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Best holiday physician scheduler tips

Posted on 12/19/2018 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
While the holiday season is a time to be joyous, it can also be stressful and overwhelming for hospital administrators and the staff. Perhaps the biggest challenge that administrators and schedulers face is creating a fair yet efficient winter holiday season schedule while ensuring all shifts are adequately covered.

This can be challenging since most providers prefer to be spending time with their families. In fact, the holidays and having to work on them can be one of the biggest stressors that providers face.

These best holiday physician scheduler tips can help.

Asking for Requests

This is the first thing many hospital scheduling administrators do. Sometimes, initially asking staff what their holiday scheduling preferences are (while providing no guarantees), can make the job of creating the provider schedule easier.

Planning for Increased Patient Visits

Typically, during the winter medical facilities experience a large influx of hospital visits. The increase in demand is due to cold and flu viruses that are highly contagious. In addition, poor weather conditions, such as snow and ice, can lead to severe injuries resulting from falls and automobile accidents. Therefore, having a full schedule of capable providers is necessary to meet the patient demand.

The physician scheduler should plan ahead by increasing how many doctors are on staff. Be sure to add a couple of backup physicians to the schedule.

Alternate Years

Keep track of who work what major holiday this year, and offer to switch it the following year. This helps to make the schedule fair not only on the current year, but on a year-by-year basis.

Provide Incentives

Of course, there might be some concern among staff as to who has to work on the holidays. Depending on your facility’s policies senior physicians may have the option of taking the holiday off. However, by offering an incentive or extra perks you can encourage others to pick up extra shifts during the holiday season. Perhaps providing a catered meal on the holiday for employees who will be working or handing out gift bags can make working the holiday more enjoyable.Strive to make the holiday season less stressful for your busy physicians by being flexible and transparent about scheduling needs.

Make The Schedule Early

Planning for the winter rush well in advance is highly encouraged. Using emergency medicine scheduling software can make the process much faster. Therefore, the shift scheduling process should begin months prior to the holiday season. This gives you time to process requests and generate a balanced holiday schedule that is fair. You’ll be better prepared for this busy time of the year.

While it might be impossible to accommodate everyone, creating the schedule early also allows your staff to make alternate holiday plans. In addition, some staff members may even be willing to willingly work the holiday so employees with young children can have the day off. Developing a policy that requires rotating the schedule every year can ensure that everyone gets the chance to be with their families on a holiday.

Yes, holiday physician scheduling can be challenging. Yet, early planning for the increased demand and giving consideration for the needs of your employee can help you create a schedule that is fair and meets the needs of the medical facility.

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