Tips to Prioritizing Time-Off Requests for Your Providers

Posted by Shift Admin on July 24, 2018 at 6:03 AM

By whatever manner you handle employee time-off requests, you must communicate it clearly and implement it fairly for each provider.

If employees don’t know the boundaries your group has set for time off, you’ll have two results: there will be no boundaries, meaning some employees are going to ask constantly – for any reason – to take time off, or some employees won’t know the boundaries, meaning they are going to be too hesitant to ask for fear their request will be denied.

Here are a few tips regarding time-off requests from your providers:

Set your boundaries

There needs to be limits in place when it comes to time off requests. Make the providers aware that the limits exist to make sure that the overall schedule is fair for all their partners and also meets the needs of the group to ensure a high quality of patient care.

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Make sure physicians understand that unlimited requests will result in providers not getting days off that might have actually been really important and could result in schedules that do not flow well, do not provide adequate turnaround after nights, or do not serve the provider’s overall well-being.

Use priority levels

Allowing providers to make requests of different priority levels encourages them to go ahead and add in their lower priority requests that they might not have done previously, which will result in equitable schedules. Priority levels save the scheduler time in discerning the importance of each request.

The beauty of Shift Admin is that you can create customized schedules to meet the needs of everyone in your group.

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Allow longer term requests to be submitted earlier

Consider allowing longer-term requests, such as vacation or CME, to be submitted earlier in advance and approved ahead of time.  This will depend on staffing. If your staff is not at full capacity, you can't allow unlimited requests unless you're using locums or p.r.n. to fill in. If you're fully staffed, you can allow more requests.

Schedulers should also consider setting daily limits as well, so that all providers can’t ask off in the same day. A fair limit on requests helps the users, and the schedulers, by having a schedule that is optimized and fair for everyone.

Shift Admin can help you create a fair, equitable schedule every time. Watch to learn more:

Topics: Team Scheduling

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