Amy's blog about training

How to Handle Physician On Call Scheduling Software Fairly

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:16 PM

I recently read an article in Harvard Business review about “How to Manage Scheduling Software Fairly”. I was surprised by how many scheduling software implementation problems Starbucks workers and On-Call physicians have in common.

Man vs “the machine”.  Starbucks uses automated software to schedule its 130,000 baristas, which tends to give them last-minute schedule notice and, too frequently, schedules night-closing back-2-back with morning-opening in order to “optimize” its workforce. By taking into account “more data than any human could process”, Starbuck’s software is able to schedule shifts in 15 minute increments to maximize staff/patron coverage.  While great for profits, this tight “on demand” solution creates havoc with baristas’ at-home schedules and relationships. Talk about stress and unhappiness!

Like Starbucks, Clinics have to balance the needs of their patients (patrons) with the needs of the business and physicians (staff). Clinics also turn to automated scheduling to solve the problem instead of manually plotting each provider into shifts on paper or excel. This frees expensive physician-scheduler time and can help balance the on-call schedule needs of the Emergency Department and physician at home. But is “magical” once-click scheduling a reality? Is it really possible to have just-in-time scheduling of staff?

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Let’s Just Sit on the On-Call Schedule for Now.

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 01:49 PM


Are you forgetting about your Provider’s time in order to save face?

In pursuit of saving scheduling time creating, editing, and communicating the perfect on call schedule for your physicians, are you tempted to “hide” your future schedules until they are absolutely perfect?

Have you purchased software to help you, but are “sitting on it” until you have complete buy-in from everyone, and transitioned all the Physicians to new rules that will be in effect next year?  Now you are buried in the complexity of various scenarios for next year. Did you forget that you can let your Providers benefit from the call scheduling software TODAY?

If your schedule is done for THIS year, you are in the best of worlds right NOW!

This is a great time for an interative implementation of software for your Provider’s use.

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Topics: call scheduling tips, on-call scheduling software implementation

Call Scheduling Software and “Teflon” Implementation

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Tue, Jan 07, 2014 @ 02:43 PM

Remember Teflon, the “non-stick” coating for cookware? It is also a nickname for political situations when criticism or responsibility cannot be made to stick. When it comes to physician scheduling software implementation failures within healthcare systems or multi-specialty clinics, it also seems an appropriate term.

On the surface, all stakeholders in the project are on board, there is appears to be buy-in from the schedulers, supervisors and physicians. The implementation plan is in place and started. Then, at some point, the “Teflon” is discovered and the project is in trouble. This is more than resistance to change; this can kill change.

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Topics: scheduling leadership, on-call scheduling software implementation

Great Customer Service Enhances Physician On Call Schedule Results

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 06:43 PM
Who is being served, you or your vendor?
Optimize the value of your on call physician scheduler system through training and free ongoing personalized support.
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Topics: on call scheduling customer service, on-call scheduling software implementation

5 Characteristics of Next Generation Doctors to Accelerate On-Call Software Implementation

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Fri, Feb 08, 2013 @ 04:08 PM

Did your On Call Software implementation fall short on its promise? The problem may not be in the software usability or technology, but in the lack of socio-cultural consideration.

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Topics: on-call scheduling software implementation