Keeping physicians in the loop when introducing a new scheduling system can help them to embrace the solution when launched
Physicians will be using the new scheduling system on a day to day and mission-critical fashion. Staff scheduling needs to be implemented with a focus on the individual needs of each clinical area and transparency so physicians feel like their concerns are being heard and addressed. Most importantly, it is important to be clear that this implementation will not attempt to impose a one-size-fits-all solution across domains.
How Cohesiveness Across Health Networks Will Benefit Physicians
Health networks are continuously absorbing private physician practices causing increasing challenges to integrating highly diverse and variably effective practices and systems into an enterprise. Having a strong centralized scheduling system to manage this challenge will help ease the transition for physicians, scheduling resources, and department administration.
The health network will be able to allocate resources more effectively by using their growing resource pool to float physicians across facilities and points of care to more effectively align staffing with demand.
How It Will Save Physician Time
When you switch a department or hospital over to a single scheduling solution, it protects providers’ time through sharing schedules. If a physician is on administrative time working through a clinical backlog but they are being paged as if they are clinically available, it will make their work time inefficient. If the physician’s schedule is in a single scheduling solution, it will accurately represent their true clinical availability and what level of disruption their work will allow.
When your scheduling system reflects who is available for consults, who is purely clinical and seeing patients, who is on administrative time, and who is on academic time, it will create less disruption in everybody’s day. Knowing who to call based on the work they are doing is a more sophisticated way to determine who is clinically available and able to help, versus just looking at who is on-call. This will save time for the physician who is looking for a consult and the physician who is extremely busy.
You will also be able to specifically define what type of work you are doing. For example, academic time could be broken into working with medical students and working with residents because of the difference in productivity for the physician, since you are teaching medical students from moment to moment, while residents often work more independently.
How It Will Account for Non-Billable Time More Effectively
Non-billable work can be ill-defined across hospitals, which means physicians are oftentimes not credited for a good portion of the work that they are doing throughout the day. This becomes a blind spot as to what people are doing during those portions of the day. From an organizational perspective, that’s not ideal and from a physician perspective, you want to be credited for work you’re doing to support the hospital.
With a single scheduling solution, you can track and coordinate schedules across clinical areas. For example, one could look at a radiologist and, based on the schedule, see that they weren’t producing radiology reports because they were on a tumor board, or look at a surgeon and know they were working with residents. This creates more transparency into how the hospital runs and how different departments support each other.
Physicians are directly affected by implementing a new scheduling system. They should be able to focus on patient care and manage their time effectively while reducing the disruption caused by their colleagues.