Amy's blog about training

Automate Your On Call Schedule

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Thu, Oct 04, 2012 @ 09:13 AM

old way schedule sheet 3Why use physician scheduling software to generate your on-call schedules? Ultimately, to save everyone time!

By improving accountability, having a centralized location, using standardized processes, and eliminating paperwork, ALL users of an on-call calendar can benefit right from “Go Live”. All authorized users have to do is view the schedules!

How is time saved? By making fewer mistakes, with less argument, more transparency, and via on-demand access to on-line call schedules. Save time immediately with these four things:

1) Automate your Publishing with One-Click on-line viewing of the current on-call schedules instead of printing and hunting for them. Instant results for authorized viewers. Empower your physicians to “help themselves” by viewing the calendars on their SmartPhones, Google, Outlook, or with your Group’s MicroSite whenever they would like. Of course, paper archives can still be printed if your internal process demands it. Get out of the middle! Quit making everyone wait for the next update and improve the accuracy of “who is on call”!

2) Automate your Tallies for accuracy and transparency. Manual counts are always prone to error. Even excel can automate tallies, but excel doesn’t have date-ranges, or various calendar views to examine in conjunction the tallies to take a look at the actual placement of the providers. Where physicians are actually placed on the schedule is as important as being assured the assignment is credited correctly. Let the Physicians access current tallies on demand. Make fairness transparent. Save time spent on “I had more Fridays than so-and-so” discussions for other things.

3) Automate Physician self scheduling with online requests for vacations and swaps. Eliminate emails, sticky notes, and verbal requests and reduce the Scheduler’s workload at the same time. No more “did you see my request?” No more “I didn’t even know I was involved in that swap!” This is a huge time-saver in the he-said,she-said department!

4) Automate updates at a Central Location for all things “on call”. The scheduler has a single on-line spot to process and monitor all requests, create the new schedule, and publish it for everyone to use on demand. It doesn’t matter what computer is used or where it is located. Easy access for your after-hours service, your Providers in their car checking their iphones, and for access at home. End the chase for the current calendar for everyone.


Save even more time with these Process improvements!

5) Automate your Rules. How frequently should a part-time Provider be scheduled? Are the weekend assignments equalized? Did the Provider get assigned Post Call consistently? How do you know? Define your rules, use automated scheduling, and benefit from software that accounts for vacations and distributes the load fairly amongst your Physicians. Spend your time on the real deal-breakers where a human needs to make an executive decision.

6) Automate Standardized Assignments. Many Groups have standard assignments for Satellite clinics and various offices. Many even have weekend assignments patterned out so Providers can predict their schedules far into the future for planning their personal time. Quit spending days of time manual scheduling standard non-variable stuff.

7) Automate Merged Views! No more hand creation of a specialized schedule composed of sub-groups such as “On Call” or only Satellite Clinics. Automatically create a view of only certain jobs from various calendars merged together into one “master view” on-call schedule, while maintaining separate scheduler administrative access to each individual calendar. Eliminate errors with hand transcription or missed updates from one calendar being transferred onto a separate special-purpose calendar.

Key takeaway: There is no excuse for spending time with hand scheduling when there is on-line software everyone can use. Improve accountability, use standardized processes, and eliminate paperwork by automating your on call schedules.

Topics: adopting on-call software, automated doctor scheduling software