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How to prepare for holiday ER physician scheduling

Posted on 12/18/2019 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Not many people like to work on the holidays, but when you're in the healthcare industry, it's a necessity. Deciding which of your physicians will have to work on a holiday can be a hard decision and can lead to unhappy doctors if you're not fair about it.

Relying on seniority only, for instance, can make it so you're scheduling the same doctors for holiday shifts over and over, and this can cause low morale and can accelerate physician turnover. To be fair with holiday scheduling and streamline the process, consider these simple tips.

1. Rotate Holiday Physician Scheduling

If your ER has long-time employees, you should avoid giving the same doctors the same holidays off each year just because they have seniority. You don't want to give your newer doctors a sense that there's favoritism. Be sure you rotate the holiday shift scheduling between both new doctors and those who have been around for a while.

2. Allow Physicians to Create their Holiday Schedules

Give your physicians some leeway and input on the holidays they choose to work, rather than scheduling them with no input at all from them. When they have some say in the schedule, it can make a big difference with their:

- Work-life balance
- Job satisfaction
- Team cohesion

3. Split Shifts

Some healthcare facilities let their doctors split shifts if they're working 12 hours. When done properly, no one physician will have to work a full shift on a holiday. For instance, instead of working 12 hours on Christmas, you can split shifts which require your physicians to work six hours on Christmas and six hours on Thanksgiving.

4. Share the Physician Schedule

Sharing the physician schedule will help your doctors understand the equality and flexibility present in the holiday schedule, because you've made the process transparent. When you share the holiday schedule, instead of keeping it a secret, your team of doctors can also bargain among themselves fairly to revise and edit the schedule in a manner that works for everyone. When your doctors can find solutions to their scheduling issues together, it increases teamwork and communication.

5. Use ER Physician Scheduling Software

Emergency medicine scheduling software handles the high demands and pressure of the ER scheduling environment. ER physician scheduling software takes the hassle out of your scheduling process and helps you to create schedules sensitively and fairly, but also accurately and quickly. Not only does it save you time, it can also help with things like schedule changes, analysis tools, coping with shortages and holiday scheduling.

By taking advantage of one -- or even better, all of these tips, you can have a more equitable holiday schedule for your ER physicians, which will be better for morale and burnout reduction.

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