Our point of view is that software specific to creating, changing and communicating a physician’s on-call and work schedule should be easy to buy, easy to set-up and easy to use.
What is the purpose of software? According to blogger David Longstreet “the answer is obvious, the propose of software is to solve problems”. What is the purpose of software as a service (SaaS)? First let’s define what SaaS is? SaaS is a method of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from any device with an Internet connection and web browser. In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases and code that constitute an application. This is a significant departure from the on premise software delivery model. The purpose of SaaS is to give users all of the features and functionality of software, without all of the expensive hardware and maintenance associated with operating software.
Call Scheduler is a SaaS based physician scheduling software system. Check out a previous blog post "SaaS -vs- traditional software" to see some of the differences. Or let’s look at some of the problems that our prospective customers have come to us to solve:
- It takes too much time to “create” the physician schedule
- It is too hard to remember all of the rules for all of the doctors when creating the schedule
- I can’t create more than a few weeks at a time due to its complexity
- Processing day-off and vacation requests is very time consuming
- Keeping track of how many vacation and day’s-off each physician has had or will have is very complex
- Managing the changes each day/week/month is time consuming
- Communicating the changes to the schedule is very time consuming
- People don’t keep up with the schedule changes and the wrong doctor gets called
- Keeping track of the number of assignments each physician has or will have during a certain period of time is a lot of work
- Manually entering your on-call assignments into your smart phone is time consuming
- Communicating who is covering “call” for our medical group to the hospital is time consuming
- Going back in time to see who was “on-call” last November 3rd is very time consuming
- Our schedule creation process in not documented. It lives in someone’s head.
The SaaS delivery model is perfect for medical practices and doctors due to its low cost of entry and non-existent maintenance fees. Physician scheduling software is also a perfect SaaS match because it solves many very complex problems, for very busy people, without large IT infrastructures.
Top Benefits of SaaS as it relates to scheduling physicians:
- Access to the software and it’s information should be easily accessible from any device with an Internet connection
- Low initial costs. No servers to buy or manage, no special computer systems or people to manage them.
- Low initial risk. No multi-year long term agreements, or huge up front investments
- Does not require on-site set-up and configuration, customers should be able to set-up and configure with minimal assistance.
- Free upgrades and improvements without having to download anything, just log-in
- User directed iterative software development. The application features are always expanding based on customer needs and wants. Everyone benefits from everyone’s ideas.
- Multitenant software architectures can scale indefinitely to meet customer demand.
- APIs that let you integrate with existing Practice Management or EMR systems.
Key takeaway: Just because you can access software via a web-browser does not mean it’s delivery model is SaaS. The benefits of using the SaaS delivery model when scheduling physicians for both on-call and “work” are tremendous and should not be discounted. The future is here.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net