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Physician scheduler strategies for a second wave of COVID-19

Posted on 7/1/2020 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
According to experts, there's the potential of a second wave of COVID-19 hitting this fall. Others warn it could hit at any time. In New York City, Lenox Hill Hospital's emergency physician, Dr. Robert Glatter, informed Healthline he expects another wave of COVID infections to strike in the fall. And, if this second wave does hit as he expects, it will occur simultaneously with the flu season, meaning there might be a lot of individuals who could become sick during the fall and winter seasons, which compounds the healthcare system's pressure. Plus, it might place extra testing pressures to differentiate between diagnosis of influenza versus the flu.

It's still not known exactly when or how it will occur and if the effects may already be starting to be seen, especially as cities and states reopen around the country. But, health officials, scientists and government leaders worldwide have put out the warning new cases of COVID-19 could increase once lockdown restrictions are being lifted and individuals are coming into closer contact with each other.

And, Glatter predicts it will probably be worse than the first wave that hit this past late winter and early spring. When you combine it with the flu, both viruses' intensity could make the first outbreak of COVID-19 look less intense. And, some past pandemics, such as the great influenza pandemic of 1918, had second waves that were worse than the first.

Of course, if there is a second wave of COVID-19, this means hospitals and other healthcare facilities are going to start piling on the patients again, and therefore, you'll want to ensure your physician scheduling system is prepared for this. A great way of being prepared is being organized and physician scheduler software can help with this.

The time to start taking action steps is now, not when the second wave hits.

Physician Scheduler Strategies to Implement

For the potential second wave of COVID-19, you'll want to implement the following strategies:

1. Use emergency medicine scheduling software to distribute work across physicians fairly and balance patient, physician and organizational needs.
2. Decrease the time you spend on creating and managing the schedules through the use of shift scheduling software.
3. Incorporate scheduling rules. Set up scheduling flexibility and rules through the scheduling software to accommodate shift change requests. Balance out the complexities of physician scheduling. Remember, physician burnout is a reality any time, but could be especially problematic during a pandemic.

To prepare for yet another possible wave of COVID-19 infections this coming fall, it's important you increase healthcare capacity. You need to continue preparing your hospital for this reality and ramp up your efforts of securing personal protective equipment, bed capacity, and ventilators. And, you should ensure you have sufficient staffing and a well-organized doctor scheduling system to position your hospital or medical practices as effectively as possible.

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