4 Ways Healthcare Facilities Meet the Demand for Psychiatrists in Their Community

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Covelo Direct

The healthcare industry is facing a significant provider shortage, and healthcare facilities and groups are grappling with meeting the demand for psychiatrists in their communities. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US healthcare system is reeling from the lack of psychiatrists. The US didn’t have enough mental health professionals even before the pandemic. The need was great then, as 1 in 5 people in the country had a mental illness, and current conditions have caused an even greater strain on the system. Studies show we could be short between 14,280 and 31,109 psychiatrists by the end of 2024. It’s now paramount that healthcare groups begin exploring different staffing solutions to address this shortage. 

Below, we’ll delve into ways healthcare facilities can effectively address this demand and improve mental health services for their communities.

1. Collaboration with Locum Tenens Providers

Collaboration is key when it comes to meeting the demand for psychiatrists. Locum tenens providers are flexible and adaptable and can be used to seamlessly integrate into healthcare teams that don’t have enough resources.

Just as in other specialties, the mental health landscape requires professionals who can navigate patient needs and different clinical environments, and that’s where partnering with locum tenens psychiatrists will be crucial. Those part-time professionals can become valuable resources to assist healthcare facilities to meet the more immediate needs of the community. 

2. Embrace New Technologies 

The field of psychiatry thrives on innovation and alternative approaches to patient care. Embracing new technology is one of the best ways to increase your facility’s mental health coverage. Mental health apps have increased production by 54.6% from 2019 to 2021, and 37% of Americans already use telemedicine to see a physician. In addition to this, in 2023 more employers expanded their mental health benefits

These are all steps that help remove barriers to accessing mental healthcare. And the new technology works both ways. Telepsychiatry not only connects patients with much-needed care but also offers flexibility to psychiatrists who can provide consultations from a distance. 

Leveraging technology to offer telepsychiatry services demonstrates a commitment to improving community mental health while embracing the potential of new tools to reshape the way mental healthcare is delivered. If your facility learns to embrace new tech and leverages telemedicine options for mental health, then it will make it easier to recruit new psychiatrists—even if it’s in a short-term locum tenens role. 

3. Creating A Work-Life Balance That’s Sustainable

Psychiatrists often find themselves overworked because of the high demand for their services. This imbalance often leads to burnout and can affect both patient care and job satisfaction. By allowing full-time providers to take much-needed breaks, you can help them come back to work energized and ready to treat patients, instead of being left to burn out with no relief in sight. 

Locum tenens psychiatrists play a pivotal role in ensuring your facility’s permanent staff can step away from their demanding roles without compromising patient care. The flexible approach to locum tenens contributes to a better work-life balance at your facility.

4. Innovative Approach to Meeting Demand

Effectively addressing the demand for psychiatrists requires a comprehensive approach to staffing. Partnering with a staffing agency that understands the market and the unique needs of mental health services can help facilities and groups find qualified, credentialed healthcare professionals when they need them. 

Recognizing the need for a balanced strategy, we help facilitate connections between healthcare facilities and locum tenens providers. This partnership empowers facilities to offer high-quality mental health services without overburdening their permanent staff. This collaborative approach is what cultivates an environment where both patients and providers thrive, fostering a more robust and sustainable healthcare ecosystem.

Customized Solutions For Healthcare Groups & Facilities 

In the face of growing demand for mental health services, healthcare facilities stand at a pivotal juncture. Covelo Direct is ready as your ally, to provide customized solutions that will alleviate burnout and elevate patient care. 

If you’re seeking ways to navigate this dynamic landscape and enhance mental health services in your community, we want to collaborate with you to craft a sustainable, empathetic, and effective approach to meet the evolving mental health needs of the communities we serve.

Read more about the benefits of working with a locum tenens provider, or see how locum tenens can help your healthcare facility improve the work-life balance of your staff.