If you are a Residency Director or an incoming Chief Resident you’ve likely heard horror stories about the process of creating block schedules and then aligning your residents into appropriate rotations to ensure all of their program requirements are met. While some basic resident scheduling tools exist today, they are anything but modern.
As we began defining the TigerConnect Resident Scheduling software, I had the opportunity to interview both Residency Coordinators and Chief Residents. Throughout these discussions, most admitted to the challenges of creating their schedules in Excel and then the laborious task of manually entering them into an existing system used by the Emergency Department (ED) and hospital operators to find the right doctors.
The shocking truth – creating and loading resident schedules takes on average 80-100 hours of time each academic year. Once created, they are an eyesore to navigate. Below is a basic example of a single residency program, however most Academic hospitals have multiple programs that span multiple rotations and years. It’s a complicated matrix that ultimately forces a high level of rigidity because one change could cause a major impact. Scheduling doesn’t have to be so challenging.
You might be thinking, what’s the big deal, doctors are used to long hours? Well, most of the people creating the “resident schedules” are Physicians. Physicians have the least amount of time to complete administrative tasks and in fact, that is one of the largest reasons associated with physician burnout. While administrative tasks are a burnout pain point, the unfortunate reality is that most can’t get away from it or delegate it entirely.
When considering the solutions currently available, it became clear that we could provide a modern SaaS solution to help expedite the development of schedules, which would in turn increase their ability to spend more time with patients.
The solutions in the market are not very intuitive and lack flexibility for schedulers to create and update schedules in real-time, and residents to request changes from anywhere. The ultimate result – we will be offering TigerConnect Resident Scheduling to address these needs.
It’s cloud software for Chief Resident or Department Coordinators to build a fair and balanced block, rotation, float, and call schedules, in a modern, easy-to-use, web and mobile interface. With customizable block scheduling capabilities, Chief Residents can decide which model of rotations, inpatient or outpatient, is right for their residents.
We also heard that residents, physicians, and care teams need up-to-date visibility of schedules so they know who to reach at any time. Lastly, they want to see everything together – resident schedules, call schedules, and physician contactability. Together, these help increase transparency to drive fair and equitable schedules, give residents more control to schedule much-needed downtime for improved mental health, and provide care teams better visibility into staffing to improve care delivery.
Taking these needs into consideration, our approach also factors in the current and future way that schedulers work in light of Covid-19, whether in the hospital or remote, from any secure device. In order to enable this flexibility, we’ve taken a modern, cloud-first approach that doesn’t require any installation.
By leveraging our work on TigerConnect Physician Scheduling and Clinical Communications, we’ve created a modern, familiar approach to Resident Scheduling that unifies the entire workflow from block creation to rotation and job scheduling, through secure care team and patient communication – all online and available in real-time.
“Residents are at the heart of academic medical centers and central to the first line of patient care,” saidJohn Elms, Chief Product Officer, TigerConnect. “Through collaboration with leading academic medical centers, TigerConnect is simplifying the complexity of manual resident scheduling, freeing up chief residents from time developing annual schedules to time spent with patients delivering care.”
Value is a measurement of the benefit provided; residency program leaders and chief residents will save time creating their annual resident schedules while ensuring fair and equitable on-call and shift assignments for residents across their program, all inside of a modern interface. With sophisticated reporting, Chief Resident and Attendings know who is scheduled and whether a department, ED, or clinic requires additional scheduling.