Key Considerations When Onboarding A Locum Tenens Clinician

by
Hal Levy
September 30, 2020

This checklist will keep you and your locums provider on track.

When onboarding a locums clinician, you’ll want training to be effective in a short period of time. 

Locums providers won’t need to know everything about your worksite. However, introducing them to your team and procedures is crucial. A thoughtful welcome will help your permanent team and patients, along with your new hire.

Since locum tenens doctors aren’t permanent, the key is to focus on their short- and medium-term obligations. Here’s how to teach temporary clinicians what they need to know during their first day at your practice or hospital orientation.

Before Day One:

  1. Send a message to all relevant departments about their incoming locums clinician. Pass along the clinician's name and the approximate length of their locums contract. If possible, include specialization data or fun facts about the specific physician or nurse practitioner who you’ve brought on.
  2. Confirm with your new clinician where they should go, and when.
  3. Assign a team or person to be responsible for helping your new clinician settle in. If possible, a member of your HR staff or a representative of the clinician’s department should be ready to welcome the clinician upon arrival.

Day One Onboarding:

  1. Be enthusiastic with your locum tenens hire. A good first impression is especially impactful in a locums contract.
  2. Have your designated welcome member give a relevant tour of your facility.
  3. Introduce the new clinician to other employees - they’ll be working together and sharing professional experience.
  4. Discuss important contacts. Your clinician should be prepared to call the relevant hospital department or social services agency when needed.
  5. Review the basics of your EHR software. Make sure the clinician understands your system and any unique modifications, with an eye towards safety procedures.

Ongoing Locums Management Tips:

  1. Check in every few weeks during their assignment to head off issues before they arise.
  2. Advise your clinician to participate in team meetings, even if they are not in charge of decisions, so that your clinician stays informed. Aim for cultural familiarity, if not cultural immersion, during their term.

What to Expect From Your Agency:

When working with locum tenens agencies, you can expect to have help taking care of management details. A quality locums service will anticipate issues that keep your contract running smoothly, providing:

  1. An onboarding packet that outlines expectations, benefits, and background information about your practice
  2. Credentials already submitted and on file (Karen Zupko Consulting suggests you’d have to set aside up to six months if starting from scratch).
  3. A point of contact for discussing HR concerns if you need personnel assistance.

One benefit of using locums is that your practice can convert great candidates into permanent hires. Set your new team member up for success, and you may find yourself deciding to extend their term.

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