Physicians and medical support staff work in some of the most stressful and difficult professions available. The long hours, critical decisions and the constant stress staying up-to-date on the latest medical advances can take a serious toll on physicians and their support staff. On top of all of that, physicians face long hours and frustrating schedules that can lead to staff dissatisfaction and potentially lead to lower morale. One solution to reduce physicians’ dissatisfaction is to improve the scheduling process. It may seem like a small thing, but better schedules have been proven to improve staff satisfaction.
Here are five ways automated, rule-based scheduling can improve physician and staff morale.
Equitable Shift Distribution
Nobody likes to work the “bad shifts.” Overnights, weekends or and holidays can be some of the worst shifts available, but somebody has to work them. Automated scheduling applications can ensure that undesirable shifts are spread evenly amongst the available staff, ensuring that everybody works the same number of “bad shifts,” and nobody gets stuck working the every weekend or the same holidays each year. Distributing undesirable shifts evenly is a huge relief to physicians and staff.
Ease of Access
Physicians are always on the go, and going to an office or break room to find a copy of the schedule isn’t always an option. It is important that physicians and staff are able to quickly see the schedule on their computers or mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. Easy access benefits physicians in two ways, one it saves the physician the time of having to seek-out a copy of the schedule and two it ensures that they are always looking at the most up-to-date version. Even if there is time to find a copy there is no guarantee that it is the most recent version, which could lead to physicians ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Physicians deal with complicated procedures, tests and patients on a daily basis, adding additional stress from complicated schedules can push people over the edge and drastically reduce their satisfaction. Schedules should be easy to read and highly configurable to allow for physicians and staff to quickly view the schedule, exactly how they want to see it.
Don’t Forget Time-Off Requests
One of the worst things that can happen is a physician requests time off, but it is forgotten and not included on the final schedule. While the physician may still be able to get the time off they requested, they still must go through the unnecessary steps of talking with management and having them make the change to the schedule. With an automated scheduling application, time-off requests by staff are never forgotten and are automatically taken into account each time a schedule is built.
Another benefit of using an automated scheduling application is the flexibility it provides to physicians and staff. The best scheduling applications provide tools for allowing staff and physicians to swap and trade shifts as well as pick-up extra shifts or give away shifts they cannot work. Additionally, it should have rules that allow for personal stall preferences to be incorporated into the schedule. The scheduling flexibility is just another way to help improve staff retention. Allowing people to have a balance between work and life goes a long way to help keep staff happy and keep them working for you.