Seriously…Cut Out the Confusion! Scheduling Terms Decoded…Part 3

In today’s post we’ve continued to decode some of the complex terms used in healthcare physician scheduling. In case you missed the first two articles in this series, you can view them here, part I & part II.

Schedule Audit

Auditing your schedule is a critical part of the scheduling process, but what exactly does that mean. While it may sound confusing, a scheduling audit is a very straightforward task. During a schedule audit the person who is creating the schedule will review all of the unfilled assignments or roles and all of the unassigned staff. In doing this the scheduled is able to manually fill in gaps in the schedule that the application could not fill for any number of reasons. Completing an audit ensures accuracy and schedule completeness.


Scheduling demand is the concept of keeping track of how much of your resources will be needed at any given time. Knowing your demand helps to ensure that you never encounter under or overstaffing situations in your organization. Demand tells the scheduling application that you need more doctors at this time and less at this time. This helps to balance your schedule and ensure that you are not wasting money scheduling people that don’t need to be there.


While the scheduling algorithm is the brain of the scheduling application, rules are all of the components that allow the brain to function properly. Rules are derived from an organizations scheduling policies. Rules dictate how the schedule will be built. Rules can range from very simple to very complex. Rules are encoded into a scheduling application and then used as a component of the schedule. An example of a simple rule might be, Dr. Jones does not work on Wednesdays every other week, while a complex rule might be Dr. Jones does not work on alternating Wednesdays, but if Dr. Smith is also scheduled the day off is shifted to Thursday.