Physician and clinical staff scheduling is becoming increasingly complex for administrators to manage. Making mistakes is not an option; any gaps in patient care can lead to increased cost-per-case, staff burnout and poor care delivery.
One of the best ways to minimize these mistakes is with a physician and staff scheduling solution that can handle the complexities of today’s healthcare organizations. Thoughtfully designed and implemented software enables organizational and departmental leaders to manage their staff's needs and expectations while delivering high-quality care to their patients.
Healthcare organizations with the right physician scheduling software can experience many advantages, including:
- Improved patient outcomes
- Reduced operating costs
- Increased staff retention, and
- Improved patient access.
However, not every scheduling solution is made the same, so knowing what to look for when choosing a solution to implement in your hospital or practice is critical. To help you make the right decision for your organization, we've outlined six essential capabilities needed to drive practice efficiency and produce the best results.
6 Essentials for Physician Scheduling Software
1. Specialty and Certification Tracking
Covering each clinical area and specialty based on demand can be tricky. You have to make sure you're meeting your hospital's staffing requirements across the entire continuum of care.
Specialty and certification tracking capabilities ensure you're meeting these requirements with the right provider mix. Even as patient demand goes up and coverage is stretched across all service lines, you can guarantee you're making the right staffing decisions for improved patient experience. Integrating this data with your scheduling solutions ensures you have the right resource with the appropriate credentials at any given time.
2. Payroll System Sync and Compensation Tracking
Managing overtime and undertime can be a daunting task, but it's made easier by taking a proactive approach. Syncing payroll systems with your forecasting system helps you manage overtime and undertime while still meeting patient demand.
You can compare coverage requirements against payroll data to choose providers who haven't used up their full time yet and avoid choosing the ones at risk for overtime. This helps you tackle the complexity of coverage rules while keeping your department's budget on track.
3. Automatic Rules Enforcement
Manual schedules mean that the administrator building them shoulders all of the responsibility for knowing who can do what (credentialing) and following hospital rules and policies. Human error is inevitable, but automated rules enforcement systems alert you immediately of administrative, credentialing, and assignment compatibility errors, allowing you to build staffing schedules that match patient demand without breaking any rules.
The right scheduling software will allow you to feed clinical rules, facility requirements, human resource policies and credentials into its system. This information allows the system to automatically block inappropriate assignments and guarantees all rules and policies are followed. You can feel confident that your schedules are accurate.
4. Real-Time Updating
To communicate between care teams, make the right staffing decisions and meet patient demand, it's important to have the most accurate, up-to-date information possible. Letting care gaps or inefficiencies fall through the cracks can impact the quality of care and cost you more money, time and effort in the long run.
Implementing a system that updates in real-time gives you much-needed insight into patient demand and staffing needs. With a clear view of gaps in care at any given time, you can take action to fill those gaps immediately.
5. Data Analytics
If you can't capture reliable data about patient demand and staffing level requirements, you can't make smart decisions and drive results. Forecasting software with data analytics capabilities can help you support your staffing strategies and make the case for your department needs.
Data analytics offers invaluable insight for improving staffing strategies. In particular, syncing data analytics with forecasting software allows you to assess projected and historical room and staff utilization, so you can rework schedules as needed.
6. Mobile Access
Implementing physician scheduling software with a robust mobile access feature provides a unique advantage to providers and department leaders alike. Software with a mobile component allows you to stream up-to-date schedules directly to physicians on their phones, offering complete transparency and facilitating communication wherever they may be.
This feature also allows providers to make swaps and request assignment changes, empowering them in the staffing process and increasing staff satisfaction.
An Integrated Solution for Smarter Scheduling
Rather than consistently over-staffing to prepare for worst-case scenarios, the right software gives you access to historical data on patient demand so you can plan ahead to meet this demand.
This software is essential to any hospital's staffing strategy. If you can find one that integrates with the above features, you'll be in the best position to provide high-quality patient care, reduce operating costs and increase staff satisfaction and retention.
Topics: Physician Scheduling