Physician On-Call Scheduling and On-Call Management Blog
by Justin Wampach

Can you create a "Center of Excellence" around on-call management?

Posted by Justin Wampach on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 @ 09:28 AM

CenterofExcellenceFig2According to website Wikipedia A center of excellence refers to a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, evangelization, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area.

A Center of Excellence (CoE) should, at a most basic level consist of:  A team of people that promote collaboration and using best practices around a specific focus area to drive business results. This team could be staffed with full- or part-time members.  There are 3 key words to the definition, "team", "collaboration" and "best practices" that are critical to the foundation of a CoE. 

Centers for Excellence should serve 5 basic needs:

  • Support: For their area of focus, CoE’s should offer support to the business lines. This may be through services needed, or providing subject matter experts.
  • Guidance: Standards, methodologies, tools and knowledge repositories are typical approaches to filling this need.
  • Shared Learning: Training and certifications, skill assessments, team building and formalized roles are all ways to encourage shared learning.
  • Measurements: CoEs should be able to demonstrate they are delivering the valued results that justified their creation through the use of output metrics.
  • Governance: Allocating limited resources (money, people, etc.) across all their possible use is an important function of CoEs. They should ensure organizations invest in the most valuable projects and create economies of scale for their service offering. In addition, coordination across other corporate interests is needed to enable the CoE to deliver value.

CoEs can really refer to any of the support processes within an organization that complement the line businesses.  In the case of a Hospital "on-call management" here are some of the main elements of the process:

  • Collecting specialty group call schedules
  • Creating a daily call-log
  • Publishing the on-call information for all to use
  • Identifying who should be called
  • Activating the on-call process for the proper provider
  • Tracking how long it takes for the specialist to arrive

This entire process supports one of the main business lines at most every hospital, receiving a patient in the Emergency Department.  A streamlined process in this case can do the following:

  • Improve efficiency
  • Enhance revenue
  • Manage risk
  • Enhance patient care
  • Increase satisfaction

So to answer the question, can you create a "center of excellence" around on-call management at your hospital, the answer is yes.  Should you?  That will depend on where your organization is at today and if they see value from some of the benefits listed above.


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Topics: oncall, call schedule management, on-call software