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

EHR Integration with On-Call Software Can Reduce Patient Reschedules

Posted by Justin Wampach on Wed, May 22, 2019 @ 04:08 PM

Puzzle with missing piece in green colorCall Scheduler has a new initiative to try and help our customers reduce the number of patients that need to be rescheduled as a result when a physician or advanced practice provider makes a vacation or day off request.  We've integrated Call Scheduler with AthenHealth which enables our shared practitioners to get immediate feedback regarding the number of patients to be rescheduled instantly when they request a vacation or day off.  By making physicians aware of the number of reschedules Call Scheduler hopes to help its customers reduce the number of reschedules by encouraging providers to make their requests further in advance , decreasing physician cancellations, thus enhancing the patient experience.  AthenaHealth is a leading provider of electronic health records, medical billing and other services that work to deliver measurable results.

Ambulatory physicians, and private practice providers who create their physician office and on-call schedules with Call Scheduler can now communicate instantaneously with the AthenaNet patient scheduling system to provide immediate feedback to providers when requesting vacation and time off.  Medical clinics make every attempt to open the providers schedule as far in advance as they can to make it easier for patients to schedule follow-up appointments.  While this is good for the patients it forces providers to get their vacation and day off requests in much earlier than in the past. 

With todays manual systems, unless a physician asks a patient scheduler, they have no idea how their vacation or time off request will affect already scheduled patient appointments.  This integration is the first step in making progress toward fixing that problem. 

In addition to providing instant feedback to physicians, the Call Scheduler system will automatically communicate with AthenaNet to freeze and cancel booked appointments when a day-off or vacation request is approved saving the patient schedulers a tremendous amount of administrative time in manually closing physician schedules. 

According to Surgeon Dr. Matthew Byr in a Quora Answer Forum on 1-29-2017 "Employed docs (which is now the dominant model in most of America for new docs) usually have vacation specified in their contracts. 4–6 weeks a year is very common".  This large number of days (well deserved I might add)  coupled with other complex scheduling considerations has made managing time off and vacation requests very complicated for any sized group of physicians. 

Software like Call Scheduler has a dedicated set of features that both physicians and schedulers use to manage the large volume and details of each request.  Integrating into the EHR, it's even anticipated to save more time and automate more of the physician schedule creation and management process.

More information can be found on the AthenaHealth Marketplace.