Now more than ever, physician groups and ambulatory centers are looking for opportunities to increase organizational efficiency and reduce staff burnout. For organizations still relying on manual methods to create on-call schedule rosters, the introduction of automated physician scheduling software can provide immediate benefits. Manual scheduling methods require intensive staffing resources (up to 800 hours per year), increase the likelihood of over or under-scheduling physicians, and spell chaos for time-off and change request management.
No longer do schedulers need to waste time figuring out how to put the on-call schedule puzzle pieces together. Physician scheduling software transforms the way clinics and ambulatory centers work to save time and money while eliminating avoidable scheduling mistakes and preventable physician burnout. In one study, physician satisfaction in scheduling rose to 96% when a mobile physician scheduling solution was adopted.
Below are five questions administrators, doctors, and schedulers should consider when evaluating physician scheduling software for their organization.
Buyer Considerations for Physician Scheduling Software
Use this checklist to evaluate the capabilities of physician on-call scheduling software.
By leveraging custom rules, schedulers can automate scheduling processes across locations. A rules-engine algorithm removes the stress on managers by intelligently automating schedule-building to ensure shifts are fairly distributed among physicians and spaced far enough apart to prevent burnout.
Scheduling templates provide significant time savings by allowing administrators to generate schedules for the week, month, or year in a matter of minutes and quickly deploy assignments to physicians. Physicians and administrators can support work-life balance by planning for time off and vacation with schedules available well in advance.
Mobile-friendly scheduling software allows for time-off, vacation, and shift swap requests from the convenience of a provider’s phone. Requests won’t end up lost in email threads or on paper but will be visible to the manager and provider in real-time. Doctor availability and schedule control allow physician appointments to be blocked, frozen, or rescheduled once time-off is approved.
Fairness requires transparency. Providers need to view whether they have been scheduled more or less than their colleagues to ensure they are paid appropriately. In addition to custom rules that support balanced scheduling, tally reports ensure providers are scheduled equitably compared to their colleagues. Administrators can determine whether changes need to be made to the schedules.
Integration with EHRs allows physician day-off information to sync with the patient scheduling system so that patient care is not disrupted when a vacation request is granted. Ensure your physician scheduling solution has an open API that can integrate your medical staff credentialing system, electronic medical records, single sign-on, or secure text solution.
A sophisticated rules-based automated scheduling solution like TigerConnect Physician Scheduling software delivers significant time-savings and improves patient care by freeing up hours that are better spent seeing patients. It also reduces physician burnout through transparent and fair scheduling.
Download the Physician Scheduling Software Buyer Comparison Checklist. This all-in-one checklist includes critical features, competitive comparisons, and a glossary to inform your purchase decision.
¹Arnett A, Bottner M, Campbell J, Funk A, Roberds L. Analysis of implementing a scheduling software in a hospitalist department. University of Washington. Retrieved from: https://ise.washington.edu/files/students/seniorprojects/17schsm.pdf.
²Deliberato RO, Rocha LL, Lima AH, et al. Physician satisfaction with a multi-platform digital scheduling system. Amaral LAN, ed. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0174127. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174127