In my last blog post "Who should manage on-call in a hospital, medical or administration?" we identified who the key players are that are involved in many Hospitals and why I felt that call schedules and daily call roster creation that is managed by the medical staff works better.
How do you know if oncall management at your hospital is the best it could be? That depends on where this daily critical service resides in your hospital. Are you hearing or seeing of these symptoms?
- Clinics in your community fax or email their monthly call schedule to the hospital.
- Community clinics call schedules are kept in faxed paper form in a 3-ring-binder at the hospital.
- Someone at the hospital is responsible for collecting community clinics on-call schedules and keeping track of them.
- Someone at the hospital creates a paper "daily call roster" and faxes, emails or tubes the roster to areas throughout the hospital.
- Who is on-call for a certain specialty is not available on your intranet.
- Providers have to call someone to determine who is on-call.
- Providers changing on-call shifts at the last minute is frustrating and confusing to the Emergency Department.
- Occasionally the wrong doctor is called or paged due to incorrect oncall information.
- The Transfer Center is frustrated with the quality of their oncall information.
The above are symptoms of an on-call process that needs updating and modernization within the hospital. In a hospital, the question of "who is on-call for ...?" is asked hundreds of times per day in a medium sized facility. Knowing the answer and having it be correct is easy when you are using an on-call management system.
If your already thinking about upgrading or installing an oncall system, be sure to check out our Whitepaper on "Justifying the cost of an on-call system", that will identify some of the value buckets that you can use with your leadership team to identify current costs so that you can do an ROI.
When your oncall management system works, here is what you will experience:
- Community clinics make call schedules for their doctors using software and they do not have to send the hospital copies of their schedule.
- The hospital oncall management system "electronically talks" with each of the clinics on-call systems to "grab" the necessary information that the hospital needs.
- The hospital oncall management system automatically maintains a live "daily call roster" that contains accurate information from the clinic schedules showing who is oncall for each specialty.
- Accurate on-call information is easily accessed by the Emergency Department, Transfer Center, Telecom, and on the Hospital Intranet for everyone else.
- Last minute or evening changes can easily be made, documented and communicated to the hospital call schedule.
- The wrong doctor is not called.
In summary, not having an adequate oncall management system can cause disruption in service to your patients and irritation by your physicians and staff. This is a process worth improving. The benefits are worth the investment.