No facility wants to use locums. Let’s face it; it’s expensive, there’s limited accountability, and you often don’t know what you’re getting. One bad locums provider can round up enough complaints over a weekend to set your program back months, or worse set off audit filters that will have their charts under scrutiny the next time there’s a site visit.
Temporary placement is an important option for trauma centers that are having trouble filling a medical staff vacancy or that need additional coverage immediately. InterTrauma provides locum tenens physicians for trauma centers nationwide. Based on our experience, three systems must be in place to ensure a successful trauma locum engagement:
A system for downloading key information to the locum physician. Successful locum tenens surgeons get up to speed quickly on local workflows and protocols. InterTrauma has developed efficient processes for quickly capturing client preferences and ensuring that our locum physicians understand the practice philosophy of the trauma medical director.
A system for enabling participation in PI activities. According to the *Orange Book*, any physician who takes call at a trauma center must participate in at least 50% of the program’s PI activities. InterTrauma uses HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing to enable our locum physicians to take part in PI meetings. Plus, participation is fully documented.
A system for supporting effective leadership. A trauma surgeon is not just a provider of care, he or she is the leader of a system of care. InterTrauma physicians are fully vetted for strong leadership skills. And they receive additional training to help them quickly establish effective communication patterns with local trauma teams.
Also, give a strong consideration to a locums group that has some clinical accountability. Locums can be dicey, but doesn’t have to be. It is just the way much of the industry evolved in a vacuum of physician leadership.