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How to Streamline Specialist Call Schedules for Emergency Departments

Posted by Shift Admin on October 30, 2018 at 7:01 AM

The ED is prone to overcrowding, delays in care, and scarce resources. But when a patient has waited for hours, the last thing they need is to wait again for a specialist to figure out what’s wrong with them. The fact is, specialists aren’t sitting around waiting on patients, they more than likely have their own practice where they spend a good bit of their time.

Having an efficient ED scheduling system streamlines the care you offer patients, keeping your emergency department running smoothly, without skipping a beat. Here’s why it’s important to have an efficient system for scheduling the on-call providers you need to contact in each specialty.

Lives are on the line

It sounds a little dramatic, but lives are literally on the line. If you’re still creating the ED schedule with paper, you run the risk of getting your wires crossed and ultimately, the patient suffers. Not to mention, you’re at risk for a malpractice suit or fines.

To prevent all of the issues that could arise by not having an efficient, streamlined system for seeing which specialists are on call and which contact method is best to reach them, you need to take action. It’s time to update your scheduling methods, throw the paper in the trash, and get online.

Read More: Implement these common time-off protocols. 

Schedules are always accurate

When schedules change, if you’re doing things the old way, someone physically has to walk over to the schedule, mark through the previous version, and make corrections. Even if your schedule is in a spreadsheet, the person in charge of the schedule needs to manually go in and make changes. Think of all the things that could go wrong with this method.

With an online-based scheduling software, changes made to the schedule, such as shift swaps, are automatically updated. There’s no need to worry about having the latest version because it’s already there. And everyone knows where they need to be when they need to be there.

Specialists are few and far between  

According to an article in Becker’s Hospital Review, more than 70 percent of emergency departments reported inadequate ED coverage by specialists. This, compounded by a national shortage of physicians, doesn’t make your job any easier.

That’s why it’s crucial to have available ED specialists to treat patients in a timely manner. You also have to take into consideration that specialists have practices outside of emergency medicine. Having a smarter, more efficient schedule that keeps specialists in the loop of any changes makes it worth their time, and yours.

Effective communication

Working in the ED is a highly stressful, stimulating environment. It takes a certain personality type to be able to thrive in those situations. It also requires an extremely efficient and effective communication system.

With an online-based system built into your scheduling software, you can streamline communication and get the right message to the right person at the right time.

Preventable errors can bring an Emergency Department to its knees. Having an efficient scheduling system is essential to providing the best care possible. Shift Admin can work with your group and create an optimized schedule specific to your needs.

Watch our video to see how easy it is to get started with Shift Admin.

Topics: Emergency Medicine Staff Scheduling