What to Have Prepared Before Creating a Schedule

Posted by Shift Admin on August 22, 2017 at 6:05 AM

Building a provider schedule can take many hours of careful planning, even more so if you are managing schedules across multiple facilities and specialties. The key to creating a great schedule is to start with a bird's eye view of your facility’s needs and available resources.

We are outlining the essential materials and information you need to have before you sit down to create your first schedule, in this case, for a team of physicians. With this information readily available, you can focus on executing the schedule in a timely manner and get back to working on your other job requirements.

Shift Requirements

First things first, you need to define how many shifts a group needs to fill within a given time period. Keep in mind that not all shifts are equal and you may need to assign a value to each based on priority. For some specialties, you may need to consider circumstances that increase or decrease shift load, such as holidays. Shift Admin allows you to set the number of shifts within a scheduling period and maintain that number each time you generate a schedule.

Physician Preferences

It’s important to have a clear system for identifying and applying physician preferences to the schedule. Preferences can range from the time of day each physician prefers to take shifts, the types of shifts they take, and the number of on-call days they can handle in a single period of time. Once you have these in order, you can define rules that will maintain them for your group.

Define Rules

Prior to running the generator, you need to configure rules in the system. To do this, a scheduler must have a solid understanding of the group’s needs to be able to translate those into rules within Shift Admin. There are over 100 default rules within the system that a scheduler can choose from, and our software engineers can build custom rules to fit any organization. Once you define rules in the system initially, they are permanently in place for each schedule period moving forward.

Schedule Requests

Next, you need a clear picture of how many physicians you have to fill the open shifts. This process would be extremely complicated to manage by hand, but Shift Admin makes collecting schedule requests painless and seamless.


The Shift Admin system offers an intuitive interface for users to log into the system and submit their availability. When a user submits a request, it is automatically synced to the master request calendar and will be used by the system to generate the schedule. Schedulers set a time window for users to log in and submit requests prior to generation.

Manually building a physician schedule that satisfies shift requirements, physician availability, and preferences, while also ensuring the optimum usage of your facility’s resources, can be a daunting task. But, Shift Admin allows you to automate the process and produce a fully optimized schedule in about 20 minutes.

Topics: Efficient Scheduling Tips

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