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Edit the Schedule Based on Policy, Not Politics

Posted by Shift Admin on September 26, 2017 at 6:10 AM

As a scheduler for your hospital or clinic, there can be a lot of pressure to be a people pleaser and deliver the perfect schedule to each provider each period. However, that is just not realistic. It is critical as the scheduler that you take a solid stance on enforcing policies that are agreed upon and documented.

For editing the schedule with policy over politics, here are a few ways to set yourself up for success.

Establishing the Policies

Chances are the hospital or clinic has already determined a standard policy for vacation time, weekend shifts, night shifts, on-call shifts and so on. Same goes for the holiday schedule. But, is this well documented? The first aid of defense against a provider who is dissatisfied with their schedule will be to reference the policy. Next, you can show them the stats report from Shift Admin to prove that the schedule was created based on the policy.

The policies you use to configure rules in your scheduling tool should be well documented. It’s also a good idea to share them with providers in the group regularly and to review them with a committee from time to time.

Use Contracts

For most, a contract is the signed employment agreement between a provider and the hospital. In Shift Admin, you can think of contracts as sub-groups for users. You can file users under different contracts for any number of things, such as full-time, part-time, fixed users, nocturnists, and more. You staff a group schedule with users across multiple contracts. Each contract has their own settings and rules

For example, a nocturnists contract is made up of providers who only work night shifts. Their maximum number of night shifts will be different from a part-time provider who works days and nights. When each provider meets the requirements of their contract, there is no room for politics. Your stats reports will be balanced as well.

Define Your Rules

Within each group, there will inevitably be an undesirable shift type depending on the makeup of your providers. By defining rules in the system before generating the schedule, Shift Admin builds an optimized schedule for all providers to distribute shifts across the team. Defining rules for the users also ensures the generator knows which shifts these users prefer and which shifts they don't. The generator considers the all weights defined on these rules while trying to find the most optimized solution.

Shift Admin allows you to run a schedule for weekends only, and you can do this quarterly, semi-annually, or even annually. This allows physicians to plan their weekends off and also incentivizes them to submit requests early.

If you regularly deal with a rather cantankerous provider, schedule his or her shifts first. You can do this manually before running the generator. In extreme cases, you may save time by manually scheduling the exception to the rule instead of creating a dozen rules to “fix” one provider.

Removing the politics from scheduling can help you manage personalities with finesse. You don’t even have to be charming! You simply need to inform everyone that the policy dictates the rules and the rules instruct the auto-generator on how to act when creating a schedule. As far as the schedule is concerned, you are just there to supervise.

Topics: Physician Scheduling

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