Call shifts are one of the most complex assignments to staff for any medical practice. It requires business intelligence data to balance call schedules across providers while ensuring all clinical requirements are met. Without it, your practice is reduced to guessing and hoping that the call schedules are fair.
If you prefer evidenced-based decision-making, here are the three types of data you need to build fair call schedules.
Real-Time and Historical Data
Compiling schedules with Excel and paper may seem sufficient, but it makes it almost impossible to see trends and past assignments. You need a business intelligence system capable of storing multiple years of data and sorting it any way you need.
Data needs to be available by provider, by assignment, as well as by date. Moreover, you need to be sure your system is capable of providing you data in real-time. Without that, you will not be able to see the impact schedule changes are having on your call distribution, nor forecast the impact of future shifts.
Nowhere is historical data more essential than when it comes to dealing with holiday shifts, as nothing creates strife in a practice quite like a perception that holiday shifts are not being assigned fairly.
What is needed is clear reporting that shows all possible holiday assignments, along with who worked which for what year. This one report alone can make your entire holiday season go more smoothly.
Stress and Call Points
Critical to the well-being and morale of your providers is an even distribution of stress points. If your system does not permit you to assign and track points, you will not be able to balance the call workload evenly.
Stress and call points are used to track the relative difficulty of each call shift and assign shifts according to the FTE goals of each provider. As this requires integrating stress points, scheduled assignments, and FTEs, it requires a system with a high-level capacity for integrating data.
Does your practice have the data you need to build fair call schedules?
Most practices have some ability to track holiday assignments, as there are not that many holidays in a given year. However, the data collection needed for trend analyses, as well as the data analysis capability needed for assigning and tracking stress and call points, is a level beyond most practices. Practices using manual scheduling will have particular struggles in this regard.
When looking to introduce data-based decision-making in your practice, thoroughly compare business intelligence software. Make sure the system you choose provides you with a view into all your data, both historical and forecasted. See that it lets you easily call up past holiday assignments and see stress levels for all call shifts.
That is the way to build fair, transparent call schedules for your practice.