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How physician scheduling software can trim staff costs

Posted on 1/7/2015 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
It’s no stretch to say that one of the biggest expenses for hospitals today comes in the form of staffing. Staffing, on a good day, presents a number of costly possibilities. When things go wrong in the staffing and scheduling process, though, the costs of those mistakes can add up quickly. These are just a few ways your healthcare facility or emergency department can trim staff costs for next year when using physician scheduling software.

Reduce Overtime Pay

Planning a schedule that meets the needs of busy physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals while also meeting the needs of the facility can be challenging without ever bringing in exceptions to the rule. Add in vacation requests, paid time off, and changes in routine and it becomes a simple matter to accidentally schedule overtime hours for physicians that are willing and available to work said shifts.

Shift scheduling software, though, creates a schedule that includes adequate shift coverage for all shifts, vacation day accommodations, and no overtime for healthcare professionals in a matter of minutes. This is something that would ordinarily take several days to accomplish.

The software does more than simply schedule shifts though, it can help administrators make decisions about sending staff members home on slower shifts as well by showing which nurses, physicians, etc. are close to overtime thresholds and which ones have more time available.

End Locums

Another big drain on hospital finances is the cost of locums brought in to fill in scheduling gaps related to short staffing. Locums come at a much higher cost than scheduled staff members and that’s never good when you’ve worked so hard to make physician scheduling more cost effective.

This is also something that emergency medicine scheduling software can help to end by flagging areas that are understaffed and making suggestions to solve understaffing issues – no locums required.

Improve Efficiency

Ultimately, emergency departments that operate more efficiently cost less to run. That’s why it’s important to have the right people for each shift. Scheduling software uses historic data to anticipate times of increased emergency room activity and makes recommendations accordingly. Small things like this can have a significant impact on overall efficiency and keeping costs down without throwing too many members of staff on hand, which can lead to increased inefficiencies.

Reduce Scheduling Paperwork

Most facilities who create physician, nursing, and support staff schedules by hand, are working with a lot of moveable parts making it difficult to keep up with little papers scribbled with names and dates for vacation requests or dozens of emails with the same information. The right scheduling software provides a paperless method for requesting time off and schedule changes so that it’s never a problem for administrators to try to solve – or work around with overtime hours for other staff members or bringing in locums after the fact.

It’s a delicate balance for even the most experienced and dedicated hospital administrators to balance.

From remembering every request for vacation days or time off to anticipating higher than average emergency calls during certain holidays or local events, shift scheduling software can help emergency departments and other healthcare facilities cut costs for the coming year and beyond. Best of all, shift scheduling software frees up valuable, and costly, administrative hours that would otherwise be spent working on the schedule each week.

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