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ER scheduling programs a must as ER visits grow

Posted on 1/8/2020 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

According to a new study, if people can't get in to see their physician quickly, 65% of them head to the emergency room. Almost three in four (73%) individuals in the U.S. think it's simpler to go to the ER instead of making a doctor's appointment.

The Brookings Institution conducted research showing in states where the Medicaid program was expanded under the Affordable Care Act, there is a 20% increase in new Medicaid patient visits (mostly outpatient visits) to ER departments for conditions that could easily wait for a doctor's appointment.

And, rising air pollution and ozone levels might also be sending more individuals to emergency rooms in the U.S. with breathing issues, one study shows.

Because of this, efficient emergency medicine scheduling has never been more important. However, there are many challenges to creating an effective physician schedule, which is why many ER departments are now turning to scheduling software to streamline the process.

Why ER Scheduling Programs are a Must in ER Departments

Some reasons why shift scheduling software is important to implement in your ER department include:

1. Scheduling Rules

Emergency medicine is a complex specialty and requires around 62 set scheduling rules as well as the flexibility of accommodating around 276 shift change requests every month using scheduling software. From shift equity for doctors to round-the-clock shift coverage for varying patient needs, physician scheduling software enables ER teams in this complex specialty to maximize flexible scheduling.

2. 24/7 Access

Because the program is cloud-based, you can access the schedule from anywhere, with any device with an internet connection 24/7 year-round. This lets your physicians look at their schedules no matter where their location is so they can:

- Make time off requests
- View their shifts
- Swap shifts
- And more 

Then, you can easily view these staff changes and either approve or deny them.

3. On-Call Scheduling

ER scheduling programs improve on-call scheduling creation dramatically as well as streamline communication between staff and simplify the management process. The software works like a centralized hub for on-call scheduling management that doctors can gain access to straight from their phones or other mobile devices.

4. Maintain an Updated Schedule

When you have shift swaps or need to make adjustments to the schedule, you can update your doctors on these changes. The program is updated consistently which means your physicians don't have to question when they're scheduled or if you've approved a request they made or not. You, at the same time, don't need to be concerned about not having adequate coverage.

Your doctors benefit too. When they're happy, they'll show more loyalty to your ER. Emergency medicine scheduling software enhances your physician's work-life balance as well. It also enhances their job satisfaction. They can:

- Request time off
- Make online shift requests
- Confirm shifts or availability
- Access the schedule 24/7

Being in charge of the schedule for the entire ER department's doctors means you need to make sure you're creating a schedule that suits not just your doctors, but your patients as well. An online scheduling program can provide many technological benefits that will help improve schedule creation so each staff members needs are met, patients are well-cared for and your ER department runs efficiently.

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