Amy's blog about training

Get Out of (Re)Publishing your On Call Calendar!

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Thu, Aug 02, 2018 @ 08:22 AM


6 Advantages of using a MicroSite for On-Call Schedules
 

When was the last time you fielded questions like these:

  • How do I read this Schedule?
  • What do the colored boxes and symbols mean?
  • What part of this is the on-call schedule? Is it the most current one?
  • Can I get a simpler version into my Outlook or SmartPhone?
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Topics: call schedule management, doctor scheduling software, iCal subscription

Creating a Fair Call Schedule Begins with a Policy

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

When On Call policies are under review, here are some issues to consider

Belonging to a group medical practice has many advantages such as one physician not having to manage and regulate the office, the schedule, and the employees.  Instead, everyone helps out and shares responsibilities, including on-call duties. The practice can set up a schedule so that providers have the ability to take personal vacation or CME days and also have more flexible time for family or business affairs.

However, differing expectations can mar the working experience. How can you avoid conflicts ?

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Topics: call schedule improvement, call schedule management, call scheduling tips

Small-Group Doctors: Call Schedule Sharing

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Tue, May 29, 2018 @ 08:46 AM


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.

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Topics: physician scheduling, call schedule management, sharing on call

On Call Scheduler Leadership

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 @ 03:27 PM
Beyond the rules, dayoff limitations and tally time-frames there is the "wizard behind the curtain", the On Call Scheduler.

We've all tried this: create the perfect on call schedule that honors ALL the rules, grants ALL Provider requests, while producing fair tallies and spread EVERYONE can agree with. At some point, we realize there is no such thing as a perfect schedule, that "fair" resides in the eye of the individual beholder, and what is really needed is an honorable schedule that is equitable over time.

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Topics: call schedule management, on call scheduler, call scheduler of the year

Gaming the On Call Schedule!

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Tue, Sep 04, 2012 @ 03:55 PM

How would you know if a Provider is "gaming the system", resulting in a schedule where the "odds are forever in their favor?"

How can you guarantee objectivity, fairness and transparency in your on-call schedules?

In the past, paper calendars and excel documents made "gaming" difficult to detect. Auditing was inaccurate and time consuming, since schedules were generally created by hand from scratch each time, requests came in via notes or phone, and tallies could be miss counted.

Using on-line scheduling software improves the situation, but you may need to take more preventive action.

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Topics: call schedule improvement, call schedule management, call scheduling software tips, on call schedule

8 Steps from Newbie to Master On Call Scheduler

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 @ 10:53 AM

Are you brand new to creating you group's on call schedule? Where do you start and what's next?

Using a Training analogy, what does the on call scheduling journey look like from "newbie" to "seasoned" professional?

What does evolving from short-term emergency scheduling to a long-term sustainable process look like?

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Topics: call schedule management, on call scheduling implementation, on call scheduler

Benefits of Documenting Your On-Call Scheduling Process

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Fri, Mar 02, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

When was the last time your physician group got together to discuss on-call? Was it to simply decide the Holiday coverage for the year, or did the discussion include several “by the way” comments and decisions? Were the results formally recorded and agreed upon or were some things assumed?

What happens with ass-u-me?

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Topics: physician scheduling, call schedule management, on call, on call scheduling implementation, outsourced scheduling

Doctor Scheduling: Sleeping on the Job

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 04:11 PM

The Scheduler’s Axiom of “never publish an
on-call schedule you would not do yourself”,
 is even more relevant after recent episodes of Control Tower Operators being disciplined for napping on the job.  How does the way you schedule on-call affect next-day physician performance and patient outcomes? How much recovery time is needed after night on-call duty, and is it different depending on Specialty?

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Topics: physician scheduling, call schedule management, on call