A question that routinely arises when facilities are looking to transition their anesthesia services is, “How fast can you staff our facility?” Even in ideal situations, there are a few factors that must be considered prior to recruiting new providers. The anesthesia staffing mix, the number of operating rooms covered, and the facility’s credentialing process are all major elements to account for when developing a staffing timeline. After this information is gathered, a short-term plan can be implemented to ensure immediate needs are met, then a long-term strategy for permanent staff going forward can be developed. In general, most facilities give at least a 30 to 60-day lead time, which usually provides ample time to fully staff.
When we are approached with a request to quickly staff a facility, the first question we will ask is, “What are you currently providing regarding your anesthesia staff?” We need to know how many anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists you currently have providing services for the facility. The next aspect we will need to consider is whether that staffing mix will change with the transition to a new group. DPI will typically ask the administration and surgeons for their suggestions on which anesthesia providers are absolutely essential. We will evaluate the rest of the team and make every effort to retain as many existing providers as possible, while keeping in mind that most anesthesiologist contracts have 60 to 90-day notice requirements to terminate their agreements and most CRNA contracts have 30 to 60-day termination requirements. If we are tasked with staffing a facility in less than a month, we provide immediate coverage from our parent group and locums pool. To fulfill long-term staffing needs, we will hire the full-time staff over the subsequent 60 to 90 days. We always strive to staff facilities with local providers who are committed to being involved in the community.
Another important consideration is how many operating rooms the facility runs. A facility with six operating rooms or less is relatively easy to staff in a short period of time. However, larger facilities have more variables to consider for short-term staffing. Considering that larger facilities will usually give a lead time of 60 to 90 days, the transition can still progress with ease.
Lastly, planning for the credentialing process is the key to setting realistic staffing goals and achieving them. Staff onboarding can be a lengthy process, so it is essential to have a clear understanding of the deadlines and expectations of the credentialing committee. Every facility has their own credentialing process for medical staff, and we have seen the length of the process range from a day to nine months at some hospitals.
DPI’s promise to our clients is that we will find the right professionals to provide the right anesthesia service to your organization. We achieve this through developing a solid understanding of your operation through audits and on-site visits with your key people, then we tap our overarching network of highly qualified anesthesia care providers. Our goal is to earn your trust, respect, and business by providing you with excellent people and customer service while creating a very simple, yet effective long-term relationship. Contact us today.