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

Why Would Anyone Buy On-Call Scheduling Software?

Posted by Justin Wampach on Fri, Sep 05, 2014 @ 02:34 PM

ID 10026801According to Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want to buy a quarter-inch hole!”  

Hospitals, clinics and doctors buy on-call scheduling software for peace of mind, knowing that people will know the right doctor to call in case of an emergency, because there are serious consequences for sick patients in an Emergency Department without access to on-call physician specialists.

Let’s break that down; Medical practices who buy on-call scheduling software are buying peace of mind knowing that other people (office staff, ED clerks, Answering Service, ED Doctors (people with eyes on the patient)) know the right doctor to call (not the one that worked yesterday, not the one who has to travel 30 miles in the morning, not the one in surgery) in case of an emergency, because there are serious consequences for sick patients in an Emergency Department without access to on-call specialists.  Plain and simple, our customers are not really buying software, but instead they are making an investment to be sure that they are not incorrectly woken up at 3:00am when they are not on-call. 

Similarly, hospitals who buy and use on-call software do so to preserve revenue from sick patients who present to their Emergency Room with a condition that requires more attention that an Emergency Physician can provide.  After all, without specialists, patients need to be sent to a different hospital that has the necessary resources to help the patient. As the patient goes, so goes the money.  Plain and simple, hospitals are buying on-call software so that they do not loose critical Emergency Department revenue.

Now that we both understand the “why”, the next question is “how” do you make this happen?  A company like Adjuvant helps fulfill doctors and hospital’s needs with specialized software products that contain valuable features like a “rule based scheduling engine” or a “provider request area” or “tallie reports”.  

The reasons a group of doctors create a call schedule in the first place are so they are not called incorrectly at all hours of the night by the Emergency Departments, and to evenly distribute the on-call shifts so that no one physician is overburdened.  The purpose of on-call scheduling software is to help achieve the desired outcome of a fair, and evenly distributed call schedule with the least amount of effort.

Call Scheduler Customers typically have these 6 things in common:

  1. They understand how important on-call is to health care in each community
  2. They are willing to work their fair-share of on-call shifts to assist sick patients in need
  3. They are looking for tools that will assist them in creating evenly distributed, fair call schedules
  4. They are looking for tools that can assist them in keeping up with all of the changes that occur each day
  5. They are looking for clear information to send to the hospital and their answering service so it is easy for them to determine who the correct person is to call
  6. They are looking for a vendor-partner to work with that understands the unique, specific needs regarding physicians on-call

Key Takeaway:  We try to find people that are looking to find a better process and system to give them peace-of-mind.

 Image courtesy of Keattikorn at

Topics: adopting on-call software