There’s no question that an effective hospital scheduling process saves the scheduler time, keeps providers happy, and puts patients under the best possible care.
Not that it’s always easy, however.
Finding the “perfect” schedule, one that pleases every member of your team, is always a challenge. But showing providers how your facility’s scheduling software is designed to fit their needs is a definite step in the right direction.
Here are some steps you can take to discuss the scheduling process with your providers:
1. Determine your goals, define the issues
Make sure you have an outcome in mind when discussing scheduling with providers, be it individually or in a group setting. Whether it’s how to manage the on-call process better or to agree to change some of the scheduling parameters, having a goal in mind will keep the discussion on point.
While determining your group’s scheduling goals, also address the most common scheduling issues that you hear from providers. Define the issues that providers encounter on a regular basis and take steps to remedy the issue in future schedules or address the concern directly.
2. Set up a team meeting
Reach out to your providers to set up a meeting to specifically discuss the scheduling process – especially as you’re adapting to new scheduling software – and to address their concerns or any scheduling difficulties. It’s always helpful to set ground rules for the meeting, such as keeping the discussion on track and listening without interruption.
3. Discuss scheduling rules with providers
Scheduling software allows you to apply rules for any scheduling scenario, such as not scheduling providers more than a certain number of consecutive working days or making sure that each provider’s contract agreement is met. Setting a fair and reasonable limit on the number (and type of) of schedule requests is also important. Make sure to discuss these rules with providers to give them a better understanding of how you generate shifts and on-call responsibilities.
4. Equip providers with scheduling tools
Scheduling software allows providers to submit schedule requests directly online. This not only saves you time as the scheduling administrator (and creates less of a mess), but also allows your providers to have a better understanding of the process.
Web-based scheduling also makes it possible for providers to access and manage their schedule from anywhere and at any time.
5. Integrate the schedule with other hospital processes
Integrating your scheduling software with other departments, such as Human Resources and payroll, keeps all of your colleagues in the know about the schedule while directly providing them with data to complete their work, saving you the hassle of sending them scheduling data.
Begin talking with your colleagues about how the scheduling process works and ways it can be improved. With each scheduling conversation and iteration of the schedule, your facility will run more and more smoothly.
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