Scheduling doctors is something that all too often fills practices with dread - generally because those practices are still using manual "on call" scheduling solutions.
Yet, the real scary part is the mistakes those unreliable systems can cause.
So, here are the most common doctor scheduling mistakes medical practices make. If you're experiencing them, your scheduling system is in need of an overhaul.
1. Same doctor scheduled for several assignments.
In some cases, there is no problem with having the same doctor handling multiple assignments. Perhaps they are supervising two rooms and the extra assignment makes perfect sense. But if a doctor is being scheduled for conflicting assignments, you've got a problem. To block mistaken assignments automatically, you need a scheduling system that can follow the rules of your practice, as well as matching certifications for certain types of cases. Once you have that in place, you will never again need to worry about being in two places at the same time.
2. Doctor is on call schedule - when they are actually on vacation.
Sometimes you build a schedule that looks just perfect - until you realize the doctor on call is vacationing in Hawaii (the only exception to this is when your practice is actually located in Hawaii). For a large practice, there is a lot to keep track of when building a schedule - and, if you are losing track of who is on vacation, you have reached the point where it's more than your current system can handle. It’s imperative to have a scheduling system that blends your schedule with your requests for things like vacation and CME. Seeing them together in a single system will ensure you don’t make this mistake again.
3. Requests are being approved - even when they result in short staffing.
With paper-based systems, it's especially hard to keep all your ducks in a row. When requests start coming in, it gets even more difficult. You know you've got a problem when the requests being approved are leading to short staffing. A rules-based scheduling software that can keep track of your staffing quotas and requirements is what you need to avoid this mistake.
4. Rooms and cases are not being staffed appropriately.
Problems with inappropriate staffing are tied in to problems with short staffing. Changes to your daily case schedule require a savant to keep track of who is available and ready to take the case. Both result from a scheduling system that is being asked to keep track beyond its abilities. Doctor scheduling software can bring great peace of mind to everyone by ensuring the right people are assigned to the right rooms at the right times.
5. Call schedules are unfairly distributed.
Nothing creates more conflict in a practice than doctor call schedules that are not fairly balanced. Yet, it is virtually impossible for a manual system to accurately balance call schedules over the course of a year for a large number of doctors. If you have doctors complaining about getting all the worst calls - and you have no way to verify if that's the case - then you know it's time to take action.
Your doctor scheduling may be in need of an overhaul.
If these mistakes are finding their way into your doctor schedules, then it's time to admit your current system isn't working for you and see a demo of workforce optimization for healthcare. Automating your doctor scheduling can significantly reduce the number of mistakes you see when building your schedules - and make your practice run a whole lot more efficiently.
Topics: Medical Scheduling Resources