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

How to get your physician call schedule into your iPhone

Posted by Justin Wampach on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 @ 10:06 AM

iphoneOne of the most frequent questions that we get from physicians at Call Scheduler is "how do I get my call schedule into my iPhone"?  I thought that this might help not only our users but others who are using similar technology.  Be sure to follow the directions carefully.  If you have any questions you can call us at 877-435-8826. 

To Get your call schedule from Call Scheduler into your iPhone:

1.  If you are using Call Scheduler Classic or Lite you are going to need to log-in to the application at login.call-scheduler.com.

2. Navigate to  "White Board" and choose "ICalendar Export"

ical screenshot

 

 

 

 

3. Now you should see a red bar that says "Add/Edit iCalendar." Click the Add button at the right end of the bar.

ical screenshot 2

4.  This brings you to a list of all of the providers that take call. Choose a name for your calendar in the "Calendar Name box" and uncheck all the boxes except the one by your name.

5.  Click the "Save" at the bottom of the screen.

6.  Next, on the iCal Export screen, you'll see a link that begins, http://login.call-scheduler.com/ical/....

7.  Right-click on that link and select "Copy link location" (Firefox) or "Copy shortcut" (IE).

8.  Open your email program and start a "new message" to yourself. In the body of the message, "right-click" and select "paste". You should now see the link in your email message. It should end with ".ics"

9.  Click "send" and email the link to yourself.

 ***       Now, switch to your iPhone:

10.  On your iPhone, open up your email and read the message with the link. Hold your finger on the link, and a menu should pop-up from the bottom of the screen. Tap "Copy" (NOT "Open").

11.  On your phones home/main screen go to the "Settings" (the icon with the gears).

12.  In settings, find "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Under "Accounts", click "Add Account..."

13.  Click "Other", then "Add Subscribed Calendar".

14.  Hold your finger on the box that says "Server", then release. You should see a black button that says Paste.  Tap that.  Now you should see the tail end of your link in the server box, ".../Call-Scheduler.ics"

15.  Tap "Next", then after ten or twenty seconds, you should see "Subscribed Calendar account verified".

16.  Tap the box by Description. Delete its contents (the link), and type "Call Scheduler - My Call" (without quotes). Then tap "Save".

17.  Now exit out of "Settings" and go to the built-in Calendar application on your phone. At the top left corner, tap Calendars. At the bottom of the list, under Subscribed Calendars, you should see your very own "Call Scheduler - My Call". Tap that.

18.  You're done, you should see your call schedule.

KEY TAKEAWAY:  If you are spending time manually entering your on-call assignments into your iPhone, you don't need to.  There is a simple way to automate this process.  Remember this is a live subscription, when a change is made to your call schedule at your clinic, it will automatically update your phone!

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Topics: iCal subscription

Doctors Embrace Smartphones to Access Oncall Information

Posted by Justin Wampach on Fri, Aug 12, 2011 @ 11:31 AM

doctorssmartphoneBy 2012, the amount of doctors using smartphone technology in their everyday lives will be up to about 81%, compared to the 72% of usage in 2010. This validated in an online survey of 3,798 physicians conducted by QuantiaMD.   What is the cause behind this recent upsurge in smartphone usage at the doctor’s office or hospital? It is largely due to the growing number of “apps” that are available to both doctors and med students and the usefulness alike. Here are all the reasons why doctors embrace smartphones in their everyday practices.

There’s an app for that”,   although we have all heard the saying, some may not know what an “app” is.  An “app” is a small application that lives on your phone and performs a task.  Apple touts that it has over 425,000 secure apps for the iphone and Google with over 250,000 for Android.  In a previous post "is my phone smarter than yours" we highlighted some specific medical apps.  Here are a few general things you can do with an “APP” on your phone.

Drug Treatment Information:  Doctors need to ensure that they are giving their patients the correct prescriptions, and that the patient in turn knows what the prescription is called. Drug treatment reference material is the top leader. Doctors can use their smartphones to access an app known as Epocrates, which allows them to put in specific characteristics of each pill such as the color, shape, size, and more. This app then displays pictures of similar pills so the doctor can see which pill the patient is taking.

Access Diagrams:  If a doctor needs to explain a procedure to a patient, a pull-up diagram may be available for the doctor to use as well. Whether that means getting a diagram of a specific part of the body or illustrating how to perform a specific surgery, these are all at the doctors disposal via the use of numerous medical applications on a smartphone.

EMR Access:  Many of the sophisticated ERM programs allow for provider to gain secure mobile access to patient information via their phone. 

PACS:  On the more technical side of things, doctors can also use smartphone apps to look at the results of a patient X-ray or MRI.

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Every smartphone has basic functionality such as email and a web browser, where similarly to your computer you can use to browse the Internet without any restrictions (except screen size):  Here are a few things that do not require an app.

Access your schedule:  One of the main reasons that doctors embrace smartphones is because they can use a simple web-browser.  This is handy to check the status of their clinics a on call schedule or even the daily schedule for the office. This is possible through the scheduling element of iCal, a popular app on the iPhone. This program can synchronize with the work schedule application that doctors may use, and the two coincide with each other quite perfectly.

Vacations and Personal Time:  In the event that a doctor wants to request some personal holidays, vacation time, or shift swaps with another doctor,(make a provider request) he or she can go into the work scheduling software located on the smartphone and plan all of these things out in advance. There are many different work scheduling (Adjuvant) programs available with this capability.

Email:  Pretty self explanatory.  Check all of your email accounts and have the ability to reply with ease.

SMS:  Curbside consults have become much more advanced over the years.  Sending a simple text message from one provider to another is an efficient means of communication.

Documentation:  You never know when a 5MP digital camera or a HD video recorder will come in handy.

The most popular smartphone currently used in the medical industry is the Iphone with the Andriod as a close second. No matter what phone the doctors choose the plethora of apps for doctors and all health care providers offers enough support for the reason why many doctors embrace smartphones.

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Topics: physician scheduling, on-call software, physician scheduling software, iCal subscription

Waiting for the perfect doctor scheduling software solution?

Posted by Justin Wampach on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 @ 10:17 AM

AnneIndecisiveLet me tell you a story about a Cardiology group on the east coast.  Back in 2004 they contacted Adjuvant looking for a call scheduling software for their 21 Cardiologists.  We did a full dog-and-pony show to illustrate how useful our software or any call scheduling software could be to help them create, maintain and publish the schedule. With 21 providers assuming 5-7 jobs (both call and work), the person creating, maintaining and publishing this call schedule would be spending on average 46 hours every 6 months or 92 hours per year.  The group made no decision in 2004.

In 2005 they came back and asked for another software demo, in addition asking for references.  They spend another 92 hours that year and did not make a decision. 

In 2006 if you can believe it, they called back as well as in 2007, 2008 and 2009.  Each year still not making a decision, and yet spending another 92 hours creating, maintaining and publishing the call schedule.  At this time I was certain that they had chosen another solution, which although is not good for my company, is good for the group and hopefully they were saving time and money.  Nope!

In late 2010 I received another call asking to go through the same process.  I was not even sure what to say.  With a smile on my face I agreed to take them through the entire process from the beginning only to have them give us another lame excuse as to why they did not want to get help.

In the past 7 years the scheduler would have spent approximately 644 hours or approximately $19,000, and were not satisfied with the results.  What were they waiting for?

The only thing I can think of is that this cardiology group is waiting for the perfect doctor scheduling software.  What would have been perfect in their eyes was full automation at no cost.  Let me tell you a little secret...IT DOSENT EXIST!  While waiting for perfection this group has missed out on automated tally reports, rules, scheduling engines, vacation and time off request areas, easy swaps, and the doctors having the ability to see their schedule on their smart phone.  This has lead to the wrong doctor getting called in this group and I’m certain that there has been physician dissatisfaction regarding this issue.

The long and the short of my point is that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come.  Take advantage of the tools that exist today and trust the people who are trying to help you.

P.S.  Any comments or suggestions on what I should say to this group when they come back in 2012?

Topics: oncall, software for scheduling physicians, physician scheduling, on-call software, physician scheduling software, doctor scheduling software, iCal subscription, adopting on-call software