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How to Get Started as a Scheduler for Your Hospital

Posted by Shift Admin on September 20, 2017 at 6:12 AM

As a scheduler for your hospital, you have one goal: quickly create a schedule that works for providers and your hospital. Your job keeps the hospital running and helps to attract and retain top talent. While the marching orders may be clear, the process is not. You must be able to manage many moving parts and different personalities with ease.

It’s likely that you are taking on a new role with old challenges. As you get started as a scheduler for your hospital, take steps to diagnose your current situation in order to effectively make changes.

Look for Symptoms

The first step to diagnosing problems with your current scheduling process is to look at the symptoms. Take stock of complaints from each department affected by the schedule.

These look something like this:

  • Scheduler spends days or weeks (or more) working on the schedule each period
  • Nurses and emergency department staff struggle to identify on-call physicians
  • Provider requests are often “lost” in emails
  • Providers complain of unequal distribution of weekends and/or night shifts
  • Providers complain of unfair holiday schedules
  • Providers and hospital staff feel out of the loop on important schedule changes
  • Providers and schedulers struggle to manage shift trades

Diagnose the Problem

For each of the symptoms above, take a look at what causes the problem and how the problem is currently addressed.

  • Are there rules in place for creating the schedule?
  • Do the rules use logic to produce a fair schedule?
  • Is there a policy for assigning weekend or holiday shifts?
  • How is the schedule communicated?
  • How do providers submit schedule requests? Who reviews them?

If you found that the answer to these questions was commonly “No” or “I’m not sure” your hospital suffers from “We’ve always done it that way” syndrome. But you’re in luck; there is treatment for this.

Treating the Problem

To manage hospital scheduling efficiently, you need a software solution with a proven success rate, such as Shift Admin. This powerful scheduling tool allows you to take a full-scale approach to improving scheduling at your hospital. Schedulers can configure rules and settings to create a fair schedule, every time. A central management system empowers you to optimize the process for receiving and approving requests from providers–no more email management. Following initial set-up, the system can auto-generate a schedule in minutes. From here, schedulers spend a limited amount of time refining before the schedule is published and shared across hospital departments in real-time.

Shift Admin has a first-class customer support team to match our system capabilities. Our team of support specialists provide initial hands-on training with step-by-step help to configure your auto-generator. Plus, you’ll have access to software engineers to build out any custom rules or reporting modules. After launching Shift Admin, you’ll have ongoing assistance from our US-based, responsive tech support team who can usually resolve tickets within minutes.

Topics: Hospitalist Scheduling