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How to automate a physician assistant schedule

Posted on 4/22/2021 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

Physician assistants (PAs), are among the leading quickest growing careers, estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the BLS estimates the PA field will see a 31% growth between the years 2018 and 2029. And, more PAs will be required to provide patients care, as the demand for their type of healthcare services grows.

The average physician assistant works 40 hours per week (full-time). This role might frequently require extra hours. Their shifts typically vary, and they might be required to also work weekends, nights, holidays, or be on call.

Therefore, it's important to have a smooth physician scheduling system in place, preferably with automation. One way to do this is by using emergency medicine scheduling software.

How to Automate Your PA Schedule

Below are some ways you can optimize your shift scheduling system for your PAs as the field grows.

1. Use Physician Assistant Software

As just mentioned, you should use PA scheduling software when creating your schedules. Certain software could even allow patients to set up their own appointments online. Physician scheduling software will also help to automate and streamline your schedule making by organizing certain tasks, such as:

• Requested time off
• Shift swaps
• Shift add-ons

PAs will have the ability to access their schedules 24/7 in real-time too.

2. Delegate a Large Range of Tasks

Once you've trained your PAs, you can slowly begin delegating certain administrative tasks to them, such as:

• Managing incoming lab and radiology results
• Managing incoming messages with PAs during brief intervals between appointments
• Coordinating with care managers and arranging urgent visits
• Looking for refill requests, providing dates for last labs, last visits and next visits
• Identifying and collecting data for pre-op clearance appointments
• Tracking labs for no-shows and cancellations

3. Regularly Add Shorter Hours on PAs Schedules

It can be difficult for PAs to juggle their demands of being PAs and their personal life. They frequently spend a lot of their time tracking and assessing revenue and expenditure of the practice after hours once all their patients have left. Plus, they still need to be on call too.

3. Manage Calls

When there are phone calls that need to be managed, it can interrupt the schedule flow. Calls require a doctor set-up system of controls other than phone slips and message apps. You'll want to create a guide with your doctors on call processing and be sure to provide all staff with this guide. Each will be structured based on:

• The calls they need to return
• The calls they must put through immediately
• When they should return the calls

4. Identify the Length of Patient Visit Time

Since visits with newer PAs can take a little longer than normal routine visits, you might want to schedule 30-minute blocks for "seeing patients" one day each week.

The time is now to put a system together for optimizing your PAs' schedules. The sooner you implement this system, the earlier your PAs and practice will begin benefiting from it.

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