Preparing for a Locum Tenens Provider’s Arrival at Your Facility

Doctors shaking handsWhether you are getting ready for the arrival of a locum tenens physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or CRNA, you want to ensure he or she feels welcome, comfortable, and prepared. Apart from being the right thing to do, it creates a great first impression and will likely instill a genuine interest in your organization’s success. (It could even motivate an independent contractor to consider becoming part of your regular staff.)

Here, we share seven steps to make a provider’s introduction to your healthcare organization a thoroughly positive experience.

    1. Begin the process before the start date. Give the provider an overview of whom he or she will be working with, and send him or her a map of the building with parking instructions and preferred point(s) of entry. In addition, arrange for someone to meet the locum tenens professional at a predetermined location. Be sure to tell the provider the greeter’s name, title, and contact information; time to arrive; and whether to pack lunch and/or another meal.


    1. Prepare your current staff for the provider’s arrival. Advise everyone who needs to be aware of it that a supplemental staff member will be coming into your organization. Be sure to include the start date and assignment duration. If you opt to make the announcement via a digital newsletter or email, consider adding a headshot photo of the clinician and a brief bio, too.


    1. Extend an enthusiastic “welcome aboard!” Take the provider around and make introductions to the staff members he or she will be working with and other employees he or she should know. You may choose to take it further by bringing in a healthy “getting to know you” breakfast or hosting an informal lunch, giving team members a chance to make introductions and talk a little about their roles. Either scenario can help the temporary clinician feel a part of the team and assimilate more quickly.


    1. Give a tour of the facility as well as the department, if the job is within a hospital or health system. Having a good sense of his or her new practice environment—as well as where supplies, equipment, and other essentials are kept—will help the provider feel more at home and prepared to work.


    1. Designate a mentor or “buddy.” Although the provider will receive an orientation, questions are bound to arise as he or she becomes accustomed to a new setting. Having a dedicated contact person who can readily provide answers and direction will go a long way toward putting him or her at ease and ensuring a smooth transition.


    1. Equip the provider for success. Collect all the items he or she will need to practice—from an ID card and keys to a parking permit and a security pass—and present them to the provider on day one. In addition, make sure the clinician has email access, if needed, along with a secure login and temporary password, and a phone number and extension, if applicable. Additionally, assemble a binder of important items, such as organizational policies and procedures, a facility phone directory, a list of commonly used medical codes, reference material, an operations overview, an org chart, and other helpful resources.


  1. Provide a thorough orientation. While its length can vary based on factors like practice or facility size and the duration of a provider’s commitment—if it is a short-term contract—make certain the provider has a comprehensive orientation and keen understanding of what is needed to do his or her job. Ensure the provider knows how to use your electronic health record (EHR) system, coding guidelines, and phone system.

Once the clinician begins to work at your organization, check in with him or her regularly to offer feedback and additional support, if required.

Revised from a post originally published March 2, 2016

To discover how Medicus Healthcare Solutions can further help you set the stage for positive transitions, call 855.301.0563 to speak with one of our knowledgeable business development executives.

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