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Guiding Questions to Help Teams Create Provider Schedules

Posted by Shift Admin on November 28, 2017 at 6:45 AM

 Creating a provider schedule requires focused time and effort. When potential customers come to the Shift Admin team, we regularly hear that team members are frustrated with the current schedule process. The providers feel that schedules are unfair or biased, or that they wait too long for a schedule to be published.

If the scheduling workflow is new to you, answering these common questions can help you create a provider schedule that works for your team.

“Who requested time off?”

One of the most important steps to creating an effective provider schedule is understanding how to work within the provider pool. Find out how many physicians are available compared to how many need to be on the schedule. A scheduling solution, like Shift Admin, can help you seamlessly manage the pool and answer this question accurately. Managing time-off requests with a centralized, master request calendar streamlines the process and ensures that no request is left out. You can also access individual provider preferences for consideration when creating a schedule.

“How do I keep this fair?”

The key to maintaining a fair and equitable schedule is to establish and work within the policies for your practice. Once policies are set, you as the scheduler can use default and custom rules that enable the generator to uphold them. A few questions to consider when establishing a policy are:

  • What does the schedule look like? What is the necessary shift pattern?
  • What is the rotation policy for major holidays?
  • How many shifts are providers required to cover in a scheduling period?
  • What is the maximum number of shifts a provider may request “off” in a scheduling period?
  • Which rules should be automated and which rules should be handled manually?

“Is this the most optimized schedule for our team?”

As soon as you generate an iteration of your provider schedule, you will receive a report with tallies for individuals and shifts. In this data, you’ll be able to see which rules were broken, or overridden, in order to fill the shifts on the schedule. As much as the system works within the rules to mimic human logic, there are times when a human eye can edit more effectively.

This is where you as the scheduler are invaluable. As you review each iteration and the output information you receive along with it, you can adjust rules and weights to optimize the schedule for your team. Each time you make changes to rules or adjust weights, the algorithm powering the generator learns preferences. This means that the process will take fewer iterations over time.

“Who has the latest version?”

This question is by far the easiest to answer! And the easiest for schedulers to manage. With a web-based scheduling platform, everyone has access to the latest and greatest version of the schedule. As soon as you hit “publish,” providers are able to sync the schedule with their preferred calendar application. Other members of the hospital or clinic team can access the schedule in real time through a secure link. Need to make an update? No problem. All published updates are automatically synced.

Want to see the industry’s most powerful schedule generator in action? Book a demo of the Shift Admin solution with our team today.

Topics: Physician Scheduling

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