Patients Fare Just As Well With Temporary Staff

Study follows care from temp physicians, but what about temp dietitians?

By Heidi Williams, Dietitians On Demand

A recent article by STAT News boasts that care provided by a temporary physician provides a similar result to care provided by a staff physician. The article references a study done by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which states there was no significant difference in 30-day mortality among patients treated by temporary physicians compared with those treated by non-temporary physicians (8.83% vs 8.70%).

Part of what has lead to this increased use of temporary physicians is a national doctor shortage. There isn’t necessarily a dietitian shortage, and the study nor the article specifically address temporary registered dietitians, but it did get us thinking … how does temporary dietitian care compare to staff dietitian care?

An Increase In Temporary Dietitian Jobs

We know based on our numbers here at Dietitians On Demand that from 2009 to 2014, there has been a steady increase in requests for temporary dietitians in hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient care. We know this because in 2009 we placed 60 temporary dietitian jobs, and in 2016 when we placed 420 temporary dietitian jobs. That’s a 700 percent increase!

Temporary Dietitian Numbers

The demand for temporary dietitians continues to rise.

Care Received From Temporary Dietitians

Based on feedback we’ve received from more than 150 clinical client sites this year, we know these temporary dietitians are doing impressive work. Often managers at these sites tell us that the temporary dietitian has been a “sanity saver,” “a great asset” and “a model of professionalism, customer service, and clinical knowledge.” In our opinion, when it comes to care received by a temporary registered dietitian, patients fare very well, and maybe even better!

Over 95% of our clients like our temporary dietitians so well they say they’d “definitely have them back!” As the nationwide leader for temporary clinical nutrition staffing, we see it time and time again that a temporary dietitian steps in to a site at the last minute because of a vacancy, maternity leave, FMLA or other short-term need. We know with certainty that the care provided is excellent.

With big changes already happening in the way dietitians are utilized in hospitals — including proper malnutrition documentation and the possibility of huge increases in reimbursement as a result — the demand for dietitians will continue to rise. When your facility is facing a dietitian staffing challenge, we hope you’ll keep in mind the quality of care provided by temporary dietitians from Dietitians On Demand.

Dietitians On Demand is a nationwide staffing company for registered dietitians, specializing in short-term, temporary and permanent-hire positions in acute care, long term care and food service positions. We cover a vacancy, FMLA, maternity leave, staffing shortages, and more. Check out our job openings, or request your coverage today!

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