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Optimizing your physician assistant schedule as the field grows

Posted on 9/9/2020 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physician assistants (PAs) are among the leading seven quickest growing jobs.

The BLS estimates the PA field will see a 31% growth between 2018 through 2028 and by that time, 37,000 careers will be added. This is compared with the 13% estimated growth for people in the health diagnosis and treating practitioner jobs.

The use of physician assistants in the emergency departments is growing and this increase is because of the economy of scale and necessity in staffing. Unique uses of physician assistants include:

• Acute care transfer management to the wards
• Wound management
• Rural health emergency staffing

It could be referred to as a complex emergency medicine scheduling system because of this. Below are ways you can optimize your physician assistant schedule as the field grows.

1. Add Shorter Hours on Schedule More Regularly

Having to juggle the demands of being a physician assistant and a personal life can be hard for PAs. They often are spending their time tracking and analyzing the expenditure and revenue of the practice after hours when the patients have left and they're requested to be on call.

2. Manage Telephone Calls

The schedule flow is interrupted when phone calls have to be managed. Calls require a system of controls doctors set up other than phone message apps and slips. Come up with a guide with your PAs on call processing. Distribute the guide to all staff. Each will have a structure of:

• The calls they'll need to put through right away
• The calls they'll have to return
• When they'll return the calls

3. Figure Out Patient Visit Length of Time

Since new PA visits tend to take a bit longer than a normal routine visit, you might schedule "seeing patients" one day every week in 30-minute blocks. Learning about average patient visit times per PA will help you better manage your overall practice schedule and patient processing.

4. Use Quick Huddles

Add patient scheduling to your list of topics for monthly meetings. An extremely efficient method is when the PA arrives and will start seeing patients, have a one-minute, standup huddle with the PA, the medical assistant and the scheduler (yourself if you handle the physician scheduling system) to look at the block of patients upcoming so you can discuss how to manage it.

5. Use Shift Scheduling Software

Implement physician scheduling software into your scheduling system. Certain software will even allow patients to schedule their appointments online. PA scheduling software will also help streamline and automate your scheduling process by organizing tasks like shift add-ons, shift swaps, requested time off, and more. Plus, you can provide PAs with their schedules in real-time with 24/7 access.

Now is the time to put methods in practice to optimize the schedules of PAs in your healthcare organization. The sooner you make changes, the earlier you’ll reap the benefits of this exciting and growing field, for not only your organization, but your patients.

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