4 Tips for Scheduling Your Doctor’s Office

by Katie Sawyer, · 4 minutes

The phone is ringing with appointment requests. Emails are coming in with questions about insurance. Patients are in the waiting area.

Your doctor’s office is busy. And so are you.

When you’re looking to maintain an efficient and safe office, you need a strong schedule. But that doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think. Read on for four tips for scheduling your doctor’s office.

1. Plan shifts to meet changes in demand

No two days the are same in your office. Sure, you have patients coming in for routine checkups or exams, but then you have the emergency visits and seasonal shifts (hello flu season).

  • Focus on labor costing. Use tools that give you business insights so you can schedule your staff based on availability, cost, and training
  • Use demand signals. The number of patients, deliveries, and pharmaceutical reps that come into your office each day are just a few examples of demand signals. Look at your data to see when you have peaks and valleys so you can better schedule your staff, ensuring you’re never over- or under-staffed.
  • Look at the intangibles. What are your staff saying? Are they too busy? Not busy enough? Use some of that qualitative insight to build better schedules for you and your team.

2. Schedule with compliance in mind

The healthcare industry has a lot of rules and regulations. You have to keep up your certifications, stay on top of the latest medical news, and ensure patient safety. But don’t forget that you’re also responsible for your staff’s welfare too.

  • Schedule meal or rest breaks. This may or may not be possible in your health practice, but try your best to actually build breaks into your schedule. That will help ensure your team gets the breaks they deserve.
  • Create a clear record of compliance. When a patient is in need, someone on your team might be forced to miss a scheduled break. In that case, use your workforce management system to automatically record your staff’s attestation about why the break was missed.
  • Reduce unnecessary overtime costs. Especially during busy seasons, overtime hours can sneak up on you. You might be scheduling your staff for your urgent care clinic and not realize your team would be clocking more than you want. Instead, use tools that send you an alert when staff are at risk of overtime. That way, you can find staff who can work the hours — without overtime pay.

3. Automate your timesheets

In addition to integrating with your payroll system, there are some easy steps to automate your scheduling. Why spend more time on scheduling when a few tricks can save you all that headache.

Try out these three tips to automate your timesheets at your doctor’s office.

  • Use templates to build easy schedules. No need to start from scratch every time. Templates can help you speed up the scheduling process and even help you identify things like overtime, unavailability, or wage costs.
  • Set different pay rates based on skills, capabilities, and roles. There might be times that someone in your clinic or office needs to step in and do a different role for the day. In that case, set dynamic pay rates to ensure each employee is receiving the right pay for the right job.
  • Use face verification to clock in and out of work. When your team comes into work, you can speed up the process of clocking in — and recording accurate timesheets. Remove the manual workaround of verifying employees on shift by instead using facial recognition to verify employees.

4. Empower your staff

Quality patient care starts with trained, motivated, and happy employees. When you provide your staff with the tools they need to be successful at work — both personally and professionally — you’re one step closer to providing the positive patient care you’re known for.

Use these tips for helping your staff feel more in control.

  • Make time-off requests easy. Your team works hard so don’t make requesting time off any harder than it needs to be. Use your leave management tool to allow employees take requests with a simple click — and keep track of their balance all in one place.
  • Let staff find their own replacements. You probably hate getting the calls, texts, or emails when someone can’t make it into work. Well, your team doesn’t like sending them either. When staff swap shifts directly in your app, it takes the pressure off them and gives them the power to find their own replacement.
  • Use one app to streamline communication. If your staff doesn’t know the best way to communicate with you or even each other, that can lead to a big mess. Instead, use one central communication platform for effective communication across all your team members.

Staff coverage for stellar patient care

Organize your medical staff as efficiently as possible — and save valuable time. Now you can create error-free schedules, achieve the right staffing levels across departments, and reduce unnecessary costs. Try a free trial of Deputy to see how healthcare workers are creating ideal schedules in minutes.

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Andrew Huntley
Director, Kenney Medical Solutions
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