Playing with the Physician Auto-Scheduler?

Why can’t I just play with the auto-scheduler and get the best results? In fact, why do I need a trainer at all? Why shouldn’t I just explore on my own?

Short answer: You CAN just play and explore on your own, but is that the best use of your time?

Most software that is capable of handling unique situations has at least some complexity and users generally benefit from training to save them time and frustration re-discovering best practices … usually.
Repeated “rejections” of initial scheduling runs done with your own “out-of-the-box” settings can be discouraging, especially when working alone with no-one to bounce ideas with. You may just want to throw up your hands, thinking, “this doesn’t work at all” when that is FAR from the truth!

A competent trainer familiar with the software can help correctly set up the rules you need in the first place, can give support and suggestions to zero-in on your detailed set of rules, and help determine the scheduling process your particular Group needs for the best repeatable results. An experienced trainer will add tips, tricks, and shortcuts not readily discovered by exploring!

Simply put, your Trainer ultimately helps tailor the program to best fit your Group’s needs, while sharing information, insight, techniques, and strategies used by other successful schedulers to get the most out of your software.

Using a physician scheduling program to generate your next on-call schedule should not be a game on your part. Similar to cooking something from “scratch” with no guidance and minimal recipe, you may have all the “tools” at hand but will surely have less hassle learning with an experienced trainer-coach who follows an organized “onboarding” process.

Your trainer will help discover and document your automated scheduling success while capturing those nuances of scheduling that defy documentation. How? By visiting with you personally, not simply using a form or manual, or strictly email support, and not only by listening but leading as well.

    • “Naive” questions will be asked to understand “why” your current process is done “that way”. The process that worked so well on paper may be cumbersome in software, could be done differently, or may no longer be necessary not at all. The best trainers will ask you to multiply “why’s”, not to irritate you, but to clarify the root of the results you are looking for and to open the possibility of alternative ways to achieve those goals.
    • Didn’t you just ask that question; wasn’t someone listening? Sometimes differing answers to the same question on a different day indicate an issue that is not fully resolved within your Group. Sometimes the “same question” re-framed is understood differently when the scheduler is more fully versed in the software, (or as the trainer becomes more familiar with your Group), and so there is a different answer. None of these events mean parties are not listening to one another… it is simply how mutual understanding evolves.
    • The actual scheduling order in which jobs are assigned, and when, produces different results and thus needs to be documented. Do you schedule weekends before weekdays for some assignments and are not so fussy about others? Do you schedule a satellite clinic on Wednesday, but find certain Providers cannot make it back for clinic the next morning? Do you have some rules that are “concrete”, and others that are more “suggestions”?
    • All at once or iterative? You have a choice whether to schedule and inspect as you go or schedule “the works” and then make adjustments. The combination of settings you use and the rules you have in place matter. Do you really want to spend your time with trial and error on your own to discover the optimal combination?
    • When you get a schedule, how do you evaluate it? Where are the tools and how do they work? Training answers these questions and empowers you to use all of the features fluidly, so you can decide whether the on-call schedules are great or simply acceptable. A coach-trainer can also show you efficient ways to “tweak” your calendar, or quickly reset everything and rapidly try again after making modifications.

Are you moving towards your goal? Looping back to “why”, are your expectations realistic with the software at hand? A coach-trainer brings outside experience to the table, along with software expertise to help clarify this part of the journey. Remember “the Dip” and the “Hype Cycle”? They are alive and well when it comes to trying anything new, including software implementation.


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