Physician On Call Scheduling FAQ

By Call Scheduler

Do you schedule more than on-call? How about office assignments?

Yes, back in 2000 when we started the company and choose the name Call Scheduler all we did was schdule on-call. Now we schedule anything and everything that is related to the physician. On-call and office assignments scheduling is exactly what we do! Just no patient scheduling, we have to draw the line somewhere.

What is Call Scheduler?

Call Scheduler is a rules based online scheduling software platform that translates your providers’ requests and availability into an accurate, easily managed, fair on-call schedule for your physicians.

Do you have an iPhone and Android Mobile App?

Yes we have both an iPhone and Anroid app that providers can download free from the Apple and Google store.

Can you send my providers a text message reminder that they are on service before their shift starts?

Yes. You can send unlimited text message reminders to providers for any assignment at any time. Both schedulers and providers can configure this feature.

Can you automatically limit the number of providers “off” on a day?

Yes, our provider request settings editor allows you to limit the number of providers off of any day of the week. You can more specifically choose any day of the year that you want or need to limit as well.

Can you integrate into our clinic’s EMR?

You bet! Put us in contact with your EMR vendor and via our API library we can find a way for the two systems to communicate. Depending on your contract length this may be billable, check with your account manager.

Our schedule is so complex with all of our rules and unique things, do you really think you can help?

Yes. Call Scheduler works with very complex specialty medical groups that have very difficult scheduling scenarios.  What makes their schedules so complex are the number of physicians, the number of jobs, who has what skill to work what job and the number of exceptions.  Ask us to show you some examples of groups that have over 200 rules.

How much “tweaking” is left to do after you run your “auto-scheduler”?

Well that depends. First off we have two auto-scheduling engines and each will give you a different set of results. Our goal is that you will have minimal “tweaking” or “changes” when the auto-scheduler has completed its work. Please be aware that there is a direct correlation between the amount of tweaking a scheduler has to do and how many physician resources you have to work with when creating your schedule. Scheduling software will not miraculously solve physician staff shortages.

Is Call Scheduler for a medical group or a hospital?

Call Scheduler has tools for both medical groups and hospitals. The tools for a medical group are focused around creating, changing and communicating the physician work and on-call schedule. The primary focus is on “creating a solid schedule”. The tools for a hospital are around managing, merging, changing and compliance. A Hospital needs to manage on-call information for every specialty group in the community and create a “daily call roster”. The primary focus for a hospital is information “accuracy” and “availability”. Call Scheduler has all of the tools for a fully integrated on-call system for an entire community or health care system.

Can I access my Call Scheduler “call schedule” anywhere?

Anyone with access to an Internet connection can view the most recent accurate and up-to-date information, whether from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Why is Call Scheduler such a great value compared to other, more expensive, software solutions?

Call Scheduler is the best value/investment on the market, giving you powerful scheduling tools without costly features your team doesn’t need or won’t use.

Should I expect the set-up and onboarding process to take months?

No. With our onboarding experts’ assistance, we’ll get you up and running in as little as three one-hour-sessions, without the need to bring technicians on-site. If you need more time, no worries, you can take as much time as you need. FYI, we also help you create your next schedule during this process.

What if I need help with my complex scheduling questions?

We only make scheduling software for healthcare, so our team really are experts and are always available to help. Enjoy unlimited training and support. By experts, we mean people who actually have experience in their field of expertise, not just the fancy title.

Does scheduling software reduce risk for my practice?

Yes. Reduce your Federal EMTALA risk associated with not keeping and maintaining accurate on-call records. Call Scheduler automatically archives each day’s on-call information as well as detailed information regarding changes to the schedule. Did you know that both physicians and the hospital are eligible for a citation from OMB via CMS if on-call is not managed properly?

Our schedule takes an entire weekend to create a few times a year. Can you help?

Yes. Call Scheduler transforms the arduous task of creating your clinic or hospital’s physician schedule from a weekend’s worth of manual work to an automated software platform that works for you. Create a month, quarter, or years’ schedule for your doctors in seconds, seriously, seconds!

Our providers demand a fair and equitable schedule. Can you do that?

Yes. Call Scheduler translates your physicians’ requests and availability into a fair, accurate and easily managed on-call schedule. Call Scheduler has a “fairness algorithm” actually built into the software. By default, without any rules or customization, our software will create a fair, balanced, equitable schedule that you can prove via a tally report.

Does your platform/software play well with our existing software such as EMR (electronic medical records)?

Yes. We have a public API that can Integrate your medical staff credentialing system, electronic medical records, single sign-on or secure text solution into Call Scheduler with ease. Unlimited customization is available.

Sounds like an accurate schedule will make my team happy. What about the patients?

Patient care is at the heart of your organization. That’s why identifying, locating and paging or texting the right physician the first time makes a difference in situations when every minute matters. Accurate on-call information improves “flow” and “patient care” within an emergency department immediately. Better flow and patient care leads to better outcomes and happier patients.

What is the Call Scheduler Managed Scheduling Service?

Creating, maintaining and sharing your physicians’ schedule takes time, even if you have a great employed scheduler and a sound process in place. Let us do the busy work for you. With our Managed Services, all you do is make the rules and we make it happen, literally. One of our skilled scheduling specialists will create your on-call schedule to your specifications. Now long processes like schedule creation and keeping your practice compliant take minutes, not days. Create a true partnership between our scheduling experts and your medical group.

Can you assist me with creating and documenting a “scheduling process” or will I just learn how to use the software during onboarding/training?

Our training and onboarding service is very unique in that we spend less time on “how to use call scheduler” and more time on “how to create, make changes and communicate” your schedule. Our software is very simple to use. What takes the most time is learning how your organization creates physician schedules and teaching our software how to give you the results you are used to. When we are finished, we create a “written documented process” at no charge that you can use each time you create a new schedule. The magic is now documented and easy to follow.

What is a Microsite?

A Call Scheduler Microsite is a “mini-web site” that contains a link to your physicians’ on-call schedule that does not require a username or password to access. It is a secure hidden website that cannot be found by Google, Bing or any search engine. It is meant to be used by internal staff, families of providers, or your local Emergency Department or Answering Service so that they can access the call schedule in a “view-only mode” without having to log-in.

What is a call panel?

A Call Panel is another term for a physician on-call schedule. This term is very popular on the West Coast.

What is a call roster?

A Call Roster is another term for a bunch of physician on-call schedules that are combined into a “daily view” that shows which physician is “on-service” or available for a consultation for each medical specialty. In the olden days call rosters were created by hand in the Medical Staff Office, Emergency Department or Hospital Telecommunication Center each day and then manually distributed to specific areas within the hospital.  A paper call roster is at the core of the problem that leads to the wrong physician getting called.

Will Call Scheduler work in another Country?

Yes. We have International customers that use and love Call Scheduler. We do our best to find common times to work together for training and onboarding.

What if I don’t see a feature that I think is important, will you develop it?

Yes. We work very hard to both listen and lead when it comes to adding new features to Call Scheduler. Many of our new features come from current customers or prospects telling us about how much easier it could be if only we did … We actually listen and verify with other customers and prospects and if it will help our customers create, change or communicate physician schedules better, we place it in the queue for development. Once it is “live” everyone can use it at no extra charge. Rarely do we let programmers and engineers suggest “cool techie features”. Our users have the loudest voice. After all, our software is for you.

How often do you release new features?

Software such as Call Scheduler is “living and breathing” and is always in-development. Our customers continually see new features or increased functionality on existing features constantly.