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Five reasons why the ER doctor schedule has grown more complex

Posted on 1/16/2018 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Emergency rooms across the country face new challenges daily. One of the more complex challenges ER managers and coordinators face is the increasing complexity of physician scheduling for emergency rooms. These are just a few reasons shift scheduling doctors in the ER is becoming so much more complicated. 

1. Percentage of Care Administered in Emergency Rooms

Science Daily reported in October of 2017 that nearly half of all medical care in the U.S. is provided in emergency rooms. Also in the report, was the fact that this number represents an increase in the number of emergency care visits of nearly 44 percent. This places increasing pressure on emergency departments to provide adequate physician staffing to meet the growing demand.

2. Heightened Awareness of Quality Patient Care

Emergency departments everywhere are shifting their focus to improving the quality of care patients receive. This involves a multi-step process that involves everything from optimizing the efficiency of ERs to preparedness training for catastrophic events, and even manipulating the ER doctor schedule to accommodate for statistical ebbs and flows in demand for emergency care.

3. An Aging Population

As of July 1, 2015, the U.S. population of adults aged 65 and older stood at 47.8 million. That number is expected to double by 2060. Since older people account for a substantial portion of ER visits, it stands to reason that as the aging population grows, so will demand for emergency room physicians, creating a growing need for adequate emergency medicine scheduling.

4. Increased Use and Integration of Technology

Emergency departments everywhere are incorporating technology at every turn. This includes allowing patients to see potential wait times, to scheduling appointments ahead of arrival, and even in the scheduling of emergency room staff – including on-demand staff members, according to the number of appointments scheduled.

5. Increased Competition

Competition can be good for business. Emergency rooms, despite constantly growing demand and visits are also facing new competition and this will force administrators to make changes in ER physician scheduling and more. Competition for emergency medicine is coming on a variety of fronts, including urgent care facilities, big box retailers offering medical clinics with no appointments needed, and even retail pharmacies offering medical clinics for everything from minor emergencies to vaccinations.

The bottom line is that the traditional emergency medicine model must be thrown out the window if you want your emergency department to remain competitive, relevant, and profitable as the needs of your patients and your community change. Emergency medicine scheduling will play a critical role in meeting those evolving needs.

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