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Amy's blog about training

Do You have "Ask Anne Syndrome"?

Posted by Amy Engebretson on Thu, May 05, 2016 @ 03:50 PM

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“Ask Anne Syndrome” and the On Call Schedule
It’s 2:00pm and you have a few more hours until the end of your workday. You suddenly remember a promise you made to your kids to attend their first baseball game a few weeks away. Your vision blurs, your head spins as you try to remember if you are On Call that weekend! You develop a burning itch in your fingers to dial-up Anne and verify if you are On or Off as a small sweat breaks out on your forehead. You feel the rising anxiety in your body in anticipation of what she will say, mixed with frustration and a hint of anger at the entire situation. “Why can’t I fix this myself?” you think, rubbing the pain in your neck.

“Hurry Anne, please hurry… I have a patient waiting and I don’t want to let my family down.”

Sound familiar?  

Chasing down the latest, most accurate on-call schedule causes deterioration of relationships all around. The most frequent “first fix” is to have all of the schedules coming from one central location, in this case “Anne”. Usually the schedules are printed and emailed to various parties, including you, along with frequent updates. However, this doesn’t really fix all of the problem. Sometimes updates are missed or lost. This solution simply re-focuses the problem.

The next step is usually supplying “Anne” with some sort of software to help her get the physicians' calendars done more quickly and accurately, but the printing/ distribution remains with HER… again a partial solution. Didn’t you get that update? Missed the memo?
The key issue being missed is on-demand Self Help to your schedules.

Why are you looking for Anne?

  • She always has the most current information.
  • She is the only one with the information, sole-source.
  • You don’t know where else to look.
  • You don’t want to look anywhere else, it’s too hard to find.
  • If schedules are on-line, you can’t get to them when you need them (home, park, with  friends).
  • The information didn’t show up in your email as expected or you lost the schedule.
  • You need another copy for the home refrigerator.
  • She is the only one who can handle change requests, a swap may be pending for you.
  • She creates a copy with only your assignments on it, easy for you to use.
  • She has the archives of who covers what in the past/ future for reference and tallies.
  • This your Group’s process, (short cuts and chocolate bars are your secret).


Cure “Ask Anne Syndrome”

Evidence suggests these symptoms are not permanent; pain-in-the-neck can be alleviated and relationship deterioration can be repaired. A few changes need to be made in workplace habits however.
Get started with a subscription to Call-Scheduler, then:

  • Go outside, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.
  • Pull out and consult your phone calendar, or
  • Consult your microsite (one click) or
  • Login to review and make swap requests if you “messed up”
  • Low Tech: Print and pocket a paper copy if you really, really want to… when you want to. Possibly for your refrigerator at home.
  • Smart Tech: the PHONE in your pocket could already have the schedule on it! 
    Ready for on-demand Self Serve consult at home, park, in your car, or with friends.

Now, go enjoy that Ball Game with your kids, knowing you are NOT On Call!