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How to balance shift scheduling to meet employees, patients, and organizational needs

Posted on 1/7/2021 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

Emergency medicine scheduling has always been challenging. Today more than ever, with COVID-19, managers are being forced to devise new and enhanced shift scheduling strategies to run their hospitals more efficiently and balance out the scheduling system so it meets everyone's needs. Some hospitals are experiencing these types of challenges more than ever before.

One common change designed to address many of the challenges in this line of work is rethinking staff schedules, whether it's for:

• Supporting changes in work-life balance
• Meeting wavering patient demands
• Minimizing social contact
• Reducing or eliminating physician burnout

The key here is to find a balance between the short-term requirements of the hospital and the long-term benefits of new schedule strategies will bring to staff and the hospital. So, how can you balance shift scheduling to meet the needs of your patients, doctors, and organization?

1. Give More Breaks

It's been shown breaks can really boost staff productivity and happiness. Yet, many employers are still not allowing their doctors and other staff members to get these much-needed breaks throughout the day. Many don't even stock healthy snacks in their break rooms and some don't provide adequate rest or sleep areas. But having a break room, and scheduling breaks are of utmost importance to physicians to help them recharge and avoid burnout.

2. Provide Flexible Scheduling

Flexible scheduling, also called self-scheduling, is a strategy that enables managers to determine the needs of the work schedule based on requirements and demands and then allow physicians to select (or trade) shifts for themselves. Using tools like physician scheduling software, doctors can see the available shifts. They can:

• Choose shifts they want
• Trade with other doctors shifts that conflict with their plans
• Communicate what they're doing

3. Allow Doctors to Communicate Their Work Preferences

One important goal to keep in mind when you're creating physician schedules is to look for ways of creating shifts that will keep doctors satisfied and safe. Physicians often have a lot on their plates, even outside of work. A lot of them have families they're looking after. Some are trying to further their education. Opening up the lines of communication with your doctors and asking them what their preferred work hours are before you create the schedule can help with the shift scheduling process.

These are only a few things you can do to balance shift scheduling to meet the needs of your patients, doctors, and hospital. By using physician scheduling software, it can help streamline the process so your scheduling duties go a little more smoothly. It’s needed now more than ever.

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