August 9, 2018

Healthcare Scheduling Software: 3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy

2 min read

Written by: Jennifer Michelle  |  Share:

Healthcare scheduling software is a major investment for your practice. You will be using it every day and relying on it to schedule each of your providers, your staff, and every procedure. That’s why it’s Imperative that you make the right choice.

Here are three questions you should consider when shopping for healthcare scheduling software:

1. Is this the best healthcare scheduling software for your practice?

Different practices can have very different needs when it comes to healthcare scheduling software. Obviously, a private practice consisting of 2 doctors and 6 staff is quite different from a hospital with 500 doctors and thousands of nurses, techs and staff.

Specifically, you need to consider the size and complexity of your practice, as well as whether you are an academic medical center.

When it comes to size, a private practice with fewer than 10 people to schedule (physicians and staff) may be able to manage just fine using Excel.

However, Excel is not able to handle the needs of larger practices. The larger your practice, the more variety in work patterns and shifts you will have, not to mention differences in certification and specialty, all of which need to be accounted for in your schedule.

The complexity of your schedule is the next consideration. Scheduling multiple providers at multiple facilities requires a software that is capable of working at a higher level. You will need healthcare scheduling software that can alert you to mistaken assignments and flag you when an area is at risk of being short-staffed.

Whether or not you are an academic medical center will also influence your decision. Academic medical centers require residency management support, which is not included in all healthcare scheduling software.

2. Does the healthcare scheduling software allow full transparency?

Lack of transparency in scheduling is at the root of most scheduling complaints. If your colleagues grumble about unfair call schedules or how they never get the days off they want, then more transparency will be a great relief.

A solid healthcare scheduling software will be able to balance the call schedules evenly among all providers and staff. Plus, it will be able to show each person exactly why a certain day may not be available to them to take off, even though it might be for a colleague who has different certifications or vacation credits. When people can immediately see the details of the schedule and why certain choices have been made, complaints disappear.

3. Can the healthcare scheduling software output business intelligence reports?

The right healthcare scheduling software will actually help you save money, if it provides you access to essential business intelligence.

Overtime costs, for example, are a frequent budgetary concern for medical practices. The right software, however, will be able to show you who is at risk for going into overtime in a given time period, which allows you to prevent excess overtime costs before they occur.

Business intelligence reports should be able to give you a wide range of staffing information, including call schedule distribution and clinical vs. research ratios.

Healthcare Scheduling Software is a Worthwhile Investment

Healthcare scheduling software is a valuable investment – if you know what to look for ahead of time. Taking into account the size, complexity, and type of practice you run is your first step. From there, in order to have your scheduling system meet the full needs of your practice, you will also want software that will provide a high level of transparency and business intelligence.

Get the answers to these questions and you will be sure to choose the right software for your practice.

Topics: Medical Scheduling Resources