This is a guest post by Gina Loxtercamp.
I Don’t Want to Keep Driving a Gremlin!
What do you do when your group is content for you to spend your evenings and weekends working on your physician schedule – without compensation?
I had talked to an administrator recently that is ready to change how she creates, manages and communicates their practice’s physician schedules – so ready that she walked me through what would be important to the physicians, strongly emphasizing not to discuss any benefits the scheduler would have -- because they do not care about that. Wow! I was stunned (still am), and thought this couldn’t really be the case. Unfortunately, it was.
Jill has cared about her practice and the physicians for many many years, and wants to transition from manually scheduling on paper to software. She would like to have cloud-based physician scheduling software to create, manage changes and vacation information, and communicate an accurate, real-time schedule to drastically reduce how much time she spends on her own time doing all of this today. Another goal that is important to her – essential -- is to make this as seamless as possible to her physicians, and ensure they have an accurate schedule wherever they are, easily accessible by whatever device they prefer to use -- especially a mobile App. The physicians do want the mobile and “live” schedule.
Upon meeting the group, the providers wanted to change just about every aspect of how the software does what it does – you name it, they had a preconceived idea about how to take exactly what they were doing on paper, and try to bend software into that form. When the discussion came around to pricing, they actually encouraged Jill to keep a separate vacation calendar for those that aren’t essential to the schedule to save dollars (a few physicians, PA’s, and NP’s). Again, WOW! Managing all the time out of the office is one of her most cumbersome tasks!
With all due respect, they are focusing on the wrong things – we are the programming and physician scheduling experts. What a practice should focus on is how to help their practice become more efficient, actually SAVE time, resources, reduce errors, improve employee satisfaction, and of course their own satisfaction – all to benefit patient care!
What can an administrator or scheduler do when the physicians in their practice seriously under-value what they do every day to make their lives easier?
Here are a few thoughts:
- Identify if your practice is ready for change.
- If yes, do your homework and document the time required for today’s process, errors that have cost the practice a loss of revenue or patient dissatisfaction, and schedule errors that have resulted in the wrong physician being called in the middle of the night!
- Identify your top 3 or 4 pain points that you must solve, and let the experts help you do it – we want you to succeed!
- If no, there still is hope. Start charging the practice for your nights and weekends, and read this blog post on how to give away a skunk.
Key takeaway: We want to help you have a seamless transition from a more manual process to our software – if your practice isn’t ready and you are willing, we will help you find a way!
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net