6 Tips to Prevent Clinician Cancellations

September 6, 2022 Mary Beth Anderson

Clinician cancellations put healthcare facilities in a bind. One clinician cancellation can cause a domino effect leading to uncovered shifts, overworked permanent staff working overtime and ultimately unit closures. So, how can a healthcare facility mitigate these issues?

What are clinician cancellations and why do they happen?

First, there are two types of cancellations, clinical and professional. Clinical cancellations typically occur when a hospital initiates a cancellation due to a clinician error. Qualivis’ thorough vetting and credentialing process keeps cancellations low.

In 2020, our clinical cancellations were 1.4 percent and fell to a mere 1 percent in 2021, well below the national average of 9 percent reported by SIA. Having an experienced vetting team ensures a hospital is getting a skilled clinician that meets their unique needs and requirements.

Professional cancellations on the other hand can be initiated from either the hospital or the clinician. Some examples of situations resulting in a professional cancellation could be unsatisfactory work environment, high patient-to-clinician ratios, absenteeism, bereavement leave or better offers or rates elsewhere. Qualivis’ clinical services team provides remediation and coaching to clinicians to help them through challenges, reducing professional cancellations.

The majority of cancellations are professional cancellations initiated by clinicians, making hospitals feel like they have little control over the matter.

Speed up the credentialing process

A reduced onboarding processes enables a clinician to maneuver from assignment to assignment quickly. Lab delays due to volume and staffing prohibit quick start times making reduced compliance an important lever to pull for crisis and rapid response needs. Also, quick turnaround on credentialing speeds up the process to replace a clinician if one does ultimately cancel pre-start.

Utilize auto offers

When paired with a reduction in credentialing time, auto offers get clinicians in your facility sooner giving them less time to reconsider. The faster you get a clinician to accept an assignment the less likely they’ll be to cancel pre-assignment.

Create a clear orientation process

The easier it is for a traveler to orient themselves to a new unit and facility the greater likelihood they’ll enjoy their job and fulfill their contract. Start with clear orientation and onboarding processes. This helps clinicians feel confident in their new role and adjust to the new assignment quickly.

Establish positive unit environment and good communication

Fostering a welcoming environment makes clinicians more likely to continue their contract to term. Communicate with permanent staff that travelers are there to help and lighten the patient load. Also, make sure travelers feel like they’re part of your core team by inviting them to facility and community events. This type of inclusion is an excellent way to eventually convert travelers to permanent staff.

Create competitive offers

A big factor affecting cancellations in the last two years has been rate stabilization. Understanding regional and national supply and demand by specialty will allow you to determine a competitive rate to attract and retain clinicians.

Pay is only one part of creating a competitive offer. Offering 48/60 hour week options make weekly pay packages more competitive. Advanced block scheduling is also helpful. For example, if they work 3 or 4 days in a row, they get 3 or 4 days off to explore their new area.  Instead of offering only night shifts, add day shift options as well. It’s all about creating different “packages” to make jobs more attractive.

Cancellations are bound to happen, but if hospitals implement the above best practices, they can minimize them. High market demand is a leading driver of cancellations. Know the market and utilize time saving tools to ensure your hospital has the travelers it needs.

Reconsider cancellation fees

Cancellation fees can backfire. A cancellation fee in a contract may deter clinicians accepting the contract to begin with. And, sometimes they don’t serve as a strong deterrent from a clinician cancelling their assignment because the agency typically absorbs the fee.

Some cancellations are unavoidable. However, working with a trusted partner, such as Qualivis, reduces their volume and impact. We simplify staffing to improve patient care.

  • Categorized in: Article, Best Practices, Thought Leadership