Scheduling Software Home
Scheduling Emergency Providers since 1989

Blog article

Optimizing the ER doctor schedule to meet winter patient demand

Posted on 12/23/2020 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

Emergency medicine scheduling is a highly complex system that doesn't seem like it will get any easier any time soon. Because you're dealing with more groups, it complicates the ER schedules.

ER doctors are historically burnt out and while they might have made it through the first wave of COVID-19 in one piece, in the midst of another wave coinciding with the flu season, burnout is almost inevitable.

Burnout is a psychological syndrome of depersonalization and emotional exhaustion that can result in increased medical errors and low quality of patient care. And, it's been a substantial issue for frontline healthcare employees, particularly ER physicians.

ER medicine is a unique practice that carries a unique set of issues and challenges. You have day-in and day-out, hour by hour, and in some cases, minute-by-minute changes in workload and priorities. Being responsible for the shift scheduling system can become a nightmare. The best way to optimize your ER physician scheduling system is to use scheduling software. Here are five reasons why.

Tips to Optimize Your ER Schedule

1. Physician Scheduling Software is Web-Based

Having the ability to access your schedule online from any device is a major plus and can ensure doctors and other staff members always have access to their schedules in a timely manner.

2. Software Can Manage Shift Swaps and Trades

Doctors can easily pick up shifts or swap shifts on their own. You can define shift trade rules to keep hourly staff members from having the ability to pick shifts up which would qualify them for overtime.

3. ER Medicine Scheduling Software is Automated

With scheduling software, you can:

• Progress forward in time by following circadian patterns
• Hand out weekend and night shifts evenly
• Optimize schedules based on doctor productivity and anticipated patient arrivals
• Ensure adequate time off after nights and between shifts
• Use doctor availability to set up different sets of shift coverage

4. Schedule More Physicians Than You Need

In the emergency room, you should always expect a higher volume of patients and thereby schedule accordingly to stay efficient. Don't schedule only enough doctors to fill every shift. Instead, you'll want to schedule a minimum of two providers per shift to make sure you can meet the demand of patients. Shift scheduling software can help you do this.

5. Schedule Shifts Smart

Put smart rules in place and enforce them consistently. For instance, don't schedule over 32 hours each week per physician or over four shifts. Ensure you're distributing the same shift types among doctors fairly. Limit consecutive night shifts to no more than a few consecutive shifts. If certain scheduling rules aren’t working, don’t be afraid to change them quickly.

Implementing these five tips and using scheduling software can help you streamline your emergency medicine scheduling system so you're prepared for the busy winter months, which are expected to be even busier this year.

Physician Scheduling Software | Scheduling Software Blog | Privacy Policy | Site Map