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Overcoming the cons of rotating schedules with scheduling software

Posted on 10/2/2019 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
While certain professional fields work on a traditional 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday work schedule, others like healthcare, basically require 24/7 staffing. Rotating schedules (shift work) is intended to offer physicians with enough time off the clock to prevent burnout and provide for a quality of life and work balance, which is perfect for those requiring schedule flexibility.

But, this lack of weekly consistency that is par for the course with rotating schedules can prove to be physically challenging and doctors need to take the necessary self-care steps to become accustomed.

Since many rotating physician scheduling systems require doctors to work third shift at least some of the time, it's not always possible for them to maintain consistent sleep patterns. So, these schedules can lead to:

- Fatigued physicians
- Lowered productivity
- Lowered morale

Rotating schedules don't always focus on 12-hour shifts, but rather iterations such as the 2-2-3 model which contribute to the popularity of the long days that involve shift work among organizations and companies. But, expecting physicians to maintain energy levels and focus over a 12-hour period might be both unrealistic and even hazardous to their health.

Shift work involving long hours increases your risk for reduced on-the-job performance, injuries, obesity and a large range of chronic conditions, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

1. Allows Collaborative Scheduling

Especially when available through web and mobile access, collaborative shift scheduling enables physicians to manage shift trades and set their own availability. This enables HR professionals and managers to ensure all shifts are covered and approve physician requests and input. When you can share the scheduling responsibilities, it allows you to reallocate much more of your time to more productive tasks.

2. Lets Physicians Access their Schedules Remotely

Many emergency medicine scheduling programs offer mobile accessibility, allowing physicians to view their schedules remotely anytime from anywhere 24/7. If desired, doctors can even set the portal up prior to shifts beginning to provide email and SMS notifications within a fixed amount of time.

These functions might help to prevent problems with doctors forgetting shifts or misreading the schedule. As a result, the hospital or medical facility can function seamlessly and the physicians can benefit greatly from their downtime.

3. Reduces Availability Conflicts

Allowing doctors to help collaborate on schedules and set their own availability might automatically reduce scheduling conflicts. Time off request errors will be reduced and physician satisfaction will increase as they're able to make their schedules work for their needs and lifestyle. When you allow doctors to work their preferred schedule, your organization might see gains in productivity, particularly when they aren't bogged down with physician burnout.

When choosing a rotating scheduling software, it's important you ensure it meets your exact needs, or as close to your exact needs as possible. Express your priorities clearly to the scheduling software vendor, so they can help you streamline your scheduling process as quickly as possible.

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