Why You Can’t Excel with MS Excel… Part 1

Every organization uses Microsoft Excel. Many of them use the application in a variety of ways. One very popular way healthcare organizations use Microsoft Excel is to schedule their physicians and staff. Excel’s many tools and features, though appealing, are not set up to allow healthcare organizations to quickly and effectively build proper physician and staff schedules. There are many reasons why this is the case.

You Can’t Track Your Requests

Your physicians and staff have to make requests for time off, shift swaps, shift pickups and many other reasons. Unfortunately, there’s no good way these requests can be submitted or tracked in Excel. Healthcare organizations may take requests via email, but it’s very easy to overlook those requests before a schedule is made, which causes problems once a schedule has been published.

You Can’t Store Your Scheduling Rules

Each healthcare organization has a set of unique rules all physician and staff schedules must be built around. If you are manually making schedules in Excel, it’s your job to ensure all of the rules are being taken into account while building the schedule. If any rules are ignored or improperly implemented, the schedule has to be reworked. This can cost organizations valuable time and money and lead to staff confusion and unnecessary frustration.

You Can’t Generate Scheduling Reports

Once your schedule is finalized and sent out after being made Excel, there is still no way to generate real-time reports on the schedule’s effectiveness, nor can you generate reports to track vacation time, scheduling equity or hours worked. Using Excel to create your workplace schedules does not allow you to properly analyze and grow from the results of your previous schedules.

If not Excel, then what works?

As a constantly growing and evolving healthcare organization, you should be looking for a rule-based scheduling application set-up specifically for healthcare organizations. These applications understand the number of requests healthcare organizations have to process. That’s why proper scheduling applications will be fitted with request management tools that allow physicians and staff to make requests within the application, and allow administrators to track and approve/deny any request and ensure it gets integrated into the next schedule. These scheduling applications also can accommodate every rule your organization has for building schedules. From there, they can automatically build schedules that ensure each rule is always taken into account. From there, a rule-based scheduling application will have a multitude of standard and custom reports that allow you to successfully conduct a thorough analysis on every schedule you make. All of these features allow healthcare organizations to save much-needed time and money and allow them to continue to successfully build their businesses.