Scheduling Software Home
Scheduling Emergency Providers since 1989

Blog article

Reasons an ER physician schedule is so challenging - and what to do about it

Posted on 3/20/2024 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Today, in emergency medicine, there is ongoing difficulty in maintaining order to ensure the smooth running of the department, as patients with varying degrees of health complications are being attended to within a limited timeframe. Working as an ER physician is tasking, demanding, challenging, and an extremely vital profession in the healthcare sector.

Due to the fast-paced surroundings and the increased demand by patients for urgent care, physicians and nurses are constantly on the go. This, therefore, brings about a challenge for adequate planning and management of physician schedules in the ER.

In the planning of an ER physician schedule, various factors arise during the implementation. However, it is also important to look out for effective ways to handle these complexities.

Continue reading to look at some reasons why ER physician’s schedule is so challenging and ways to go about handling it.

Reasons an ER Physician Schedule is challenging:

Below are the reasons why drafting an ER physician scheduling tends to be a tedious task.

1) Lack of constant staffing.

The emergency department is open 24/7 all year round. Hence, a variety of considerations must be considered when scheduling an emergency room physician schedule. One of the most important challenges emergency departments face is the aspect of limited staff. Staffing shortages can lead to strain on the existing workforce.

2) Overcrowding & patient boarding.

Patient boarding in the ER is a significant issue, leading to poor patient output, increased hospital costs, and a lack of physicians’ efficiency and productivity. This often leads to overcrowding in the emergency room, resulting in an increase in patient waiting hours, reduced care, and overall poor clinical aftermaths. This situation can have a significant impact on emergency medicine scheduling, as well as their efficiency and productivity.

3) Inability to maintain shift equality.

Other reasons the ER physician schedule is so challenging are the aspects of ensuring the quality of shifts and the complexities surrounding shift scheduling. Due to the use of manual scheduling options or basic software, the distribution of shifts might be unequal.

As a result, some physicians may end up with more shifts than others or undesirable shifts because of uneven distribution of work, leading to schedule imbalances and potential dissatisfaction.

4) Lack of a contingency plan.

Physicians are humans as well, and as such have emergencies that can disrupt the scheduling of the ER.

5) Not using software developed specifically for physician scheduling.

While drafting an ER physician schedule, there is a lot to be considered, like a combination of shift types, reminders, and revolving patterns to run things effectively. A failure to implement the use of updated scheduling software hinders the planning of an efficient ER physician schedule.

Solutions to the challenges faced during ER Physician Schedule

Here are the solutions to the challenges faced during ER physician scheduling

1) Use scheduling software.

One of the most important solutions to handling this challenge is the use of scheduling software. Scheduling software ensures fair and balanced assignments of shifts. It will also consider factors like availability, preferences, and workload distribution, thereby promoting shift equality and reducing scheduling conflicts. Physicians will also be able to view their schedules in real-time, reducing confusion.

2) Balance staffing needs with budget constraints.

Balancing staffing needs with budget constraints is a difficult task. Therefore, it is critical to have a good awareness of ER physician-specific requirements to effectively balance staffing needs with financial constraints by examining patient volume and procedure complexity.

3) Schedule more ER staff to tackle overcrowding.

Schedule at least two doctors per shift to ensure the ability to meet the patient’s increased care demand or incorporate on-call shifts into your schedule. This tackles the issue of overcrowding and the impact on physician schedules.


Drafting an effective ER physician schedule can be tasking as it necessitates serving multiple staff. As a result, the use of physician scheduling software is essential to boost overall staff efficiency in the ER and improve patient care. Choose ByteBloc Software as your trusted scheduling software provider.

Physician Scheduling Software | Scheduling Software Blog | Privacy Policy | Site Map