000 24 82 82
Surgery
General Surgery $387,500 $35,000 $475,000 30 88 85
Orthopedic Surgery $465,500 $45,000 $550,000 42 115 76
Otolaryngology $445,000 $30,000 $50,000 30 36 36
Urology $450,000 $32,000 $566,000 67 189 131
Sub-Specialty
Cardiology $467,500 $37,500 $643,750 81 214 167
Oncology
$407,415
$31,666
$680,000
43
108
38
Neurology
$255,000 $32,500 $290,000 63  113  40 
Gastroenterology $477,500 $30,000 $600,000 17 40 19
Hospital-Based
Anesthesiology $405,000 $45,000 $475,000 17 105 105
Hospitalist $232,666 $16,500 $269,111 55 94 17
Emergency Medicine $295,333 $61,666 $325,000 28 72 29

Data reflects averages from placements and interviews by Delta Physician Placement from October 2010 through September 2011. “Total Annual Compensation” data reflects average yearly compensation at full production excluding benefits. “Average Days” data does not include off-contract placements. “Average Days Total Placement” data is calculated from profile to placement.


Placements by Population

Data indicates the percentage of placements made from October 2010 through September 2011 by the population of the search facility’s metropolitan area.

Candidate Sources

Data indicates sources of candidates for placements and interviews from October 2010 through September 2011.

Market Demand

Nationwide Search Distribution

Map represents searches initiated by Delta Physician Placement on behalf of healthcare facilities from October 2010 through September 2011.



Specialty Demand Comparison

3rd Quarter 2011 3rd Quarter 2010
1. Family Medicine
Family Medicine
2. Internal Medicine Internal Medicine
3. Emergency Medicine Psychiatry
4. Psychiatry General Surgery
5. General Surgery Orthopedic Surgery
6. Gastroenterology Obstetrics/Gynecology
7. Orthopedic Surgery
Cardiology
8. Obstetrics/Gynecology
Emergency Medicine
9. Hospitalist Neurology
10. Neurology Hospitalist
11. Pediatrics Pediatrics
12. Urology Urology
13. PM&R Pulmonary Critical Care
14. Cardiology Gastroenterology
15. Otolaryngology Otolaryngology

Data compares the top 15 most requested searches initiated by Delta Physician Placement, comparing the 3rd quarters of 2010 and 2011.

Search Specialty Distribution

Data indicates the percentage of searches initiated by specialty grouping between October 2010 and September 2011.



Candidate Placements

Top 5 States Providers Have
Taken New Opportunities
1. North Carolina
2. Alaska
3. Nebraska/Wisconsin
4. Texas
5. North Dakota

Compares all states for the top 5 candidate placements as initiated by Delta Physician Placement from October 2010 through September 2011.

Locum Tenens

Days Requested

Specialty Number of Days
1. Hospitalist 48,727
2. Emergency Medicine 16,798
3. Family Medicine 15,505
4. Psychiatry 8,285
5. Nurse Practitioner 6,940

Data indicates the top five specialties by days requested from October 2010 through September 2011.

Nationwide Physician Distribution

Map represents the percentage of licensed physicians by region working with Delta Locum Tenens.

Privileging

Lowest Average
to Close Credentialing
Number of Days Highest Average
to Close Credentialing
Number of Days
1. Colorado 14 1. Oklahoma 82
2. Michigan 17 2. Wyoming 78
3. Massachusetts 18 3. Wisconsin 73
4. Ohio 18 4. Connecticut 71
5. Utah 18 5. North Dakota 64

Total Privileging
files Completed

380

Average days
to complete a file

41

DData indicates total number of days - highest and lowest for a state to close credentialling from October 2010 through September 2011. This data represents all states Delta Locum Tenens has done business in during the past 12 months.

3rd Quarter 2011
October 2010 - September 2011

Industry Perspectives

The Right Person in the Right Job

A healthcare organization’s ability to provide high quality medical services hinges on a number of factors. The latest technology, forward thinking leadership, and a safe, hygienic facility all play into good patient care. But more important than any of those elements with regard to quality is having experienced, qualified staff on board. The right people doing the right jobs in the right environment is at the heart of excellent care and service. To that end, hospitals, long-term care facilities, medical clinics, and home health agencies are obligated to ensure that not only their permanent staff, but also their temporary workers, are fully qualified and properly credentialed to deliver care. Cutting corners when the need for caregivers is high and the supply is low is simply not acceptable.

In the travel healthcare industry, supply and demand influence how many healthcare professionals are available to take assignments. Occasionally, external factors come into play that shake up the market for temporary workers. Just recently, for example, regulatory changes in the way skilled nursing facilities are required to bill for physical therapy services has caused some skilled nursing facilities to scale back on their use of these providers. This will likely result in a surplus of therapists in certain pockets around the country that may require additional assessment depending on your facility’s needs and setting. It’s important to screen both the agency you use and each candidate they present carefully to ensure an understanding of the setting in which they practice, quality of care, and patient safety.

On the agency side, look for a company that has been around for a while, has a reputation for excellence, and who is a member of the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO). If you’re considering using a new agency, talk to colleagues at other facilities about who they’ve used and what their experience has been. On the candidate side, screen for the following to ensure quality care:

Licensure. A reputable agency would never send out a candidate who does not hold a valid state license and other required certifications in their discipline, but your HR department should verify these credentials nonetheless. Remember, too, that credentials requirements often vary between facility types (i.e., what physical therapy assistants can do in a SNF may not be the same as what they can do in the hospital setting).

Experience. Rehabilitations therapists – physical, occupational, and speech – work in acute care hospitals, long term care facilities, and in a variety outpatient settings. When considering a candidate from a travel agency, be sure to match their experience with your needs. If a speech therapist worked, for example, in an educational setting for 20 years before launching his or her traveling career, there may be an adjustment period before they’re comfortable working eight hours a day with stroke patients in a rehabilitation center.

Attitude. This factor is more challenging to evaluate, particularly since you may have only the opportunity for a telephone interview before engaging a traveling therapist, but it’s important to at least try to get a sense of an individual’s attitude toward working in your facility (and working in general) before signing them on. Ask about their willingness to float between different units and work a variety of shifts as a way to gauge their flexibility. If a therapist has been practicing primarily in an acute care environment and you’re contemplating engaging them to work in your home health agency, poke around during the phone interview to uncover whether the individual views this as a “lesser” opportunity than a hospital assignment would be, or if a slightly slower paced setting would be a welcome change.

By keeping these screening points in mind, you can successfully use temporary rehabilitation specialists in your organization to deal with the ever-changing healthcare landscape, where fluctuation in patient volume, new rules and regulations courtesy of government agencies and The Joint Commission, and changes in reimbursement are everyday facts of life. Remember, the right person in the right job is the goal, and by working with the right agency and choosing candidates carefully, you can achieve your objective of providing quality care and service to every patient who walks through your door.

Placements & Interviews

Placement Data by Specialty

This data represents average statistics of placements and interviews by Delta Physician Placement over the twelve-month survey period. Since these averages only include placements and interviews, the compensation information presented indicates the rate at which candidates are choosing to interview or sign. Average days information can be used to forecast a probable timeline for a recruitment effort in a particular specialty.

Average Compensation Average Days
Starting Compensation Sign-on Bonus Total Annual Compensation From Interview to Placement Total Placements Fastest Days-to-Fill
Rehabilitation
Physical Therapy $80,731 $8,711 $86,695 29 106 7
Occupational Therapy $76,312 $8,923 $77,029 24 72 2
Speech Language Pathology $70,322 $10,000 $77,240 8 69 5
Extenders
Nurse Practitioner $97,345 $10,143 $112,857 26 92 3
Physician Assistant $96,273 $10,500 $120,125 30 85 8
Allied/Other
Registered Nurse $71,154 $4,800 $74,937 16 50 3
Pharmacy $124,800 $5,000 $129,800 20 46 13
Medical Technology $56,343 $2,000 $63,104 23 60 12

Data reflects averages from placements and interviews by Delta Healthcare Placement from October 2010 through September 2011. “Total Annual Compensation” data reflects average yearly compensation at full production excluding benefits. “Average Days” data does not include off-contract placements. “Average Days Total Placement” data is calculated from profile to placement.


Placements by Population

Data indicates the percentage of placements made from October 2010 through September 2011 by the population of the search facility’s metropolitan area.

Years of Experience

Data indicates the average years experience of candidates for placements and interviews from October 2010 through September 2011.

Market Demand

Nationwide Search Distribution

Map represents searches initiated by Delta Healthcare Placement on behalf of healthcare facilities from October 2010 through September 2011.



Candidate Placements

Top 5 States Providers Have
Taken New Opportunities
1. Texas
2. Alaska
3. Iowa
4. New Mexico
5. North Carolina

Compares all states for the top 5 candidate placements as initiated by Delta Healthcare Placement from October 2010 through September 2011.

Specialty Demand Comparison

3rd Quarter 2011 3rd Quarter 2010
1. Physical Therapy Physical Therapy
2. Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapy
3. Physician Assistant
Nurse Practitioner
4. Nurse Practitioner
Director/Executive
5. Speech Language Pathologist Physician Assistant 

Data compares the top 5 most requested searches initiated by Delta Healthcare Placement in the 3rd quarters of 2010 and 2011.

Travelers

Assignments by Specialty

Specialty Average Length Contract
to Start Date
Average Length
of Assignment
Physical Therapy 4.6 weeks 13.7 weeks
Physical Therapy Assistant 3.3 weeks 13 weeks
Occupational Therapy 4 weeks 12.6 weeks
COTA 3.9 weeks 12 weeks
Speech Language Pathology 4.1 weeks 12.3 weeks

All Travelers data is compiled from assignments placed by Delta Flex Travelers from October 2010 through September 2011.



Facility Demographics



Years of Experience

All Travelers data is compiled from assignments placed by Delta Flex Travelers from October 2010 through September 2011.

Top Licensure States

Map represents top licensure states by Delta Flex Travelers on behalf of healthcare facilities from July 2011 through September 2011.



Licenses Per Quarter

Data is compiled from by Delta Flex Travelers from July 2011 through September 2011.



Licensure Cost

Specialty Average Cost of License
Physical Therapy $327.50
Occupational Therapy $305.00
Physical Therapy Assistant $262.50
Speech Language Pathology $237.50
COTA $235.00

All travelers data is compiled from assignments over 2 years placed by Delta Flex Travelers from October 2009 through September 2011.