There’s a saying that if you know what you want, the universe will deliver it.
That statement may be a stretch when you as a clinic administrator consider the type of provider you need for your facility and patient population, but there’s also a strategy.
To find providers who will be an excellent fit for your community and your patients, assessing and evaluating your situation and what you need from providers is essential. You have to know what type of provider you want, and that means more than just knowing you need someone with an active state license.
In the world of healthcare staffing, finding the right providers for your community and facility is a strategic endeavor. It requires careful assessment, evaluation, and a clear understanding of your unique needs and goals. This article will delve into the essential steps to attract the perfect providers to your healthcare facility.
Facility and Community Assessment
Before you search for providers, conducting a comprehensive assessment of your facility and community is crucial. This will help you gain clarity on your requirements and preferences.
- Population: Determine the size of your community and patient population.
- Provider Needs: Calculate how many providers you need to serve your population adequately.
- Healthcare Environment: Understand your healthcare environment, such as hospital access and specialized services.
- Staffing Structure: Assess your current healthcare staffing setup, including support staff like medical assistants and nurses. Also include considerations including whether or not the facility has a lab, imaging, pharmacy, etc.
- Community Amenities: Highlight the attractions and amenities your community offers to entice providers, like hiking, fishing, community fitness center, or restaurants.
- Housing Options: Consider the housing options available for providers. Also, consider whether their families can accompany them based on available housing.
- Accessibility: Evaluate the ease or difficulty of travel to your location, including transportation options.
- Budget: Determine your staffing and additional provider budget.
After assessing your community, it’s time to define your provider needs:
- Provider Skills: Specify the skills and expertise required, such as ER, primary care, or urgent care capabilities. Identify if you’ll need a provider who can practice in a solo setting.
- Call Requirements: Decide if providers need to be on call and whether it’s solo or shared call.
- Relationship Building: Consider whether you want to establish ongoing relationships with providers. (We always recommend this to provide your community the best continuity of care and an easier time acclimating the providers with your existing permanent staff.)
- Integration into the Community: Create an environment where a provider can integrate into the community, even if they are only rotating regularly and not living in your community full time.
- Certifications: Assess the necessary certifications like ACLS, BLS, ATLS, and PALS.
- Unique Requirements: Identify any unique requirements specific to your clinic.
When you have answers to these questions, you can more efficiently discuss your clinic’s needs and goals for locum or permanent staff and be clear about your objectives and parameters for locum assignments or permanent positions.
Partnering with Wilderness Medical Staffing
At Wilderness Medical Staffing (WMS), we leverage your insights to find the perfect providers for your facility.
WMS account executives will take the information you provide and use that to tailor a search for providers who fit your needs and whose interests and skills make them a good fit for your site. The more we understand your needs and preferences, the better we can screen out anyone who wouldn’t be suitable for your clinic and include select candidates who would be excellent choices.
So, how do we know we’re presenting providers who will fit your needs? Rest assured, WMS has stringent requirements for the providers we work with and present to our clients for locum or permanent positions!
Here’s how we ensure the best match:
Rigorous Screening Process
We have stringent requirements for our providers:
- Experience: A minimum of two years post-graduation work experience for PAs and NPs.
- Background Check: Comprehensive background checks.
- Reference Verification: References from both peers and managers.
- Certifications: Verification of certifications, including board certification and medical certifications such as ACLS, BLS, and ATLS. We may also verify certification for ALSO and CALS.
- Documentation: Documents including government photo ID, immunization records, active DEA license, and any other relevant items.
- Education and Training: Verification of all relevant education and training.
- Licensing: Active licensure in relevant states.
- National Practitioner’s Database Report: Complete review of the report.
- In-Depth Conversations: Thorough discussions to understand each provider’s background, interests, and availability.
In addition to this thorough vetting, WMS staff has multiple in-depth conversations with providers to ensure that we have a good understanding of the type of person we’re working with, their background, their interests, availability, and other information that helps us to place providers in sites that will be good for both parties.
The final step in our onboarding process is a one-on-one interview between the provider and our chief medical officer. This interview is documented with notes on the provider’s skills, experience, and assessment for appropriate types of healthcare facilities for placement. The evaluation is shared with the WMS staffing department. Our team of account executives, in turn, uses this assessment as a baseline for determining the suitability of providers for our jobs, in addition to in-depth conversations about each opportunity we offer.
(You can view a more in-depth overview of how we screen providers here.)
We require WMS providers to regularly update documentation for our onboarding process (some items are updated annually, while others are updated every two years). We require certifications, licensure, DEA, etc., to be current and active for the provider to be offered work. We will never present a provider to be considered for a job who is not ready and available for the requested dates.
WMS also has a high standard when it comes to a provider’s ability to work well with your team. We strive to submit providers who are culturally competent and flexible team players who can work well with your permanent staff and community.
Should we place a provider in a site and have a negative report of attitude or behavior, we address the situation with the provider and the clinic manager and take whatever steps are necessary, with the client’s support, up to and including removing the provider from the site. If you have less than a stellar experience with a contracted medical provider, we want to work with you to find the right solution for your facility.
One of our litmus tests for working with a provider is asking, “Would we send our family to this provider?” If the answer is yes, we’re confident we’re placing the sort of provider we can stand behind and support. If the answer is no, we won’t work with that individual.
Each of these requirements is in place so we can assure our clients that the providers we send to them have been thoroughly screened. It’s in everyone’s best interests to ensure we’re working with individuals who have the skills and approach to excel in their profession.
Creating a Desirable Healthcare Environment
In addition to partnering with WMS, understanding your needs, and working with thoroughly screened professionals, the best way to attract great providers to your community is to create a welcoming and professional healthcare environment that will gain a reputation for being a desirable workplace.
Positive Reputations Matter
Listen, there’s one thing that’s certain: people talk. Providers talk and share information among themselves. If your environment is challenging, but you have local staff who are hardworking, welcoming, and doing their best, providers will generally embrace that challenge and be happy to help. If you have a wonderful setting and the environment is all it can be, that is a very positive atmosphere and will make for a popular site; you’ll likely have no difficulty obtaining coverage for your staffing needs.
If you have a clinic that is poorly staffed or staffed with employees who are challenging to work with and create a toxic environment, the “word on the street” will work against you, and you’ll find it harder to find staffing due to that reputation.
Reputations can be changed over time, and it’s not unusual for facilities to go through cycles of ups and downs. But you should know that providers share their experiences, and once your site has a poor reputation, it can be a challenge to recover.
The bottom line is this: Attracting great providers doesn’t happen by accident or without thought and effort. Wilderness Medical Staffing will do everything we can to bring only the best people to you for consideration. Clinics and local staff must do their part by preparing in advance for the providers coming to work in their clinic and creating a positive atmosphere that encourages providers to return. Help us help you!
If you regularly have provider turnover, it would be worthwhile to perform an internal assessment of your facility and staff and determine if you need to make substantive changes to attract the type of provider you want. Good people attract good people, which is undoubtedly true in medical staffing.
If you have questions, our staff would be happy to discuss our process and any suggestions for becoming more effective as you screen candidates for locum or permanent jobs. We’re here to help, and that begins at the beginning of your clinic needs and general environment.
Contact us today and let us assist you in shaping a healthcare team that fits seamlessly into your community. Your patients deserve the best; we’re here to make it happen.