Excel may seem like a quick and simple way to schedule your providers, techs, and nurses; unfortunately, this outdated method is error prone and can lead to extra costs that your organization must absorb. Scheduling your resources optimally is important to save your organization time and money.
Administrators or doctors can spend hours per week making sure the schedule is accurate to provide proper care can be provided to patients. This is the first cost to consider – time. Excel and other manual scheduling methods take time away from seeing patients and other responsibilities.
There are always last-minute changes that need to be accounted for in the schedule, and the puzzle for an acceptable schedule continues. When someone calls in sick or needs to swap shifts an email/post-it note often get lost in the shuffle. When there isn’t clear communication on who needs to switch shifts or who is taking off errors can occur.
An automated scheduling solution will automatically create your provider, tech, or nurse schedule instantly. A schedule can be built in a couple minutes as opposed to a couple days, allowing your scheduler to focus on their other responsibilities.
When working with Excel, your finished product will need to be emailed to your providers to keep them up to date on the schedule. Maybe your process works something like this: email the schedule to your providers, post it on the break room wall, update the shared location that it is kept, etc. You need to manually email/call everyone who was affected by the schedule changes, as well as keep all copies of the schedule up to date. This process is mistake prone and often leads to confusion about where people are supposed to be and who is working.
Accessing the current schedule from a mobile device alleviates the burden of last-minute emails or updating the schedule in multiple locations. Many scheduling applications also provide real-time notifications of any changes to the schedule so your providers always know where to go and when to work.
The third cost you might not be thinking about is efficiency. Are your resources being scheduled optimally? Physicians are one of the largest expenses for an organization, so you want to ensure they are being scheduled efficiently. Excel is unable to validate the schedule and will never be able to tell you if any rules are being broken.
An automated and optimized schedule with no rule violations can reduce provider burnout and increase job satisfaction. An automated scheduling solution will prevent understaffing and ensure you can provide the best care possible to your patients.
Is your organization still using Excel to manage provider schedule? Check out some of our other blog posts to see how an automated scheduling solution will improve efficiency and reduce costs.