The Power of Provider Schedule Visibility
Provider schedule visibility—or lack thereof—has broad impacts on various aspects of patient care. Two top areas that can be improved by making schedules more visible are patient safety and provider satisfaction.
A review from the Joint Commission reveals that communication failures are at the root of over 70% of sentinel events.1 Often, lapses in clinical communication are caused by the inability of care team members to locate and contact the correct provider, a problem exacerbated by siloed and outdated scheduling systems. If different department call schedules are accessed in different locations across the organization and providers are expected to go through different processes for each department, dangerous delays in communication are inevitable.
A study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality refers to the time care team members spend attempting—but failing—to contact the correct provider as “problematic time.” According to the study, many communication events include time spent searching for information, identifying the appropriate provider, or searching for accurate contact information.
On average, problematic time consisted of 10-40% of total communication time.1 To eliminate problematic time, schedules must make it easy to quickly locate and contact the correct provider.
“To be able to see who is the surgeon that’s going to be taking this case, who’s the radiologist on call, who’s the infectious disease provider on call—all at a glance—that just has huge value to an organization for patient safety and workflow efficiency.”
– Dr. Corey Joekel, Chief Medical Information Officer, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Omaha, Optimized Provider Scheduling Client
Smart organizations improve speed to care and reduce medical errors with one digital scheduling solution that offers the latest schedules and provider contact information for all departments at the touch of a button. An accessible solution also integrates real-time schedules with other essential systems, like the EHR, call center software, and clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) solutions.
Modern provider schedules that are centralized, easily visible, and always up to date make connecting with the right provider much quicker and easier, eliminating delays and streamlining patient care.
Inefficient and varying processes for locating the on-call provider can be a huge source of dissatisfaction for physicians, care team members, and administrators, contributing to increased turnover.1 A lack of schedule transparency is a frustrating issue that inhibits your staff’s perception of shift fairness, impedes their ability to collaborate quickly, and brings down their overall satisfaction at work. It’s easy to understand why…
A provider who cannot access a full view of the schedule is more likely to get the misconception that a coworker is getting “better” shifts than one who can easily pull up the full team schedule. Perceived unfairness leads to frustration, friction, and dissatisfaction. As provider dissatisfaction spreads, schedulers become overwhelmed with schedule complaints and shift change requests. In the absence of a scheduling solution that is easy to access, edit, and share, schedule changes increasingly pull schedulers away from other important tasks.
The vicious cycle repeats itself in teams that lack schedule visibility, leading to burnout and turnover.
With the cost to replace a physician ranging from $500,000-1 million2, healthcare organizations stand to lose thousands, even millions, of dollars annually in turnover.
Investing in better provider scheduling can save big money in the long run.
Better Scheduling Transparency Improves Healthcare
Ensuring provider shift and on-call schedules are easily accessible across your organization can dramatically increase both patient safety and provider satisfaction by improving healthcare operations.
Want proof? Optimized Provider Scheduling powered by Lightning Bolt helped UK Healthcare’s Hospitalist Department decrease the time to contact the on-call provider by 86.5%.
Contact one of our Clinical Scheduling Specialists today to learn how Optimized Provider Scheduling can drive results for your organization.
- Improving Patient Safety Through Provider Communication Strategy Enhancements, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Dingley C., et al., Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches – Vol. 3, Aug. 2008: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK43663/
- Please don’t go: ways to reduce physician turnover, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Sep. 20, 2018: mgma.com/data/data-stories/please-don-t-go-ways-to-reduce-physician-turnover#:~:text=According%20to%20Christine%20Sinsky%2C%20MD,costs%20by%20reducing%20physician%20turnover