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Five ways to simplify your shift schedules

Posted on 10/8/2014 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Shift scheduling in the modern medical industry can be quite complex. There are many challenges you face when trying to create emergency medicine scheduling for a busy medical practice. However, these five things will simplify your physician scheduling so you can focus on more important things like practicing medicine and saving lives.

1) Increase Accessibility

Make the shift schedules widely available. Post it in public places so people can glance at it while on the job, but also make it accessible, electronically, via mobile phones and home computers. This will improve the likelihood that people will not only show up for their assigned shifts, but also arrive on time.

With the technology available today, you can create physician scheduling they can load directly into their personal calendars and sync it to all their electronic devices.

2) Establish Policies about Vacation and Time-Off Requests

Not only do last-minute shift changes, vacation, or time-off requests delay the posting of schedules, but they also create time-consuming changes for the person creating the schedule.

Create new policies concerning these requests and enforce those policies. It will end the cycle of constant changes near the end and helps to avoid unnecessary overtimes or insufficiently covered shifts.

The first few months may be rocky, but once a physician is left scrambling to find shift coverage for his vacation a time or two, people will begin making those requests according to policy.

3) Honor Shift Preferences whenever Possible

Most physician scheduling problems arise out of conflicts between private practice hours and hospital shift scheduling crossovers. By honoring shift preferences of physicians.

Physicians, in general, establish shift preferences for the specific purpose of ensuring their private practice patient scheduling needs are not in conflict with your emergency medicine scheduling practices.

Reducing crossovers adds up to better care for all parties – and happier physicians working for you.

4) Balance Weekend and Holiday On-Call Shifts

This is perhaps one of the biggest complaints and bones of contention in emergency medicine today. Work-life balance is of critical importance if you want a productive, motivated, and satisfied group of people working for you.

If one person feels as though he or she is getting all the worst of holiday and weekend on-call assignments, that physician is much more likely to seek affiliation elsewhere.

5) Consider Shift Scheduling Software

Allowing software to do the heavy lifting of building a shift schedule for your physicians and other employees means that you can establish parameters (union requirements, accreditation requirements for residents, shift needs, overtime rules, and on-call coverage needs) for the software.

Then all that remains is for you to let the software do, in a matter of minutes, what once took days for a human to do – without many of the common human errors made in manual scheduling practices.

These are all small changes that can make a huge difference in the complexity of scheduling shifts for employees altogether. Try them in your own medical practice and see what a time, and sanity, saving difference they make.

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