Let me tell you a story about a Cardiology group on the east coast. Back in 2004 they contacted Adjuvant looking for a call scheduling software for their 21 Cardiologists. We did a full dog-and-pony show to illustrate how useful our software or any call scheduling software could be to help them create, maintain and publish the schedule. With 21 providers assuming 5-7 jobs (both call and work), the person creating, maintaining and publishing this call schedule would be spending on average 46 hours every 6 months or 92 hours per year. The group made no decision in 2004.
In 2005 they came back and asked for another software demo, in addition asking for references. They spend another 92 hours that year and did not make a decision.
In 2006 if you can believe it, they called back as well as in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Each year still not making a decision, and yet spending another 92 hours creating, maintaining and publishing the call schedule. At this time I was certain that they had chosen another solution, which although is not good for my company, is good for the group and hopefully they were saving time and money. Nope!
In late 2010 I received another call asking to go through the same process. I was not even sure what to say. With a smile on my face I agreed to take them through the entire process from the beginning only to have them give us another lame excuse as to why they did not want to get help.
In the past 7 years the scheduler would have spent approximately 644 hours or approximately $19,000, and were not satisfied with the results. What were they waiting for?
The only thing I can think of is that this cardiology group is waiting for the perfect doctor scheduling software. What would have been perfect in their eyes was full automation at no cost. Let me tell you a little secret...IT DOSENT EXIST! While waiting for perfection this group has missed out on automated tally reports, rules, scheduling engines, vacation and time off request areas, easy swaps, and the doctors having the ability to see their schedule on their smart phone. This has lead to the wrong doctor getting called in this group and I’m certain that there has been physician dissatisfaction regarding this issue.
The long and the short of my point is that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come. Take advantage of the tools that exist today and trust the people who are trying to help you.
P.S. Any comments or suggestions on what I should say to this group when they come back in 2012?