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

10 Mistakes Doctors Have Made When Buying Physician Scheduling Software

Posted by Justin Wampach on Fri, May 04, 2012 @ 09:51 AM

mistakesChoosing which program to buy to create, maintain and publish your call schedule has never been easy.   Earlier, it was because there were very few programs available.  Today, ironically, it is because there are too many!  Doctors are very confused as to which program they should buy – sometimes, too much choice can be as bad as too little.

Doctors have some special character traits which software producers need to be aware of.

  • To be able to treat a patient and be confident that your decision is right requires tremendous self confidence, which means doctors often have a big ego. Many take the approach that they are always right - even in a field like computer technology.
  • Doctors have a tremendous thirst to learn. Years of med school training allows you to pick up knowledge quickly and most doctors who want to buy software are quite knowledgeable about computers. However, sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous , and often what doctors know about computers and software leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Doctors are pressed for time, and hence their decisions are based on the fact that “anything that does not gel with me is going to hamper me”. Rather than try to improve their workflow with the help of computers, they’d rather stick to their old dysfunctional habits, even if this hampers their efficiency.

Doctors who wish to enhance their practice and provide better care and service to their patients and themselves by using physician scheduling software are on the right track. Unfortunately, they don’t always go about it the right way. 

10 mistakes doctors have made when purchasing call scheduling software.

  1. Wanting too many bells and whistles:  Some doctors want their software to do everything for them. Sometimes putting too many things in your software tends to delay its deployment and make it too complicated to use. Often, some doctors will end up not buying any program at all, because it does not have everything which they want – which means they deprive themselves of a great opportunity of improving their efficiency in 80% of their practice.  For example, in EMR software some doctors want the entire drug database of 15000 drugs in their software.  Now you know you will never use even 1/100th of these. There are enough online resources to give you these details when you do require this esoteric information. Why load this redundant data in your software and make it slow by cramming it with stuff you will never use? It’s much more sensible to have a small efficient intelligent drug database which you can grow over time. Stick to the basics - your aim is to improve your practice - not to solve the world healthcare crises.

  2. Trying to save a penny:  It’s a simple fact of life that investment reaps rich rewards. Why haggle over a few dollars and try to find the cheapest option?  Negotiating is great, but choosing quality, support and peace of mind is far more important than trying a save a few bucks. It’s easy to get a local company to make a simple Excel spreadsheet to maintain your call schedule. However, in the long run it makes more sense to invest a little more in good software – preferably from a company which is completely focused on the healthcare physician scheduling space. Medical practice is a complex domain, and a software engineer who doesn’t spend time understanding this cannot make a good product. This is why the early successful packages were created by doctors because they did have the right idea. However, they did not have the savvy to remain up-to-date with the latest technology.  Every doctor I know earns enough to invest in a good package which will enhance his practice. Choose your vendor carefully – after all, you want them to be your partners for life and for this, they need to make enough profit.

  3. Thinking someone else understand your business:  A lot of doctors tend to put too much trust in what their software vendor is doing for them. They feel he is the expert, and knows what he is doing. If a custom built package is being made, unless you provide the vendor with adequate knowledge on your processes, templates, wants and need, the program will never do what you want it to. Remember the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out”.  I know doctors who just give a brief outline of what they want and leave it at that. Now the vendor is left scratching his head because he does not really understand what is required of him. He muddles through – but what he produces is not what the doctor wanted, which means a lot of time, money and energy are wasted – and the cycle needs to be repeated again. If you want a custom built solution, you need to be very closely involved. You cannot delegate this. You need to provide all the information required personally. More importantly, you need to review and ask for updates from time to time. Often, the project gets needlessly delayed because the doctor realizes that this was not what he wanted only after the complete package is delivered to him.  Do you really have time for this?  If you are a full time physician, probably not.
View Mistakes #4 through #10

Topics: software for scheduling physicians, physician software, scheduling software, physician scheduling, on call, on-call software, physician scheduling software, adopting on-call software, on call scheduler

How do you know when your oncall management system needs an upgrade?

Posted by Justin Wampach on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 @ 02:58 PM

helpIn 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.

Topics: daily call roster, call schedule management, adopting on-call software, on call scheduler

The Battle Between Rules vs. Preferences in Oncall Software

Posted by Justin Wampach on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 @ 11:10 AM

sward fightingAs you may or may not have noticed I have been consistently publishing weekly Blog articles since about March 2011.  Anyone that has ever written a Blog knows how difficult it is to create content that will be valuable to its readers.  In a recent audit of my work by a seasoned professional I was told that I need more of an insider vs. expert point of view.  Please bare with me as I try to find my new style :).

Do you know what the difference is between a rule and a preference as it relates to call scheduling?  I bet you don't.  I speak with all types of people who create, maintain and publish on-call schedules I find it interesting how may people talk about their need for rules.  Everyone needs rules.  What we find more often than not is that unless you have been using on-call software you probably have a lot of preferences and a few rules.  Whats the difference, lets find out.  According to our friends at Wikipedia, a rule usually refers to standards for activities.  Preference on the other hand refers to evaluative judgment in the sense of liking or disliking an object.  Preference can be notably modified by the decision-making processes.  Do you see the difference?  One is a standard (that happened every time) and the other is an evaluative judgment (may or may not happen). 

Now that we understand the difference between rules and preferences how does it relate to oncall software?  As I stated above, most prospects come to us with a list of what they consider rules.  They consider them rules because when you are using something such as Excel to create and maintain your call schedule, it (Excel) will allow you to put whatever text you want in the cell.  Although you may call it a rule, unless it happens every time it is a preference.  For example, in Excel 2+2 will always equal 4.  Always. 

Examples of Rules:

  1. If Doctor "A" is oncall Friday, then he is also oncall Saturday and Sunday.
  2. If Doctor does not have "Ob/Gyn" skill than he will require a back-up
  3. If Doctor works oncall Saturday and Sunday then he is off-call for 7 days.

Examples of Preferences:

  1. Dr. Smith prefers to work oncall on Mondays
  2. Dr. Green prefers to work with Dr. Brown oncall Fridays
  3. If I am doing Outreach of Thursday I would prefer not to be oncall on Friday.

As call schedule creators continue to migrate away from Excel into other oncall scheduling specific software they will need to convince their providers to become more aware of the difference. 

What the big deal, right?  Well the big deal is that most computer programs are programmed a certain way.  Most of the call scheduling software that exists today is rule based and will not accommodate preferences.  Your providers will need to decide between automation and accommodation.  The more you accommodate every one of your partners specific needs, you will be sacrificing automation.  whether this will be acceptable or not will be determined by the power and position of the person creating the schedule. 

The long and short of it is that if you are looking for a low cost, easy system, ditch the preferences and focus on the rules.  If you have a lot of money to spend and time I suggest customizing a solution or purchase an existing one and wait hours while it runs.  The choice is yours.

Topics: on call, on-call software, on call scheduler, call scheduling

Think Pareto Principal when looking at oncall scheduling software

Posted by Justin Wampach on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 @ 11:05 AM

ParetoDoes everything have to be perfect?  When is good enough, good enough?  The Pareto Principle, or 80-20 rule as it's also known, is based on the observation that, in life, the minority of causes, inputs or efforts produce the majority of effects, results, or rewards.

In 1906 an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, discovered that 20% of the Italian population owned 80% of the nation’s wealth. Further studies revealed that The Pareto Principle, as it became known, affects us all in every aspect of life.

This has real value in every aspect of your life and work. If you can identify which efforts get the best results, you can apply your time and focus far more effectively.

In other words, you do more of what actually matters, as the time management matrix explains.

For example…

  • 20% of your tasks produce 80% of your results.
  • 20% of a meeting gives you 80% of the information.
  • 20% of your contribution produces 80% of the recognition you get.
  • 20% of clients create 80% of your sales.
  • 20% of the clothes in your wardrobe are worn 80% of the time!

Focus on the vital few.  Think about it in terms of productivity.  If someone offered you a tool today and told you that it would solve 80% of your problems wouldn’t you be excited?  I sure as hell would.  I have found in my 15 years of running businesses that 100% is nearly unachievable unless you have an unlimited budget. 20% of software features will generally give you 80% of your results.

As I talk with prospects daily many of them are looking to solve 100% of their problem.  Do you think most people know what 100% of their problem looks like?  Some think they do, for example, if you are a book keeper, you probably know what a complete accounting solution looks like, why, because it is mostly the same for each book keepers.  Everyone wants an AR and AP tool.  Everyone needs balance sheet and P&L reports.  Everyone needs to export certain information for taxes.  But does everyone need payroll, or credit card processing or SEC reporting tools?  Probably not.  Out of the box (without any customization) most accounting software will cover the basics and either offer customization additional modules for sale for added features.

If we look at the 80/20 principal in terms of scheduling doctors I would highly suggest that anyone that is using Excel or even better if you are still creating your schedule by hand think about what is important to you.  Time off requests, tallies, rules would probably cover 80% of schedule creation, maintenance and publishing.  If you are willing to "start here" you will not only save a tremendous amount of time, but you will be focusing on what is important.

Here is an example.  10 Doctor group that specializes in Cardiology.  The scheduler is currently a physician that creates the calendar by hand using Excel.  Call Scheduler Lite (shameless plug) as well as Amion has a solution that begins at $249.00 per year.  It does not get any less expensive than that.  A solution such as the above mentioned will give you many tools specific to scheduling that Excel will not.  I was talking to this physician and his biggest concern was "how the schedule printed".  Now keep in mind that at least our company is "web-based" so although we allow, we do not encourage printing of the schedule.  A printed schedule is an out-of-date schedule.  An out-of-date schedule increases the likelihood that the wrong physician gets called.  Now granted we allow printing, this person wanted it printed a certain way, his way.  Digging in your heals on a particular feature is very short sighted in my opinion.  At least 80% of our and our competitor’s features would have been a good fit for this group.  The price was a no-brainer for a Cardiologist.  But, this doctor could not see the sky through the clouds.

I tell you this story because in my opinion as a corporate leader, this way of thinking is not in the best interest of the organization or its stakeholders.  Do you think that the other 9 providers in the above mentioned Cardiology group would have staged a mass revolt if the printed schedule was one way versus another?  Maybe, but maybe not if they saw the other major benefits of using software to create a physician schedule.  I think 80% of the group would have been fine with the change.  This prospect could have used the software and 20% of the features that we have would have given him 80% of the schedule.  That is much better than Excel.

Now granted, as a standard exclaimer, I am talking about the software industry.  There are many things where 80% is not enough.  For example tire pressure, glass window coverage, dental work, CPR, sex.  But again please remember that we are talking about software.  Remember 20% is going to be used most.

If you are looking for 100% satisfaction regarding feature set, my only advice to you is to get real.  In software it is too expensive and not realistic. Think about the top 3 things you want to accomplish and start there.

Topics: software for scheduling physicians, physician scheduling, on-call software, physician scheduling software, doctor scheduling software, adopting on-call software, on call scheduler, call scheduling

How Steve Jobs influenced me, Adjuvant and Call Scheduling

Posted by Justin Wampach on Thu, Oct 06, 2011 @ 11:13 AM

describe the image

The big news in the US today is the death of Apple co-founder and Technology God Steve Jobs at the young age of 56. 

My first experience with an apple computer was in 1983, I was about 11 when my dad won a $5,000 gift certificate to a local retail giant.  Everyone was able to pick out what they wanted.  I wanted a computer.  I wanted an Apple IIe.  This was when my geek-dom began.  I remember playing games, using a few applications that were loaded on large hand size floppy disks.  I was one of the only kids in my entire school with my own computer.

Several years later in 1988 I purchased one of the first Macintosh Computers.  It was considered portable back in the day.  That meant that it came with a soft-sided carrying case similar to the ones you see "pizza guys" carrying today.  I used to pack it up and bring it over to friend's houses to show-off. When I first started college I upgraded to a Mac 660av.  This machine had Bose speakers in the color 17" monitor.  WOW.

In 1992 when I was in college I purchased my first laptop, a mono-chrome PowerBook.  I think it was around $2500.  They were only available in gray-scale, no color yet.  This laptop had a modem inside of it which allowed me to connect to American online and some local chat rooms.  As a student I worked at the University troubleshooting Apple products that professors had in their offices.

After college my first job was at the University in the computer services office where I had the opportunity to learn and use the Macintosh as a graphic design tool.  I learned Quark Xpress, Illustrator, and Photoshop just to name a few.  I was becoming a true Mac-head. 

My next job was at a large Apple reseller to K-12 in the upper Midwest.  It was at this company that I really learned everything I know today about Macs.  I was also lucky enough to play with all of the new toys as they came out.  Toys like scanners, Apple Quick-take camera, Newton, and the color laser writer.  In the mid 90's these were cutting edge toys. 

I was such a Geek that I even purchased several NeXT computers, which were made by Steve Jobs during his time when he was fired from Apple. There was a time in our community when I was known as one of the best Mac guys around.

The first company that I started used all Macintosh computers and Apple servers to host the websites that we developed for customers.  We remained a Mac shop until we "converted to the dark side" as we grew and needed to interface with other systems.

There was a period between 1998 and 2002 when I did not own a single Apple product.  All of that changed when the IPod was released.  Since then I have jumped back on the bandwagon with a IPod, Power book and IPad all under the Apple brand.

Here are a few of the things that I learned from Apple:

  1. Innovate, not follow. 
  2. Its ok to be ahead of your time (Newton, Quicktake camera)
  3. Build beautiful things
  4. Build things that are easy to use
  5. Have passion
  6. Stock-pile cash

Here are ways that Apple has influenced me: 

  1. Apple made me interested in technology. 
  2. Apple drew me to use and understand software. 
  3. Apple allowed me to realize that I could do anything with a computer.
  4. Apple gave me something to be great at.
  5. Apple introduced me to one of my longest and best team members (Amy was buying a computer at the University where I worked)

There are many things that would not be today if it were not for Apple computer and Steve Jobs.  Call Scheduler may be one of them.   I thank him for everything that he has done for the technology world and think that we live in a better place because of him.  RIP Steve Jobs.

Topics: Steve Jobs, Apple Computer, on-call software, doctor scheduling software, on call scheduler, call scheduling

Is your call scheduler a miracle worker?

Posted by Justin Wampach on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 @ 01:36 PM

angels among us

This is not a blog post about The Miracle Worker, a play about the lives of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan.  This is a post about one of the toughest non-clinical jobs within a clinic.  This is a post about the person who is often asked to do the impossible.

I hear stories almost every day from people who call in with this similar problem.  "I am the physician scheduler for a group of 5 doctors.  Our practice is going to be doubeling in size and we need some help with the call scheduling."    Although growing from 5 to 10 is a challenge it is not unsurmountable.  What we continue to learn about is the promises that were made to the new doctors regarding their schedule by the other partners or whoever negotiated the contract.

Savy physicians understand that after all of the nicesities are done during negotiations regarding salery and benefits where the rubber meets the road is about the schedule that they are required to work.  Todays new doctors are sure to negotiate the best deal for themselves without any regard for who and how that will happen.  If you take this times 5, (using the example above) you see how this quickly turns into a scheduling nightmear.

If your practice accomidates every providers scheduling requests my suggestion to you would be that one of the physician partners or the administrator create, maintain and publish the call schedule.  This will ensure that it can actually be done by a human.  We often see scenerios where there is just not enough people to fill all of the required jobs that need to be filled, along with the requests and promises that were made, without having significant holes in the schedule.  The second part of this conversations also comes when the scheduler expects a company like ours to have software (low cost) do what a human is not able to perform.  Math is math, weather you are a software program or a smart scheduler.

How do I know if I have created a monster:

  1. How many providers do you have?
  2. How many jobs are you scheduling?
  3. How many people can be off at any given time?
  4. Is anyone restricted from working with anyone else?
  5. Do you allow new providers special scheduling accomidations?
  6. Do you have a non-physician, non-administrator person who is the scheduler?

How do I know if my current scheduler is a miracle worker?

  1. Are they expefcted to accomidate all of the providers unique rules?
  2. Do they have to create multiple drafts of the schedule?
  3. Do they have to publish the schedule in several different formats to accomidate different doctors?
  4. Do they have software to assist them in the complex task they have been assigned?
  5. Do you consistantly see a bright light coming from their office?
  6. There is a "funny circular thing" protruding from the top of their head?
  7. Do you occasionally see feathers on the floor?

If you have a scheduler who is a miracle worker here are some suggestions:

  1. Be sure they document their current process, because if they leave, your screwed.
  2. Buy them software (not Excel) to assist in creating a complex schedule.
  3. Thank them for the hard work they do.
  4. Ask them what impact the hiring practices of the organization have had on them in the past few years.
Please be aware, your current practice is not sustainable and it will manafest itself as an invisable problem.  Be sure you keep your evey open.  The problem is easy to solve, with an iron fist.

Topics: software for scheduling physicians, physician scheduling, on call, on-call software, physician scheduling software, on call scheduler, call scheduling

Going green in your clinic- how call scheduling software can help

Posted by Justin Wampach on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 @ 03:22 PM

going greenThe "going green" revolution is nothing new.  Although not everyone agrees as to why we are going green, most of us agree that it is necessary.  Here are 20 ways to go green at your clinic.

1. Go for "Greener Options" in the products you buy.

Customers today can choose from a wide range of high-quality products that are equal in performance to traditional products, but can result in lower waste, fewer chemicals, lower energy use and less material use. Green options also can save you money. Think things like remanufactured ink and toner cartridges are less expensive than new cartridges; and Energy Star qualified office equipment can save up to 75% in electricity use.

2. Buy remanufactured ink and toner.

Remanufactured ink and toner cartridges cost an average of 15% less than national brands and come with a 100% money back quality guarantee. One returned cartridge keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills. Remanufacturing one toner cartridge also conserves about a half gallon of oil.

3. Buy Recycled Content (PCR) paper.

In the past, recycled paper may have been of poorer quality than non-recycled. But now, recycled papers are just as bright and work just as well in printers and copiers as our non-recycled papers.

According to Conservatree, in 2004, over 90% of all printing paper contained no recycled content. By buying recycled paper, you are leading the way.

4. Develop a green buying policy.

A good example may be 30% post consumer recycled paper across all the cut-sheet paper we use.

5. Buy from companies who share your environmental values.

Know who you are buying from and what their policies are regarding the environment.  

6. Use Digital Solutions to cut paper and reduce clutter.

One 100 Megabyte zip drive can store the contents of a four-drawer filing cabinet and one CD-ROM can hold nearly a roomful of paper! It is also more convenient to store disks and CD-ROMs than roomfuls of paper.  Even better yet, use the cloud.

7. Buy Energy Star electronic products.

Energy Star computers, printers and other business machines power down when not in use. They can help you conserve up to 75% of your electricity compared to standard models. By automatically switching equipment to "sleep mode" when not in use, Energy Star products saved Americans more than $3.5 Billion in energy costs!

8. Use fluorescent bulbs.

Switching from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescents delivers outstanding efficiency -- up to 75% energy savings for Energy Star qualified lights. That translates into significant cost savings as well as waste avoidance since compact fluorescents can last over 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. These bulbs fit standard fixtures and deliver excellent natural light.

9. Invest in modular furniture.

Modular components form the core of an environmentally efficient office design. Buying modular furniture helps you mix, match and grow without the need to reinvest in an entirely new look simplifying future purchasing decisions and reducing waste.

10. Use power strips to turn technology off when not in use.

Up to 75% of the electricity used to power office equipment may be consumed while the products are turned off! The simplest way to avoid this waste is to plug office equipment into a power strip that can be shut off each day.

11. Recycle your empty ink and toner cartridges.

In 2005, over 50% of all ink and toner cartridges were sent to landfills in the U.S. But it's simple to recycle. You may get money back on certain eligible cartridges at stores.

12. Recycle your office paper.

Only about 50% of all the paper used in North America is recycled. And there is a growing shortage of paper available for recycled products as Asian countries demand more recovered fiber. Consider starting a paper recycling program at your office. Check your phone directory to find paper recycling companies in your area.

13. Recycle other materials in your office.

A high proportion of materials sent to landfills from most offices can easily be reused or recycled. Consider recycling plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, computers and cell phones. Check your phone directory for local recycling providers and help reduce the pressure on our overflowing landfills.

14. Donate unwanted products and furniture.

Find a local charity or community organizer such as The United Way and find out who needs what in your community. 

15. Use daylight rather than office lighting whenever feasible.

Artificial lighting consumes some 40% of electricity in a typical office building, and close to one-fourth of all electricity generation in the U.S. In fact, lighting consumes the equivalent of nearly half of all coal burned in the U.S., or the equivalent of all the hydroelectric power in the country! The simple act of moving your desk towards a window helps cut down electricity use -- saving money and the environment.

16. Turn lights off when leaving your office or conference room.

Walk around any office building and you are almost guaranteed to see lights left on in empty offices.. One 100 watt light bulb left on for one hour every day consumes 36.5 kilowatt hours of energy per year. Multiply that by the millions of lights left on every day, and it's obvious that a simple way to reduce energy dependency is to simply turn lights off when they are not needed!

17. Buy Renewable Energy Credits to "offset" your energy use.

Global warming or "climate change" is one of the most significant environmental issues today and in the future. Global warming is caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are emitted when fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, oil, gasoline and kerosene are burned.

Energy generated from renewable sources (such as wind, solar or geothermal) has much lower greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. By buying Renewable Energy Credits, you can effectively offset some or all of the carbon dioxide your organization emits.

Speak to your local utility or energy management company to find out how to offset your company's carbon dioxide emissions. You also can click here to learn about Terrapass, one of North America's leaders in carbon offsetting. Terrapass is just one of many organizations, such as Conservation International, that also allow individuals to calculate and offset their personal emissions.

18. Use software to capture and manage information instead of printing.

This impacts medical clinics more than other companies.  Reduce the waste of paper by going electronic with your charts, prescriptions, X-rays and even your schedules.  Call scheduling software alone could reduce your waste by 1 case of paper annually.

19. Give reusable mugs instead of other promotional items to customers and prospects.

If one of your customers or prospects buys three cups of coffee every workday for one year - that represents over 600 coffee cups that have ended up in the trash! Help replace that waste by choosing reusable coffee mugs for your promotional giveaways. Mugs also tend to be kept and used regularly by recipients.

20. Remember, it all starts with you. Please spread the word.

If more people "Go for the Green Option" in their daily work life, the positive benefits will multiply. Start by making more personal decisions with the environment in mind. Then help increase awareness by spreading the word to your colleagues, teams, bosses, suppliers and customers.

It all adds up!

Topics: on-call software, doctor scheduling software, on call scheduler, call scheduling

Balancing medical work, on-call and having a life

Posted by Justin Wampach on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 @ 11:02 AM
describe the imageIn a recent blog post by Stephen H. Hanson, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA, "Balancing Medical Work-Life Issues Comes at a Price" he discusses the needed balance between work and life as a health care professional. 

According to Hanson "Predictable schedules and limited on-call hours used to be considered a gender issue. Now it is a generational issue, as young physicians and PAs have much different expectations of their work–life balance. There is much more pressure to balance work with family and outside demands, and this drives the decisions that many healthcare providers make as to specialty and organizational practice".

According to a survey in 2010 conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 89 percent of Americans say work-life balance is a problem. A third of the 1,043 workers polled in the survey say the recession upended that balance and that family and personal time have been sacrificed.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one-third of fulltime physicians worked 60 hours or more per week in 2006. Only 8 percent of all
physicians and surgeons worked part-time, compared with 15 percent for all
occupations. In addition, physicians and surgeons must travel frequently between
office and hospital to care for their patients, often compromising personal time
with family.

One of the main reasons that my company Adjuvant exists is because physicians and other healthcare providers required a more fair and accurate on-call schedule.  Our automated scheduling software assists in creating, maintaining and publishing physician schedules to be sure that everyone and everything is fair.  This fairness promotes a healthy balance.

Click me 

Here are some tips for balancing work and life.

  1. Be sure to have a good support network
  2. Have a solid child-care option(s)
  3. Ask your family and friends for feedback
  4. Try to be at home for dinner 3 times per week
  5. Make time to feed your soul
  6. Find a hobby (music, cooking, cars)
  7. Build/request downtime into your schedule
  8. Ditch the crap that zaps your time or energy
  9. Rethink your errands, outsource them
  10. Find time for exercise
  11. A little relaxation goes a long way

It’s interesting; as I write this I am thinking how my life as a software company owner is not much different than a busy Doctor.  I am needed 24x7, and expected to do whatever it takes to get the results necessary to be successful.  Balancing work and life is a broad topic that everyone can benefit from learning more about.  I am going to take the rest of the day off and practice what I preach!

Topics: software for scheduling physicians, on call, physician scheduling software, on call scheduler