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Best practices for using a physician schedule maker

Posted on 11/7/2018 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

Ever wonder what’s behind the smooth running of a medical facility? What many people don’t know is that the quality of service of a doctor’s office or emergency department is heavily dependent on physician scheduling. Physician scheduling is so vital because it ensures that there are enough health care providers available to handle patient demand. These days most healthcare facilities rely on shift scheduling software to create schedules for medical provides.

Tips for Efficient Scheduling Process

Oftentimes, the lead physician is in charge of making the scheduling for the medical providers within the department. However, according to experts, it’s best to task a non-physician with the task to eliminate the possibility of bias. A physician schedule maker who is not also a doctor will be able to take a non-objective view of efficient schedule making. They are in a great position for fair shift scheduling, taking into account shift preferences, holidays, vacations and more.

In addition, it’s best to create physician schedules in advance. When schedules are generated several weeks or months prior, it allows physicians to be able to adjust their personal lives around it.

Also, the schedule maker should avoid continually making changes to the schedule because this can result in patient rescheduling and it can also impact the personal lives of medical providers, in addition to potentially adding an element of frustration to the physician.

Best Practices for Physician Scheduling

Using scheduling software can help save time and money on the hassles that come with creating employee schedules, whether they are in an ER department, specialty practice, or another hospital sector.

Facilities can use this tool to obtain requests for time off, allows physicians to trade shifts and even schedule themselves for extra shifts. Depending on the software chosen, management can track when physicians clock in and clock out for accountability or payroll purposes.

Important factors that go into making a schedule that the schedule maker should keep in mind include:

- There should be no more than four shifts scheduled per provider each week ideally.
- Each physician shouldn’t be scheduled no more than three consecutive night shifts per week to prevent burnout.
- Avoid short turnaround shifts (if a doctor is scheduled to work a night shift there should be at least a twelve hour grace period between the shifts).
- Weekends off should consist of at least two consecutive days off.
- Request scheduling preferences so that physicians can have some input in the schedule making process.
- When scheduling days off for the holidays, be sure to fairly rotate to them while taking into account preferences.
- Enable web and mobile access to the physician schedule.
- Consider using a survey tool built with online survey software to access the preferences of physicians.

While every medical facility handles the schedule making process differently, employing these practices is important and essential to the effective operation of a medical practice. Creating efficient physician schedules will ensure that you maintain a happy non-burned out staff, which ultimately increases patient satisfaction and care.

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