If you are exploring new ways to expand your pathology lab with additional services or you see a need to bolster your team to keep up with growing demands, hiring full-time pathologists may feel a little too risky. Rather than putting off your plans, have you considered locum tenens with on-demand dermatopathologists?
A recent survey found that 69 percent of healthcare facility managers said they use at least one locum tenens provider in a typical month, while 19 percent said they use seven or more. They recognize the benefits that locum tenens provides, including consistent revenue, flexibility in patient care, and expanding access to patient care. Let’s discuss how each point may benefit you.
1. Protects Revenue Flow
How can you keep your lab running when your primary revenue generators need time off? Schedule a locum tenens dermatopathologist to cover for them. That means you can bill for services even when your primary providers are not available.
“If we don’t have a physician working, that means we don’t have a nurse working, and it goes all the way down through the organization. So the locum physicians are an integral part of how we provide care,” says Kelly Cameron, a director of provider recruitment and retention. Similarly, if a lab is short-handed on dermatopathologists, profits may be lost as clinics will be forced to send their work elsewhere to ensure appropriate turnaround times.
At PathologyWatch, our locum tenens dermatopathologists work remotely to easily transition between labs by using digital pathology tools that streamline tasks and create a more efficient and cost-saving process for you. That means you save on expenses for travel, housing, and per diems. Plus, our EMR interface provides quick access to results, patient information, health services partners, etc. Should you opt for virtual locum services, we offer secure, 24/7 access to your pathology slides.
2. Provides Flexibility in Patient Care
An important step in patient care innovation is to provide specialized services your patients want and need. But it can be risky to explore new care models by hiring permanent staff. Our staff of board-certified, academic-level dermatopathologists provides expertise in the areas you may be considering in your clinic.
Do you want to specialize in rare skin diseases that are prevalent in your area? Test that service with a locum tenens dermatopathologist. If it’s successful, a locum tenens doctor can remain in place until a permanent position is filled.
3. Expands Access to Patient Care
We’ve encountered at least two ways that locum tenens dermatopathologists can help your practice reach more patients. These include treating patients in rural or seasonally-impacted areas and using teledermatology for those who have difficulty visiting a doctor in person.
Many healthcare networks have opened up clinics in rural areas where fluctuations in seasonal work or outdoor recreation impact the volume and type of care patients need most. For instance, a clinic located by heavy agricultural operations or popular recreation areas where people spend more time outdoors during the busy warmer months of the year will experience an influx of patients but may not need a full staff all year long. Locum tenens doctors are prepared to go where patient care is needed most. When the busy season ends, it’s easy to reduce the staff size.
As one of the most rapidly expanding branches of telemedicine, teledermatology is another way to utilize dermatopathology expertise and provide care for patients in remote locations. “Dermatology is particularly suitable for telemedical diagnosis and consultation due to its image‐based orientation in diagnostics,” says Peter Elsner, MD, PhD. Since the COVID-19 onset, experts estimate at least half of all dermatologists practicing in the US use telehealth technology.
If you are one of the 85 percent of healthcare facility managers who used locum tenens services within the past 12 months, you’ve likely benefited from the forward-thinking strategies many locum tenens used to bolster your practice.
With PathologyWatch locum tenens dermatopathologists, your lab can maintain revenue while balancing the needs of your valued staff, use expertise to explore new care models, and utilize innovative digital technologies to create more efficient patient care processes. Although locum tenens services may be temporary, the proven solutions, expertise, and technology will remain.