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How to automate your emergency physician schedule

Posted on 6/12/2019 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Emergency medicine schedule is far from typical. Various factors can drive the ER staffing schedule model, which means your ER department could have single, double, overlapping doctor coverage or more.

Not only is every emergency department different, but each doctor has their own shift scheduling preferences. The ER department staffing model combined with doctor preferences could be a possible scheduling nightmare when there's no advanced or automated preparation. Below are some tips to automate and improve your scheduling process.

1. Confirming Schedules

No schedule administrator wants to receive a 6 AM call stating a doctor hasn't made it to their shift and then have to scramble around the last minute for shift coverage. While this might not completely eliminate no-shows, by sending a copy of the schedule to all doctors scheduled and asking them to go over their schedule and confirm their shifts, it can help a great deal.

This is particularly important for part-time doctors who work for other hospitals or clinics. Double booking on the same day or simply forgetting they're on the schedule is quite possible. When you have them confirm their shift, it makes them accountable and lets you know they're aware of their shifts and when they have to work.

2. Use of Physician Scheduling Software

The use of emergency medicine scheduling software is best with all the complexities to minimize hassles, save time and effectively communicate with doctors. It allows you to let doctors switch shifts between one another, request time off, pick up shifts, give away shifts and all this can be done with a click of the button.

Emergency physician schedule software allows doctors to have a work-life balance like most other people. This is one reason it's essential to learn and incorporate doctor's scheduling preferences when scheduling. It's also important for doctor productivity and retention, as physician burnout is a common phenomenon experienced in ER departments.

3. Increased Shift Work Awareness

While ER departments are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your body isn't designed to work these kind of hour. American College of Emergency Physicians has taken out a position that's against a rotating shift schedule that interferes with circadian rhythms. They advocate for 12 hour or less shifts that rotate in a clockwise manner. They encourage schedulers to consider total number of hours worked and time off between shifts per ER doctors when creating schedules.

If you’re still using antiquated methods to schedule your ER physicians, you are doing a disservice not only to your patients and community, but your doctors on staff, the latter of which can suffer from burnout. You can and should modernize your scheduling through scheduling software to improve your operating efficiency. Look into it today to realize the benefits and see the positive difference it can make in your overall emergency room management, patient care, physician satisfaction, and more.

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