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Scheduling the Holidays: How to Make the Schedule Work for Everyone

Posted by Shift Admin on October 3, 2017 at 6:13 AM

The holiday season creates stress for both schedulers and providers. The schedulers must ensure that there is plenty of staff to cover each shift, while providers are concerned about spending quality time at home with loved ones. There are a few ways to balance these needs and make the holiday schedule work for everyone.

Establish Policy Early

The first key to managing a holiday schedule is to set a practice-wide policy well in advance. It’s important to consider that many providers have diverse backgrounds and to account for all major holidays.

Most groups choose to assign holidays at least one year in advance to allow providers to plan accordingly. For example, providers are required to work one or two major holidays in a year with the expectation that they will be off the following year. One simple way to achieve this is to assign staff to “A” or “B” groups and rotate time off each year. In the event of provider turnover, administrators can assign new employees to either group without too much back and forth.

Once you have created a policy that is agreed upon by your group, it’s best practice to black out schedule requests for each holiday and manually assign providers based on the rotation. You can store detailed documentation of your holiday rotation schedule within the Shift Admin platform to mitigate confusion.

Maintain Fairness & Flexibility

It is important to maintain fairness in the holiday schedule year over year. This is easy to do with Shift Admin’s built-in reporting feature. When your group meets annually to divvy up holiday shifts, you can run historical reports on who covered previous holidays to keep everyone on the same page.

While there is certainly a benefit to maintaining a rigid holiday schedule, it is important to allow for some flexibility. Many practices allow shift trades between two agreeable providers so long as they are made well in advance of the holiday.

Does your practice have a solid policy for managing holiday time off? Find out how Shift Admin’s powerful scheduling software can help you reduce holiday stress!

Topics: Physician Scheduling

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