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Hospitalist scheduling program best practices in uncertain times

Posted on 8/26/2020 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

One of the most time consuming and arduous tasks for hospitalists schedulers is working out the right balance among hospital requirements, patient needs, and the health and scheduling preferences of the hospitalist. And, with the uncertainty in today's healthcare environment, it can be more challenging than ever. Designing a schedule that meets all of these objectives — and then some — is one of the most challenging components of managing a hospitalist staff.

Hospitalists need to work a schedule that provides continuity of patient care as well as ensures their personal and professional needs are also being met. Accommodating hospitalists and making sure all scheduling requirements are being met will benefit the hospitalists, doctors, nurses, hospital, technicians, support staff, and patients.

Automated emergency medicine scheduling software can incorporate requests and rules so you can create the ideal schedule for both your hospital and your hospitalists. A physician scheduling program can help with things like:

1. Weekend Schedules

To maintain fairness in your practice, you must distribute less desirable shifts, like holidays and weekend shifts, fairly among all of your healthcare providers’ staff, including your hospitalists. Alternatives to having your hospitalists work fewer holidays and weekends are:

• Moonlighting shifts
• Part-time hospitalists
• Dedicated hospitalists working the weekends

2. 7on/7off Shift

This scheduling model is one of the simplest to understand and the most used. It allows for recruiting doctors along with fairly good continuity of care. However, this model more recently has been put into question because of an inclination for hospitalists to become burned out.

3. Length of Each Worked Night or Day

Having a fixed, predetermined schedule provides better planning for hospitalists. But what if your goal is matching supply and demand? A hospitalist can leave earlier when there is a low workload and if the workload is higher - stay later than normal. This will open up the discussion of getting rid of fixed start/stop times in favor of more flexibility.

4. Consecutive Varying On/Off Days in a Row

Flexible schedules can increase hospitalists' autonomy where they have better control over the number of days they take off in a row and over planned days off. Your practice can enhance work/life balance by using less strict schedules to match healthcare workers scheduling preferences at various stages of their lives.

With an automated shift scheduling program, you can track how your hospitalists are trending more efficiently - you'll be able to look at the monthly and yearly data. See which hospitalists are trading shifts helping you to ensure equality in trade taking. This will allow you to address any discrepancies prior to the year-end and ensure each hospitalist is meeting their contracted commitments.

An automated hospitalist scheduling program can take into account where your hospitalists and other healthcare providers are able to work based on their qualifications and where they were scheduled in the past weeks. This can help keep healthcare providers from being scheduled in very stressful hospital areas every week, which can help decrease provider burnout.

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