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Ways to ease physician rotating schedules

Posted on 12/23/2015 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

There are many advantages to using a rotating schedule system for the medical practice managers or scheduling managers and the patients. For a doctor, however, it can be a challenge trying to balance out his or her personal life and career. The scheduling manager's job is hard since they are in charge of balancing out emergency medicine scheduling with the needs of the patients.

Shift scheduling and balancing out the experience and skills for all shifts in the medical practice can be much easier for the scheduling manager by creating rotating shifts. It ensures all team members a shot at better training and constant contact with daytime management who are the great influencers of regulations and rules. It's been shown through studies that employees who have rotating shifts show less signs of fatigue, have less risk of accidents, and higher productivity than the nighttime workers working on a fixed schedule.

The Rotating Schedule Defined

A rotating schedule is a work schedule (typically in an emergency department) where various physicians work different shifts inside a 24 hour period. This shift scheduling system can include mornings, days, nights, weekends and swing shifts.

How to Mitigate the Issue:

Fortunately, there are ways to ease physician rotating schedules, both for the scheduling administrator and the physician.

Switch up the Rotation

When using a rotating schedule, it's best to distribute shifts evenly. In other words, you don't want to stick one person on the least desirable shift most of the time whether it is a night, weekend, or swing shift. It's important that each employee gets his fair share of the decent shifts. Likewise, it’s important each employee gets his fair share of undesirable shifts. When working on a rotating shift basis, it’s best to keep days off consistent with the doctors’ workdays. It can help to increase alertness and decrease fatigue.

Create a Nap Room

Just a quick power nap can renew and reenergize people. This is especially important in an emergency room setting where doctors have long work hours filled with stress. Sleep experts recommend that naps should be less than 20 minutes long.

Consider Physician Scheduling Software

Managing physician scheduling of emergency room doctors is a tough task for the administrator or scheduling manager. The good news is they can now use the help of advanced scheduling software to make the entire process easier.

There are multiple benefits to using physician scheduling software. Some of these benefits include:

  • Improving Employee Morale
  • Avoiding Under or Overstaffing
  • Minimizing Sleep Deprivation in Employees
  • Reducing Employee Turnover
  • Improving Productivity
  • Reducing Scheduling Time

The emergency room by nature (and many physician practices for that matter) is very unpredictable. You can expect unexpected traumas and last minute changes that happen every day and every night. The administrator has to take the doctor's' years of experience, qualifications, and skills into consideration when working with a rotating schedule. Each shift has to have adequate coverage to ensure the patients get high-level care. This is where physician scheduling software can help.

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