The typical answers I hear to this question are "It follows all our rules”, or “All the Doctors are happy”, and the ever-popular “It’s fair”.
With three general steps, groups can benefit from call-sharing just like bigger practices.
Physicians are feeling the squeeze these days: decreasing numbers of available on-call physicians, increasing mergers, on-call compensation issues, and the need to provide 24/7 on-call coverage is taking its toll on physician morale no matter the size of the group. The increasing use of hospitalists and technology such as EHR has great potential to alleviate stress for physicians in medium and large groups, but what steps can “smaller” practices take? Here are some ideas I have learned while training smaller on-call scheduling groups.
Doctors love their iPhones! One of the most frequent questions that we get from physicians is
We all know vacations are crucial to prevent Physician burn-out and to keep them happy and at their best for their families, patients, and colleagues. For a true “get away”, many advocate Physicians take at least a two week break, not only from On Call duties, but everything else. And no cheating: no CME, no checking emails, taking a work call, or overloading with patients before or immediately after getting back!
Has this ever happened to you? You've purchased the software, the features are great and just what your Physicians seem to keep mentioning everytime you turn around. As a Scheduler, you have been benefiting from it, but your Providers continue to be stuck in the "old way" of using and accessing the On Call schedules. Great features, but MY Docs will never log in!
“Ask Anne Syndrome” and the On Call Schedule
It’s 2:00pm and you have a few more hours until the end of your workday. You suddenly remember a promise you made to your kids to attend their first baseball game a few weeks away. Your vision blurs, your head spins as you try to remember if you are On Call that weekend! You develop a burning itch in your fingers to dial-up Anne and verify if you are On or Off as a small sweat breaks out on your forehead. You feel the rising anxiety in your body in anticipation of what she will say, mixed with frustration and a hint of anger at the entire situation. “Why can’t I fix this myself?” you think, rubbing the pain in your neck.
“Hurry Anne, please hurry… I have a patient waiting and I don’t want to let my family down.”
Why can't I just play with the autoscheduler and get the best results? In fact, why do I need a trainer at all? Why shouldn’t I just explore on my own?
Short answer: you CAN just play and explore on your own, but is that the best use of your time?
Most software that is capable of handling unique situations has at least some complexity and users generally benefit from training to save them time and frustration re-discovering best practices ... usually.