Optimizing an Understaffed Department Schedule

Posted by Shift Admin on November 7, 2017 at 6:10 AM

 As more providers reach retirement age, schedulers are forced to make do in understaffed departments. Administrators need to optimize the scheduling process to meet demands and mitigate the risk of provider burnout.

Today, we are reviewing strategies to create the best schedule for your current team.

Monitor Time-Off

It’s best practice to establish time-off policies across the board for holidays, vacation time, and other time away from the office. Once your practice has this in place, the primary scheduler should regularly run reports on time-off requests to ensure there are enough providers available to fill the schedule. If a department is understaffed, you may need to consider using locum tenens to fill the gaps.

What is locum tenens? This comes from the Latin phrase that means “to hold the place of.” A temporary fill-in or substitute. There are many resources for finding locum tenens for your medical practice.

Monitor Provider Preferences

It may seem impossible to consider provider preferences when building a schedule for an understaffed department. In reality, meeting these needs is most important in an overworked department. These preferences typically include recurring days off during the month for family obligations or events. Meeting these needs helps to mitigate one of the biggest concerns in practice management: provider burnout.

Allow Shift Swaps

If you’re unable to meet each provider’s preferences during a scheduling period, allowing providers to autonomously facilitate shift swaps helps. Shifting control over schedule updates to the hands of the providers removes the pressure to create a “perfect” schedule.

Use Powerful Scheduling Software

With powerful scheduling software from Shift Admin, you can manage all of the above in a centralized platform. If you know your group is understaffed for a scheduling period, the auto-generator can flag shifts as open, allowing PRN and locum users to pick up open shifts when they are available to work. Customized reporting simplifies this process and allows you to plan smarter for locum tenens. The Shift Admin interface is intuitive, making it easy to add and remove locum tenen providers. Plus, you are only billed for the number of providers scheduled, meaning you don’t have to worry about paying more for temporary providers in your scheduling plan.

Each provider can submit their individual scheduling preferences to help administrators attempt to meet their needs within each scheduling period. In the event that a scheduler cannot meet an employee’s preferences, providers can manage their own shift swaps directly within the platform.

Ready to optimize your scheduling procedures? Book a demo of the most powerful scheduling tool on the market today.

Topics: Efficient Scheduling Tips

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