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Tips and techniques for emergency room employee scheduling

Posted on 3/18/2015 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
When it comes to the typical emergency room, there are tons of employees, physicians, nurses, and technicians required to staff the department adequately at any given time.

Unfortunately, this translates to a potential scheduling nightmare that must be repeated week after week and month after month. These tips will help simplify the employee scheduling process for your emergency room without the nightmare scenario.

Require Vacation and Time Off Request in Advance

Depending on how you time your emergency medicine scheduling, you’ll want vacation requests turned in electronically at least two weeks before the schedule will post. This gives you plenty of time to work it into the schedule and an electronic submission is much less likely to get lost than tiny little note cards and scraps of papers used in the past.

Solicit Employee Scheduling Feedback

Understanding what makes your employees happy when scheduling can help you ensure you get not only the right staff for each shift, but also the staff members that are most likely to appreciate the times they’re working.

For instance, some employees prefer working only weekends while others may not want to work weekends at all. You may not be able to accommodate all preferences, but you can certainly work to accommodate many of them.

The same holds true for holidays. Not all holidays mean the same things to all employees. Ask for volunteers on holidays where you think you’re going to have a hard time staffing and then schedule according to need once the volunteers are taken into account. You may find you have adequate staff for these dates without ruffling feathers.

Send all Staff Members a Copy of the Schedule

Physician scheduling is complex enough. Physicians are often quite busy – often juggling private practices and family commitments with emergency medicine hours. Sending a physical copy of the schedule through email is a great way to avoid possible confusion.

This practice is especially beneficial if you send it in a format that allows them to electronically load it onto their calendar program of choice. This way they can sync it across all devices so that mistakes aren’t made, shifts aren’t missed, and conflicts are discovered sooner rather than later.

Create a Stand-by or On-Call List of Employees

Employee scheduling is much easier when last minute changes must be made if you have a list of employees ready to fill in on short notice. Emergencies happen. No one understands this better than people who work in emergency medicine. Your shift scheduling system needs to be prepared when they do.

Use Scheduling Software

Software can accomplish, in a matter of minutes, a process that takes days to do by hand. The larger your emergency room staff, the longer the process takes by hand – not so with software. You set the parameters and let the computer work its magic. You can even set it up to deal with vacation requests, schedule changes, overtime compliance, and other criteria you have for your emergency medicine staff.

Put these tips to work in your emergency room and see what a difference it makes when it comes to job satisfaction and engagement among ER staff across the board.

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