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Five tips for intensive care scheduling

Posted on 10/12/2022 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software tips

An intensive care unit (ICU), also known as an intensive treatment unit (ITU) or intensive therapy unit, is a department of any type of healthcare facility that specializes in intensive care medicine. Because ICUs have such a diverse range of healthcare staff and patients with varying needs, a streamlined physician scheduling system is essential.

Intensive care units care for patients with severe injuries or illnesses that need close supervision from life support equipment, constant care, and medication to restore the body’s standard functions. They are operated by highly trained physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists who specialize in the care of critically ill patients.

The ICU provides specialized resources and expertise to assist with critical functions. It also makes use of the skills and experience of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who have dealt with similar issues in the past. Because of this, proper physician scheduling is critical. And to do so, you'll need a well-organized and efficient physician scheduling system in place, as well as the use of shift scheduling software.

Tips for Intensive Care Scheduling

Intensive care, also known as critical care, can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Hence, a common challenge is to avoid doctor and nurse burnout in order to improve staff retention.

Here are some such scheduling tips to consider implementing in your unit.

1) Ensure physician work Patterns have continuity of care.

Experienced physicians responsible for intensive care delivery reveal that the majority of physicians work different blocks of days at a time in order to provide and maintain consistent continuity of care. However, Shift scheduling software allows you to schedule day shifts in five-day blocks, which helps you maintain similar patient outcomes as seven-day work blocks and reduces doctor burnout.

2) Set up enough doctors.

With such a diverse range of patients and medical professionals, it's critical that your physician scheduling is streamlined and that you have enough physicians and nurses with specialized skills on hand at all times. If you don't, you may experience physician burnout. Factors to be considered include schedule changes, availability, overtime hours, union requirements, vacation days, on-call hours, and accreditation criteria.

3) Allocate a supernumerary practice period to all nurses scheduled for critical care

This gives the nurses adequate time to acquire the fundamental knowledge and abilities required to safely care for terminally ill patients. Depending on the particular nurse, this newly qualified nurse's supernumerary period should last at least six weeks or longer.

4) Maintain an ideal ICU patient/doctor ratio

The ratio of ICU patients to residents shouldn't be greater than 1:8, and the ratio of patients to consultants should be between 1:8 to 1:15. Use the following criteria when calculating these ratios: trainee experience, surge capacity, patient turnover, case mix, trainee ratios, and telemedicine.

5) Utilize emergency room scheduling software

Emergency medicine scheduling necessitates round-the-clock staffing with the necessary skills. Emergency room scheduling software helps the ER department to create schedules for multiple sub-specialties and an unlimited number of physicians while providing real-time updates.


ICU scheduling should be carefully planned and implemented. Automating the process, however, makes it much more efficient and streamlined. This way, you can focus on what truly matters in the ICU: the health and safety of your patients. The use of physician scheduling software is crucial to ensuring they are always well taken care of.

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