88% of hospitals used temporary physicians to combat staff shortages

Looking to combat workforce shortages and treat COVID-19 patents, healthcare facilities turned to locum tenens physicians and healthcare workers to temporarily help ease the strain, according to a May report from AMN Healthcare. 

A total of 202 executives and managers at a variety of medical centers responded to a survey sent between February and March 2022 asking them to comment about their use of locum tenens staffing and the reasons they use the temporary workforce arrangements. 

The survey found 88 percent of healthcare facilities have used temporary physicians and other healthcare workers in the last year. The main reasons for using the temporary staffing was to address physician shortages and also to maintain services for patients while seeking to fill permanent positions. 

Almost half of healthcare facilities said they were actively seeking locum tenens healthcare workers at any given time, and 58 percent said that the temporary physicians had been very or extremely important during COVID-19, according to the survey.

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