Contracting with a locum tenens hospitalist can be challenging. Whether you are in an agency or a hospital looking to retain a hospitalist, you want the best people possible. Here are six traits you should review when looking for a locum tenens hospitalist.
It’s imperative your locum tenens hospitalist is an excellent leader. On a daily basis, they’re called on to share their expertise and provide a positive example to others. They have to make life-and-death decisions and communicate with patients, staff, and families. In some cases, they need to share feedback on future directions of the organization or patient care.
2. Patient Care
Since locum tenens are, by nature, on short-term tenures, their primary focus is not administrative work; it’s patient care. Having a strong commitment to patients and their families is essential. This means a great bedside manner. A locum tenens hospitalist spends the majority of their day in direct-care situations. Naturally, these require the ability to communicate well and show compassion.
3. Attention to Detail
Besides patient care, perhaps the most important thing a locum tenens hospitalist does during the day is charting. Ensuring the proper notes are taken to share with the team is not a suggestion, it’s a requirement. That means these valuable partners need a keen attention to detail to keep great records that are accurate and detailed.
In many situations, a locum tenens hospitalist is brought on board to cover the absence of a tenured physician. Because of this, having a person who is reliable and dependable is a requirement for the facility to continue to function optimally. To be dependable, the hospitalist should maintain a commitment to excellence and the team.
5. Adaptability and Flexibility
Hospitals are where most locum tenens hospitalists find themselves on assignment. These are facilities that are fast paced and ever changing. The ability to change focus on a dime and do an 180 to another task is an ongoing requirement. Not only do they need to be able to switch focus, but hospitalists also have to do it with a smile on their face and a positive demeanor.
Just as with all medical professionals, a great locum tenens hospitalist must have the highest ethics and integrity. Daily, they are dealing with confidential information, including HIPAA requirements. They must be trustworthy, both for patients and the facility.