My company for years has been hymming and hawwing about offering an outsourced call schedule generation and publishing service to our customers. I was finally able to convince our Board of Directors that this would be a great service to offer busy clinics and doctors who find this task to be one of the worst. Here is some of the justification that I used when I was trying to sell the idea to my Board of Directors, perhaps you will find it useful if you need to talk with whoever makes these decisions in your practice.
Just so we are all on the same page, Outsourcing is the process of contracting a business function to someone else, according to website Wikipedia. Typically the business function is something that is commonly performed in-house. The concept of outsourcing helps firms perform well in their core competencies and reduces the rise of skills or expertise shortage in areas of the company.
The top reasons for outsourcing call schedule creation and publishing;
- Cost savings, the lowering of the overall cost of the service to the clinic. Our schedulers are faster and more experienced than yours. Therefore it costs us less to produce similar results.
- Focus on core business, if your people are your most valuable resource, then free them up from tasks that do not generate revenue. Let them focus on what is important.
- Knowledge and wider experience. With all due respect, our schedulers are more experienced than yours; because we have worked with so many different specialty groups we have seen-it-all. This experience allows us to bring something to the table that you may have not had before.
- Catalyst for change. An organization can use an outsourcing agreement as a catalyst for a major change that could not be achieved before. This is a perfect scenario for doctors who have been unwilling to change their rules and scheduling methods, making creation nearly impossible.
- Process improvement. Most organizations do not have the physician schedule creation process documented. If something happened to the scheduler, most clinics would be left with a big mess. Outsourcing can improve a process by creating a standard way to achieve the same results and then documenting the process. If you choose to take the schedule creation back in-house, most likely it would come to you in better shape than when you originally handed it off.
- Take it back. Outsourcing is not permanent; you can take back the work at any time.
- Scalability. With the consolidation of practices happening at lightning speed, it’s not a bad idea to think about how you would handle an increase in workload in the creation of oncall information.
Call Schedule creation and publishing can be done remotely and delivered digitally and our company can leverage the scale and economy of outsourcing to deliver high value services at a vastly reduced end customer prices. As you can see the reasons for outsourcing are plentiful, considering the low level of risk associated with a service such as outsourced on-call schedule creation, I think it is definitely worth giving it a try if your practice is constantly struggling with the horrible job of creating, maintaining and publishing the oncall schedule.