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Best practices for implementing a physician scheduling program

Posted on 10/23/2015 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Shift scheduling can be a hassle, right? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. That’s because a physician scheduling program can help you or your scheduling administrator schedule ER physicians and staff appropriately to meet the demands of patients.

Best Scheduling Practices


Plan for time-off, holidays and vacations in advance. Your staff should request time-off in advance if possible. It's important to show you care about their leisure time; however, it's also important to be adequately staffed to meet your patients’ needs as well.

Staff Preferences

When doing physician scheduling, take your staffs' and physicians preferences into account. Some might prefer to work weekend shifts while others might want nights. Perhaps they are looking to make more money and these shifts can accommodate them. All highly desired shifts should be distributed among staff members fairly as much as possible. Ask them in advance if they have any shift preferences before the emergency medicine scheduling takes place, this way you don't risk violating their preferences.

Centralize Your Scheduling Processes

In some instances, there is more than one scheduling administrator handling different sections of the scheduling. Although this can make things easier, it can also be risky if well-organized workflow plans and communication are not in place. The more departments and groups establish a centralized scheduling team or process, the better they will be at creating and managing the schedule. A shift scheduling program will do just that.

Plan Ahead

Staffing changes all the time and so does the schedule because of it. You want to prepare well in advance for any changes that might be made to your schedule. When you are working with a physician scheduling program, you will have to have that changed as well. If you are working with a physician scheduler team, you can notify them of any expected changes to occur

Continued Education

An annual schedule audit is a good idea to implement. Even if there are no problems, you can make your schedule much better through these audits. You can explore advanced system functions, collaborate on a new plan for future years or ensure you are using all features available. By doing this, you can save both money and time down the road. Many scheduling teams wonder which rules are fine for automation and which should be handled manually. It is important to get a good balance between the two to create and manage an effective schedule. This is something that can be implemented right inside the scheduling program.

When it comes to shiftwork scheduling and implementing only the best practices, it's not a bad idea to attend a workshop for additional training. Managers and scheduling administrators will learn:

  • How to come up with an effective schedule for daily operation.
  • Contract or expand successful from 5 and 7 day continued operations.
  • Avoid costly scheduling change pitfalls.
  • Reduce risks, costs and more.
  • Improve staff safety, health and quality of life.

A good shift scheduling program will not just save you time, but will also help you optimize your physicians and staff so you can provide great patient care, maintain happy staff and physicians and keep an overall positive work environment. Staff scheduling programs allow you to implement the best practices quickly and in a stress-free way.

It might be a good idea to provide a demo of this type of program to your team on the benefits and features of a physician scheduling program. They can see how to generate, publish, and maintain all schedules, even the most complicated ones.

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