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How to optimize emergency room scheduling in real time

Posted on 3/16/2017 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
The emergency room is arguably the hospital department that faces the most challenges. These include understaffing of personnel and overcrowding of patients. If you’re tasked with emergency medicine scheduling, you are already well aware that it is a very difficult and time consuming task. You need to ensure you have the right number of staff scheduled. Additionally, you need to have the right staff on board to treat the various different patients injuries, illnesses, and traumas that come in.

Patient arrivals are, of course, extremely variable. There can be sudden disparities in patient arrivals from hour to hour. A variety of patients with different needs come in throughout the day, from a patient with a broken bone to one who is having a heart attack. There’s also the need to take into account the seasonal changes associated with school calendars and flu.

Traditionally, coverage schedules have always been based on volumes of patients averaged over large time scales. This method of planning often leads to over or under coverage at some hours. This then leads on to problems such as financial loss, long wait times, high walk-out rates, and risks to patients.

With this in mind, how can emergency room scheduling be optimized in real time? Through using scheduling software, you can keep up with patient tracking data, hospital registration data, staff schedule data, and billing data, all on a minute-by-minute basis. As traditional approaches to scheduling rely heavily on aggregated or average data, that does not take variability into account, these are outdated.

Scheduling software is particularly good for keeping track of hours worked by providers. This often strays from scheduled coverage and when hours are kept track of easily through a software platform, you can see with ease who has been working where and for how long. This can be looked at on a day-to-day basis or can be studied as an annual figure.

Additionally, physician scheduling software creates a more balanced workload for your staff. This, in turn, provides a far more productive and less stressful working environment. Staff burnout can be ever present in emergency departments, and emergency medicine scheduling software is a sought-after tool to combat that. When your staff are happy, they have more to give.

Real time shift scheduling is a tool that no busy hospital department should be without, and certainly one that supports multiple locations where physicians and other hospital staff share their duties. Staying on top of scheduling and admissions on a current real-time basis, as well as being able to predict rapid spike volumes of patients is done with ease when you have the right software model.

Today’s medicine is consistently evolving through advancing medical technology. So too, a software integrated approach to practice management is an essential strategy in this rapidly changing world.

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