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Are you doing these 5 things in your ER physician scheduling

Posted on 3/14/2019 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
There is nothing typical about emergency medicine scheduling. Multiple factors drive the ER staffing model, meaning your hospital could have single, double, maybe even triple, overlapping doctor coverage or more.

When it comes to the standard ER, there are a ton of physicians, nurses, employees and technicians needed to adequately staff the ER at any given time. But, because of this, this could translate to possible shift scheduling nightmares.

New research on doctor shift scheduling trends shows ER's in the United States balance the most complicated monthly requests and staffing rules of any medical sector specialty. The 2016 report analyzed requests and rules across 57 medical specialties used in 5,547 department schedules.

There are things you can do, however, to simplify the physician scheduling process. Let's explore five things that can streamline your schedule creation — are you doing these five things?

1. Require Requests for Time Off and Vacation in Advance

You'll want to request vacation and time off requests at least two weeks before you post the schedule, depending on how you time your shift scheduling. This will provide you with enough time to work these requests into your schedule.

2. Request Schedule Preferences

Many ER doctors appreciate being able to balance work and life, just like everyone else. Therefore, it's important you take their scheduling preferences into consideration and incorporate them into the schedule. It helps with physician productivity and retention. While you obviously can't accommodate all preferences at all times, doing the best you can to work with your physicians' preferences will keep them from becoming burned out.

3. Confirm Schedules

The last thing you probably want is to get a call at 5 AM due to a no show from one of your doctors and be forced to scramble around looking for last minute coverage. While you can't completely eliminate all no-shows, sending out a copy of the schedule and having your physicians confirm their shifts will indicate they've seen their schedule and hold them accountable.

4. Prepare for Spring Break, Summer Vacations and Holidays

These times of the year don't have to be a total nightmare. While it may seem like everyone wants to take the same days off during these times, your ER department needs to continue operating 24/7. To manage the schedule effectively and ensure you're being fair about the time off you schedule, start preparing for these holidays and vacations early in the year by:

- Asking your doctors to volunteer to work certain holidays
- Asking doctors to make their requests for summer vacation and spring break dates in January
- Recruiting part-time doctors or seeking additional doctors to assist during these times by reaching out to locums tenens companies

5. Use ER Physician Scheduling Software

The best way to simplify the shift scheduling process is by implementing ER physician scheduling software. This software minimizes hassles, saves time, obtains time off requests, communicates with physicians effectively, allows for doctors to swap shifts with each other, allows doctors to pick up shifts or giveaway shifts with a click of a button, and more.

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