With the U.S. unemployment rate hovering at a 50-year low, an increasing number of medical staff services departments, CVOs, payer enrollment departments, and physician practices are short-staffed. Thanks in part to mergers, acquisitions, and ever-changing organizational structures, many departments within the medical staff services industry are running at suboptimal efficiency. Taken together, these phenomena are resulting in greater stress and increased burnout among Medical Services Professionals.

In an attempt to fill gaps, the first instinct of some decision makers is to turn to temporary staffing agencies. Others believe that consultants are the answer. The truth is, each can play a distinct role in operations, but temporary/interim/locums staffers and consultants aren’t interchangeable.

The Benefits of Temporary Staffing

Bringing on temporary staff to fill gaps in medical staff services is an excellent short-, medium-, and long-term solution to staffing shortages. In the short term, temporary staff members can work through a backlog. In the medium term, they can help move a department from crisis mode to a sustainable workflow. In the long term, those temporary staffers who shine can become the permanent employees the department needs for success.

When bringing on temporary staff, it’s crucial to understand the circumstances under which they’ll be most effective. Typically, temporary staff are most helpful when they’re assigned a specific project with a clearly defined goal. By slotting them into existing processes, temporary staff members can increase departmental productivity and help clear logjams.

Knowing When it’s Time to Call a Consultant

A medical staff services consultant plays a distinctly different role than a temporary staff member. While temporary staff work within existing processes, a consultant looks at the processes themselves. In other words, the consultant plays a strategic – rather than project-specific – role.

A consultant can be useful to departments when leaders know that the department is less effective than it could be but unsure of the best way to revamp processes and workflow. The consultant can perform departmental assessments, analyze existing structures, identify compliance risks, conduct staffing assessments, determine if the available credentialing and quality platforms are being used effectively, and propose process improvements, workflow enhancements, or complete system and department redesigns. A consultant has the ability to draw upon their experience to gather information from a variety of stakeholders and create deliverables that improve department functions, build effective teams, and report measurement data.
Both consultants and temporary staff members have important roles to play in the current landscape within the medical staff services industry. Choosing one or the other depends upon the outcome desired, proficiencies needed, and the scope of the department’s need.

Team Med Global’s ProVISIONary Staffing delivers right-fit temporary staff members who work onsite or remotely. TMG’s MSS Consulting supplies industry veterans whose innovative solutions are compliant, efficient, and operationally sound.