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Physician On-Call Scheduling and On-Call Management Blog
by Justin Wampach

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How to get your Doctors Call Schedule into their Android Phone

  
  
  
call scheduler androidAnother frequent question that we get from physicians at Call Scheduler is "how do I get my call schedule into my Android phone"?  I thought that this might help not only our users but others who are using similar technology.  Be sure to follow the directions carefully.  If you have any questions you can call us at 877-435-8826. 

To Get your call schedule from Call Scheduler into your Android Phone:

1.  If you are using Call Scheduler Classic or Lite you are going to need to log-in to the application at login.call-scheduler.com.

2. Navigate to "White Board" and choose "ICalendar Export"

ical screenshot

 

 

 

 

3. Now you should see a red bar that says "Add/Edit iCalendar." Click the Add button at the right end of the bar.

ical screenshot 2

4.  This brings you to a list of all of the providers that take call. Choose a name for your calendar in the "Calendar Name box" and uncheck all the boxes except the one by your name.

5.  Click the "Save" at the bottom of the screen.

6.  Next, on the iCal Export screen, you'll see a link that begins, http://login.call-scheduler.com/ical/....

7.  Right-click on that link and select "Copy link location" (Firefox) or "Copy shortcut" (IE).

8.  Open your email program and start a "new message" to yourself. In the body of the message, "right-click" and select "paste". You should now see the link in your email message. It should end with ".ics"

9.  Click "send" and email the link to yourself.

        Now, switch to your Google Calendar Account: (not on your phone,on your computer)

10.  Log-in to your google calendar account

google calendar login

11. Once your calendar shows up on screen, navigate to the lower left-hand side of the screen and locate "other calendars".  Click on the small grey down arrow and click "add by url".

ical import android

12.  Open the email that you sent yourself with the "iCal link".  "right-click" on the ical link and click "copy shortcut"

13.  Paste the shortcut into the link location window.

add by url

14.  Click on the "add calendar" button when you are finished.

15.  You will notice that your "new calendar" has been added and displays under the "other calendars".  You can choose which color you would like your "on-call" assignments to show up as.  I choose green in this example.

new calendar added

16.  Within a short time you should see your call schedule on your Google calendar.  My call schedule is in green.

final import example

18.  You're done, if you can see your call schedule in your Google calendar, it is in your Android phone.  Locate your calendar on your phone and your schedule should be loaded.

android phone shot

KEY TAKEAWAY:  If you are spending time manually entering your on-call assignments into your Android, you don't need to.  There is a simple way to automate this process.  Remember this is a live subscription, when a change is made to your call schedule at your clinic, it will automatically update your phone!

10 Mistakes Doctors Have Made Buying On-call Software (part 2)

  
  
  

describe the imageDoctors who wish to enhance their practice and provide better care and service to their patients and themselves by using physician scheduling software are on the right track. Unfortunately, they don’t always go about it the right way.

Last week we posted three of the top ten mistakes that doctors have made when purchasing call scheduling software.  Here is a recap of the top 3, along with number four through ten.

  1. Wanting too many bells and whistles. 

  2. Trying to save a penny. 

  3. Thinking someone else understand your business.

  4. Losing sight of the basics – KISS:  Your primary aim is to improve your productivity, and you should always keep this in mind! Anything else should come later. For example, we have clients who request payroll integration in their on-call software. But delaying an order or cancelling an order based on just this one feature is unjustified. Nice to have is not the same as “essential” – and adding too many features just results in “bloatware”. It is a mistake to want your software to do too many things right from the start. Get what is essential, and build from there.

  5. Waiting for something better:  Doctors often keep on waiting for something better to come along. Unless you don’t jump in the water, you aren’t going to learn how to swim. Some of the best run private hospitals have been early adopters of technology. Today they might still be using legacy systems, but they are much better run than non IT friendly setups. It’s true that software will evolve over time, but you cannot wait for perfection. Software is always a work in progress, which gets improved and polished incrementally.

  6. Thinking your staff shares your vision:  Many good doctors buy the perfect software and then find that it does not help them at all. Often they blame the software for being unfriendly or useless. Most doctors fail to understand that their staff is one of the key stake holders in this process. Unless the staff uses the software, it is bound to fail. The software may be the best in the world, but if it is not used properly, it isn’t living up to its potential. Doctors need to be firm and to share their vision for the software with their staff. It is a mistake to assume that software will be easily adopted by support staff, nurses and fellow doctors. Provide lots of training – and if some members refuse to use this, you need to take them to task.

  7. Not nurturing innovation:  The biggest stake holders in this industry are the doctors. It is important for them to nurture innovation. Sometimes it is valuable to take a risk or allow a software company to go that extra mile in providing a feature which will change the process flow of your clinic. Doctors who refuse to try out products which provide extra features or new age ideas because they do not understand its utility are closing the door on innovation. A doctor who asks me to block some modules to save money because he feels he will not use them is basically closing his own mind to the potential of using new processes to improve his practice. Do not buy the module in the beginning, but keep an open mind.

  8. Underestimating the complexity of your needs:  Running a clinic is running a small business. It’s a complex enterprise, and often doctors over-estimate their ability to do a good job. Ideally, you should be focused on taking care of your patients, so your staff can run the clinic. If you find you are spending time on routine administrative tasks, this means you are wasting your time and money. There are only 24 hours is your day – learn to use them sensibly. A good doctor scheduling software program will help you to improve your productivity and that of your staff, if you use it to its fullest extent.  Don’t get stuck buying a cheap program which was designed for a small shop – you will end up being unhappy and dissatisfied.

  9. Delaying a decisions:  The single biggest mistake a doctor makes in buying call scheduling software is when he delays his decisions – whether it is thinking about his needs; talking to the vendor; spelling out his requirement; installing the program ; or getting training for his staff. As a result, the vendor is frustrated; the doctor is confused; the staff is anxious. Start small – but start today!

  10. Not providing enough time for training.  While doctors understand that learning a new medical procedure can take time, unfortunately, they are not willing to invest the same time in training their staff – and themselves – in learning how to use the software properly.  This can cause a lot of frustration and when this happens, many doctors just give up on the idea of using any software at all, because they feel their staff is either too busy or not willing to learn something new.  Give your team the benefit of the doubt, also lead by example.  Show your team how important this change is by being a part of it.

free-consultation-button

10 Mistakes Doctors Have Made When Buying Physician Scheduling Software

  
  
  

mistakesChoosing which program to buy to create, maintain and publish your call schedule has never been easy.   Earlier, it was because there were very few programs available.  Today, ironically, it is because there are too many!  Doctors are very confused as to which program they should buy – sometimes, too much choice can be as bad as too little.

Doctors have some special character traits which software producers need to be aware of.

  • To be able to treat a patient and be confident that your decision is right requires tremendous self confidence, which means doctors often have a big ego. Many take the approach that they are always right - even in a field like computer technology.
  • Doctors have a tremendous thirst to learn. Years of med school training allows you to pick up knowledge quickly and most doctors who want to buy software are quite knowledgeable about computers. However, sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous , and often what doctors know about computers and software leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Doctors are pressed for time, and hence their decisions are based on the fact that “anything that does not gel with me is going to hamper me”. Rather than try to improve their workflow with the help of computers, they’d rather stick to their old dysfunctional habits, even if this hampers their efficiency.

Doctors who wish to enhance their practice and provide better care and service to their patients and themselves by using physician scheduling software are on the right track. Unfortunately, they don’t always go about it the right way. 

10 mistakes doctors have made when purchasing call scheduling software.

  1. Wanting too many bells and whistles:  Some doctors want their software to do everything for them. Sometimes putting too many things in your software tends to delay its deployment and make it too complicated to use. Often, some doctors will end up not buying any program at all, because it does not have everything which they want – which means they deprive themselves of a great opportunity of improving their efficiency in 80% of their practice.  For example, in EMR software some doctors want the entire drug database of 15000 drugs in their software.  Now you know you will never use even 1/100th of these. There are enough online resources to give you these details when you do require this esoteric information. Why load this redundant data in your software and make it slow by cramming it with stuff you will never use? It’s much more sensible to have a small efficient intelligent drug database which you can grow over time. Stick to the basics - your aim is to improve your practice - not to solve the world healthcare crises.

  2. Trying to save a penny:  It’s a simple fact of life that investment reaps rich rewards. Why haggle over a few dollars and try to find the cheapest option?  Negotiating is great, but choosing quality, support and peace of mind is far more important than trying a save a few bucks. It’s easy to get a local company to make a simple Excel spreadsheet to maintain your call schedule. However, in the long run it makes more sense to invest a little more in good software – preferably from a company which is completely focused on the healthcare physician scheduling space. Medical practice is a complex domain, and a software engineer who doesn’t spend time understanding this cannot make a good product. This is why the early successful packages were created by doctors because they did have the right idea. However, they did not have the savvy to remain up-to-date with the latest technology.  Every doctor I know earns enough to invest in a good package which will enhance his practice. Choose your vendor carefully – after all, you want them to be your partners for life and for this, they need to make enough profit.

  3. Thinking someone else understand your business:  A lot of doctors tend to put too much trust in what their software vendor is doing for them. They feel he is the expert, and knows what he is doing. If a custom built package is being made, unless you provide the vendor with adequate knowledge on your processes, templates, wants and need, the program will never do what you want it to. Remember the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out”.  I know doctors who just give a brief outline of what they want and leave it at that. Now the vendor is left scratching his head because he does not really understand what is required of him. He muddles through – but what he produces is not what the doctor wanted, which means a lot of time, money and energy are wasted – and the cycle needs to be repeated again. If you want a custom built solution, you need to be very closely involved. You cannot delegate this. You need to provide all the information required personally. More importantly, you need to review and ask for updates from time to time. Often, the project gets needlessly delayed because the doctor realizes that this was not what he wanted only after the complete package is delivered to him.  Do you really have time for this?  If you are a full time physician, probably not.
View Mistakes #4 through #10

Everyone's a winner in a paid trial of call scheduling software

  
  
  

winnerWould you purchase a car without test driving it? Would you buy a pair of pants without trying them on? We follow the rule of "try before you buy" every day without even thinking about it. Of course, we should follow that same sound principal when we're purchasing an important business tool such as physician scheduling software.

Try before you buy, that seems to be a common theme now days.  I hear it suggested in everything from living together before you are married to purchasing physician scheduling software.  Why, because most people learn some very valuable "stuff" when they try something.

Here are some valuable reasons to try before you buy:

  1. Get a real look under the engine.  You will probably learn something new when you get "full access" to software.  Most product demos hide some of the real gems until after you become a customer.  A trial is a good way to see what's under the hood.
  2. Test results versus your results.  It’s an old marketing trick to display some amazing results or claims on a website or during a demo.  Where the rubber meets the road is when you put your data into a system and see what the results are.  Now will it still meet your needs?
  3. Tests drive the training and service department.  Did you ever notice how nice everyone is when you are buying something?  You tend to see true colors shine through after some of the "newness" has worn off.  If the team is still nice and helpful after 90 days you have probably picked a winner.  Most people can't fake it that long.
  4. Find the hidden gems.  Many times after you use something new you will find a few hidden benefits that you never realized you needed.  These are really fun because they were unexpected.  Some software customers tell us that the gems can sometimes outweigh the original headline features, meaning that they find savings and benefits in different ways.
  5. Limit your risk.  No one wants to look foolish in front of their professional partners.  As I have learned (the hard way) it makes sense when trying something new to limit your risk.  Most of the time when purchasing something like call scheduling software the largest risk is the term: of the agreement.  With a trial you can be sure that everything is a good fit before you make a commitment.

Is a paid trial of call scheduling software ever a waste?  In my opinion, no.  Everyone’s a winner.  You will learn some very valuable lessons and in the end you should know more than when you began.  Sounds like a win to me.


 

 

Call scheduling done wrong: 10 things you can do to make it worse

  
  
  

call scheduling things not to doMost physicians agree that anything to do with on-call stinks.  But there are things that your practice can do to make it better or worse for your providers.  If you really want to make it as bad as it can be, do these 10 things and you will see it go from bad to worse quickly.

  1. Don't compensate one of your doctors for creating and maintaining the call schedule, make them do it for free. 
  2. Force your scheduler to do the work of creating, maintaining and publishing the call schedule on their own time at home.
  3. Allow each of the doctors the ability to have any rule or preference that they want.
  4. Negotiate next to impossible rules and scheduling accommodations for new providers that are joining the group.
  5. Allow all of your providers to decide when they are going to take days off and be on vacation after the oncall schedule is published.
  6. Try to balance your provider tallies monthly.
  7. Force your scheduler to "catch people up" when they take time off after the schedule has been created.
  8. Print out a paper copy of the schedule and give it to the providers.
  9. Allow your providers to make changes and swaps between themselves without any process or procedure.
  10. All of your providers to schedule themselves with or without software.

By following all 10 of the items listed above, you can create the worst-of-the-worst scenario for your providers.  You can be sure that this will help you accomplish the following:

  1. Longer wait times for your patients in the ER
  2. The wrong doctor getting called in the middle of the night
  3. Unfair tallies and workload for some doctors
  4. Higher turnover rate of person creating the schedule
  5. Unhappy physicians

There is another approach to call scheduling, doing it the right way.  In a recent blog post 3 Cost Effective Steps to a Modern Call Schedule you can learn about another approach.  This one may give you, your providers and patients a better outcome.

9 Mistakes Doctors Make When Choosing Physician Software

  
  
  

mistakeChoosing which call scheduling program to buy has never been easy. Earlier, it was because there were very few programs available. Today, ironically, it is because there are too many!  Doctors are very confused as to which program they should buy – sometimes, too much choice can be as bad as too little!

Physicians who wish to enhance their practice and provide better care and service to their patients by using technology are on the right track. Unfortunately, they don’t always go about it the right way.  Some of the important mistakes doctors make are highlighted below.

1. Wanting too many bells and whistles:

Some doctors want their call scheduling software to do everything for them - even pay their taxes (Just joking! ). Sometimes putting too many things in your software tends to delay its deployment and make it too complicated to use. Often, some doctors will end up not buying any program at all, because it does not have everything which they want – which means they deprive themselves of a great opportunity of improving their efficiency in 80% of their practice.  That’s what we recommend sticking to the basics - your aim is to improve your practice - not to solve the world healthcare crises.

2. Trying to save a penny:

It’s a simple fact of life that investment reaps rich rewards. Why haggle over a few dollars and try to find the cheapest option?  Negotiating is great, but choosing quality, support and peace of mind is far more important than trying a save a few bucks. It’s easy to get a local company to make a simple, unsupported database for you to manage your patient’s addresses. However, in the long run it makes more sense to invest a little more in good software – preferably from a company which is completely focused on the healthcare space. Medical practice is a complex domain, and an software engineer who doesn’t spend time understanding this cannot make a good product. This is why the early successful packages were created by doctors because they did have the right idea. However, they did not have the savvy to remain up-to-date with the latest technology. Please stop acting like a miser in choosing a package. Every doctor I know earns enough to invest in a good package which will enhance his practice. Choose your vendor carefully – after all, you want them to be your partners for life, and for this, they need to make enough profit?

3. Losing sight of the basics – KISS :

Your primary aim is to improve your productivity, and you should always keep this in mind! Anything else should come later. For example, we have clients who request Accounts integration in their software. But delaying an order or cancelling an order based on just this one feature is unjustified. Nice to have is not the same as “essential” – and adding too many features just results in “bloat ware”. It is a mistake to want your software to do too many things right from the start. Get what is essential, and build from there.

4. Waiting for something better:

Doctors often keep on waiting for something better to come along. Unless you don’t jump in the water, you aren’t going to learn how to swim! Some of the best run private clinics have been early adopters of technology. Today they might still be using legacy systems, but they are much better run than non IT friendly setups. It’s true that software will evolve over time, but you cannot wait for perfection. It is a mistake to wait when you can always upgrade if you want to later on!

5. Thinking your staff shares your vision:

Many good doctors buy the perfect software and then find that it does not help them manage their physician schedule at all. Often they blame the software for being unfriendly or useless. Most doctors fail to understand that their staff is one of the key stake holders in this process. Unless the staff uses the software, it is bound to fail. The software may be the best in the world, but if it is not used properly, it isn’t living up-to its potential. Doctors need to be firm and to share their vision for the software with their staff. It is a mistake to assume that software will be easily adopted by support staff, nurses and fellow doctors. Provide lots of training – and if some members refuse to use this, you need to take them to task.

6. Not nurturing innovation:

The biggest stake holders in this industry are the doctors. It is important for them to nurture innovation. Sometimes it is valuable to take a risk or allow a software company to go that extra mile in providing a feature which will change the process flow of your clinic. Doctors who refuse to try out products which provide extra features or new age ideas because they do not understand its utility are closing the door on innovation. A doctor who asks me to block some modules to save money because he feels he will not use them is basically closing his own mind to the potential of using new processes to improve his practice. Do not buy the module in the beginning, but keep an open mind.  Even when doctors do not ask for the SMS or Email Plug-in, we still leave it on the User Interface, because just seeing that button there will make them wish it was active when they want to send out a report or reading instantly. Once they see the value, they can always buy the module later on.

7. Underestimating the complexity of your needs:

Running a clinic is like running a small business. It’s a complex enterprise, and often doctors over estimate their ability to do a good job. Ideally, you should be focused on taking care of your patients, so your staff can run the clinic. If you find you are spending time on routine administrative tasks, this means you are wasting your time and money. There are only 24 hours is your day – learn to use them sensibly. A good scheduling software program will help you to improve your productivity and that of your staff, if you use it to its fullest extent. Don’t get stuck using the "free" program which was designed for a small shop – you will end up being unhappy and dissatisfied.

8. Delaying a decision:

The single biggest mistake a doctor makes in buying call scheduling software is when he delays his decisions – whether it is thinking about his needs; talking to the vendor; spelling out his requirement; installing the program ; or getting training for his staff. As a result, the vendor is frustrated; the doctor is confused; the staff is anxious; and patients continue to remain unhappy. Start small – but start today!

9. Not providing enough time for training:

While doctors understand that learning a new medical procedure can take time, unfortunately, they are not willing to invest the same time in training their staff – and themselves – in learning how to use the software properly.  This can cause a lot of frustration and when this happens, many doctors just give up on the idea of using any software at all, because they feel their staff is too stupid.

By avoiding these 9 mistakes that doctors make when choosing physician software you will save yourself, your practice and patients a lot of time and money.


Can you create a "Center of Excellence" around on-call management?

  
  
  

CenterofExcellenceFig2According to website Wikipedia A center of excellence refers to a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, evangelization, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area.

A Center of Excellence (CoE) should, at a most basic level consist of:  A team of people that promote collaboration and using best practices around a specific focus area to drive business results. This team could be staffed with full- or part-time members.  There are 3 key words to the definition, "team", "collaboration" and "best practices" that are critical to the foundation of a CoE. 

Centers for Excellence should serve 5 basic needs:

  • Support: For their area of focus, CoE’s should offer support to the business lines. This may be through services needed, or providing subject matter experts.
  • Guidance: Standards, methodologies, tools and knowledge repositories are typical approaches to filling this need.
  • Shared Learning: Training and certifications, skill assessments, team building and formalized roles are all ways to encourage shared learning.
  • Measurements: CoEs should be able to demonstrate they are delivering the valued results that justified their creation through the use of output metrics.
  • Governance: Allocating limited resources (money, people, etc.) across all their possible use is an important function of CoEs. They should ensure organizations invest in the most valuable projects and create economies of scale for their service offering. In addition, coordination across other corporate interests is needed to enable the CoE to deliver value.

CoEs can really refer to any of the support processes within an organization that complement the line businesses.  In the case of a Hospital "on-call management" here are some of the main elements of the process:

  • Collecting specialty group call schedules
  • Creating a daily call-log
  • Publishing the oncall information for all to use
  • Identifying who should be called
  • Activating the on-call process for the proper provider
  • Tracking how long it takes for the specialist to arrive

This entire process supports one of the main business lines at most every hospital, receiving a patient in the Emergency Department.  A streamlined process in this case can do the following:

  • Improve efficiency
  • Enhance revenue
  • Manage risk
  • Enhance patient care
  • Increase satisfaction

So to answer the question, can you create a "center of excellence" around on-call management at your hospital, the answer is yes.  Should you?  That will depend on where your organization is at today and if they see value from some of the benefits listed above.


Are the New York Giants a better team than your management team?

  
  
  

manning

What does Eli Manning and the New York Giants team have in common with you and your team at the clinic?  You're probably saying, not much, but there is a lot more similarities in the two teams than you might think.

              

Football Team

Medical Practice

Highly paid players Highly paid doctors
Large up-front investment Large up-front investment
Each player is a specialist Each doctor is a specialist
Paid staff to support team Paid staff to support doctors
Players want to be on a winning team  Doctors want to be in a winning practice
Highly paid coaching staff Highly paid management team
Players can be traded Doctors can leave

One of the major differences is that football players listen to their coaching staff.  Although the players make more money and have more status and influence, when they get together as a team, they listen to their leader and are all on the same page with the same goal in mind, WIN.  Let’s compare that to a physician owned clinic.  In that scenario, the Doctors run the show and although there is an administrator, I don't think that many groups look them as business experts.

In the game of Football, what is needed to win is points.  You get points by scoring touchdown and field goals.  You score touchdowns and field goals by working together as a team.  Out on the field, everyone is important.  In this past Super Bowl, if Eli Manning didn't have teammates defending him, he could not do his job.  The team wouldn't be ready to play if there wasn't staff and facilities for practices.  It also would not be possible without fans.  Who wants to play in an empty stadium?  Everyone is a star on the team.  Although some stars are better than others, everyone’s contribution is key to success.  A football team is a well oiled machine.  When the machine works it is in its best position to win games.

In the business of Medicine, what is needed to win is profit.  You earn profit by treating patients.  You treat patients by working together as a team.  In the clinic everyone is important.  Without certain members of your team, for example, maintenance, physician on-call scheduler, accounting, you cannot effectively compete.  When you compete without your staff, you are at a disadvantage and increase your chances of loosing.  There are no stars on the team, everyone is equally as important.  If you strive to provide the same level of quality and service each time, everyone’s contribution needs to count.

So when you ask yourself if the New York Giants are a better team than your management team, show me the rings. 

Although I am not a big sports fan, I am always fascinated at how teams work together for a common goal, winning.  I think that health care and independent clinics specifically can learn some valuable lessons from how these big-fancy teams win.


Call Scheduling Software: Everyone has an expectation

  
  
  

expectationsvsrealityAlthough I have been advised not to editorialize in my blog (duly noted) I thought that it might be useful to have a brief chat about expectations.  Prospects, customers and vendors all have different expectations about how things will work regarding doctor scheduling software. 

Here are a few call scheduling software prospect and customer myths that I can dispel.

  1. I should only have to pay for what I use in the software.
  2. The software should set itself up (including all of the information about my providers).
  3. You don't need any training on how to use call scheduling software.
  4. Software will schedule my providers just like I do with Excel.
  5. I want you to be my partner, but I will not treat you that way.
  6. The software should be able to accommodate that certain things only happen sometimes.
  7. The schedule will display the way I want it.
  8. The schedule will show up in my phone the way I want it.
  9. Software customization (custom programming) should be very easy and inexpensive.
  10. The software should be damn near free.

When you stop and think about it there is no way that a company can program to meet everyone’s needs or wants.  The more you use software the more you become ok with that.  In fact, as soon as we (Software Company) make a decision and choose a direction we know for certain that some will like it, some will love it, and some will hate it and think that we are idiots because we did it that way.  This gets back to a former blog I did about the Parato Principal, better known as the 80/20 rule.  Most software companies create products that meet 80% of the customer’s needs within their specific market.  Perhaps if you never find what you are looking for in software you need to adjust your expectations. 

Similar to prospects and customers having certain expectations of us as a company, we also have certain expectations of you as a prospective customer. 

To be fair, here are a few call scheduling software Vendor myths that I can dispel;

  1. We don’t like it when you tell us that our software sucks.
  2. We don’t like it when you don't do your homework.
  3. Our trainers have no clue how people create, maintain and publish a call schedule.
  4. We don’t like being stood-up for demos and training.
  5. Sometimes "why something works the way it does" is just because it does.
  6. Our trainers have others scheduled after you, so we cannot do it all at once.
  7. We don’t like being called on a Sunday night because you forgot your password and you don’t want to call your scheduler to bother them.
  8. We don’t like it when customers lack of planning become our emergencies.
  9. We don’t like when our software is blamed for your organizations dysfunction.
  10. We don’t like it when you don't pay your bill and we have to call and ask for it.

I think there are a few takeaways from this blog post. 

First, it is important to be realistic and reasonable with your expectations.  Also remember that expectations change and you must communicate your changes if you wish to be satisfied.  And lastly, remember that if you expect your expectations to be meet, others do as well, this should be a two-way street.  You can have everything you want, just not all at once.


5 Risks of allowing your Docs to change their own on-call schedule

  
  
  

risk

There are risks that need to be considered if you are going to allow all of your physicians to have the ability to modify the on-call schedule without any oversight.  In my opinion the risks outweigh the benefits.

Risk #1. Fairness.  Most all schedulers create the schedule with fairness in mind.  All providers demand even tallies.  When you allow your providers to modify the schedule fairness needs to be taken into consideration.

Risk #2.  Skills and Privileges.  Does the provider that you are trading with have the proper skills and credentialing to work your assignment? 

Risk #3.  Personal Liability.  What happens if no one is oncall, when there is supposed to be?  Critical patient presents at ED.  ED physician evaluates and proceeds to find the on-call consulting physician.  No physician found.  Patient is transferred to another facility.  Patient takes a dive while in transport.  Patient dies.  EMTALA investigation regarding the transfer.  When the legal team at the hospital steps in and finds out that a doctor took himself off of the call schedule because he was tired after a surgery.   Guess what happens next?

Risk #4.  Too many cooks.  Most doctor scheduling software companies have designed their software for a special user called "scheduler", this user has certain privileges in the software that others do not.  Some would call this a super-user.  Super-users are usually highly trained in the software use.  Super-users have the ability to "screw up the program" because of what they can do.  The larger the number of super-users in any system, the greater likelihood that someone will accidently screw something up.  Real super-users know how to fix their mistakes without having to call tech-support.

Risk #5.  Bizarre results.  If you are using web-based software by nature you can work in collaboration with someone very easily.  At Adjuvant we take advantage of this when we train our Call Scheduler Classic and Lite customers.  Both customer and trainer logs into the same account and they can both see the same results.  If customer changes something, all the trainer has to do is hit the "refresh" button and the new change is updated.  This same principal is true for multiple people to be using the software at the same time, all trying to manually schedule and every time they refresh the screen they are seeing other days scheduled, notes made and so on.  The bizarre results were not "bugs in the system" they were caused by multiple users logged into the same schedule at the same time and both making changes.

There are many more risks associated with allowing all of your providers to have the ability to create and make changes to the on-call schedule. 

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