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  • Scheduling recommendations

    I'm an EM doc employee at a large hospital.  We have about 28 docs going through about 90k patients/yr. We work 9hr shifts w/ 1hr overlap. The group has been on a templated schedule for years, which tends to follow a light week/heavy week pattern (think 2-3 of 7 1 week, then 5 of 7 1 week) with 5 weeks of vacation per year.  We have had a bunch of changes lately which has made the template change often, and we have some members of the group leaving with new hires coming in a few months.  I'm trying to build a better mousetrap and am curious how most do their scheduling.  If you use a software program, are you happy with it? What is good and bad about it? If you do a template and your group is similar in size/scope, what have you found works?

  • #2
    We don't have any template.  We have about 20 ED docs for 60K/year. We also do 9 hour shifts with overlap. We work about 15 shifts/month.

    We use AMION for scheduling.  This works pretty well but I know it's still time intensive for our scheduler (RN manager with MD oversight).

    There's not any real rhyme or reason - we have 2 who prefer nocs, 1 full and 1 part time who are exempt from nocs.

    I actually work straight weekends. I do the 12 weekend days and then make up with either double shifts (yuck!) or working an occasional Thursday so that I have a set schedule.  We do have night differential and weekends differential (night differential is hourly for ANYONE working 11p-6a and weekend differential is only for those who signed a year contract to do all weekends).

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    • #3
      At 28 docs, we had a guy (and later, a girl, and then a team of 3) who did it by hand.  We moved to Tangier and I found it acceptable, but as our group grew bigger, it didn't allow the functionality that we required.  (Our group values schedule requests, and quite frankly it can get out of hand.)  Changed to Shiftadmin a few years ago and have been happy.  Not sure how Tangier has changed in that time, but Shiftadmin also allows us to communicate via email/text and store information (e.g. policies, employee handbook); also easier to submit custom reimbursement requests (such as admin time).  While we are the antithesis of template scheduling, we could change hours/add a shift tomorrow in terms of software.  Did you go to ACEP?  That would have been a good time to kick the tires, since all of the schedule vendors go to that and are also offering deals.

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      • #4
        We have experience with Amion, which is low cost and very basic.  Amion is too simple for the size of our group and the multiple specialties that are scheduled, but we still use Amion for scheduling residents.

        Shiftgen is acceptable at a mid range cost.

        Tangier has more functionality in the most recent version and we switched to try to make things work better, but it is more expensive and although it was marketed as offering much more than shift gen, it isn't clear so far that we are getting our money's worth.

        Some like Intrigma, but it is even more expensive than Tangier and getting it to do all of the time off and payroll tracking can take a lot of effort.

         

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        • #5




          At 28 docs, we had a guy (and later, a girl, and then a team of 3) who did it by hand.  We moved to Tangier and I found it acceptable, but as our group grew bigger, it didn’t allow the functionality that we required.  (Our group values schedule requests, and quite frankly it can get out of hand.)  Changed to Shiftadmin a few years ago and have been happy.  Not sure how Tangier has changed in that time, but Shiftadmin also allows us to communicate via email/text and store information (e.g. policies, employee handbook); also easier to submit custom reimbursement requests (such as admin time).  While we are the antithesis of template scheduling, we could change hours/add a shift tomorrow in terms of software.  Did you go to ACEP?  That would have been a good time to kick the tires, since all of the schedule vendors go to that and are also offering deals.
          Click to expand...


          I looked into this extensively when I was chief resident in 2011-12 so info is a bit date.

          ShiftAdmin is the clear industry leader and it's what we use for resident schedules at my place. The guy who started it is an ER doc who understands stuff. It's like a very precise piece of artillery I always say. If you take the time to line it up perfectly it will nail the target.

          Tangiers was far below it and like Amion mostly a schedule publisher.

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          • #6
            Not ed, but we use QGenda as an organization.
            I’m told other areas love it but I think it’s marginally better than doing it by hand. It is certainly better than hand to double check stuff and make sure schedules are balanced.

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            • #7
              We've hired someone to do it by hand. 18 docs, 8 shifts a day.

              You can have nice flow, or you can get the days off that you want. You can't have both. Your group will have to decide which it values most.
              Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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              • #8




                We’ve hired someone to do it by hand. 18 docs, 8 shifts a day.

                You can have nice flow, or you can get the days off that you want. You can’t have both. Your group will have to decide which it values most.
                Click to expand...


                At that level of complexity a scheduling program probably isn't worth it esp if you have a few nocturnists who set their own schedule.

                When I implemented shiftadmin at my residency it was like 20 shifts/day and about 40 residents in the pool each month who of course changed monthly.

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                • #9




                  Not ed, but we use QGenda as an organization.
                  I’m told other areas love it but I think it’s marginally better than doing it by hand. It is certainly better than hand to double check stuff and make sure schedules are balanced.
                  Click to expand...


                  Our IM residency and faculty use Amion and our OB/GYN department uses QGenda. Amion is functional. QGenda is useless except for display.

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                  • #10







                    Not ed, but we use QGenda as an organization.
                    I’m told other areas love it but I think it’s marginally better than doing it by hand. It is certainly better than hand to double check stuff and make sure schedules are balanced.
                    Click to expand…


                    Our IM residency and faculty use Amion and our OB/GYN department uses QGenda. Amion is functional. QGenda is useless except for display.
                    Click to expand...


                    amion is really a reporting program.

                    it's easy to see when you and others are working and easy to sync to iCal or Google cal.

                    i know it has an autosched feature but from what i've heard it's really basic.

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                    • #11
                      My hospitalist group is fairly large (I think around 60 docs spread across 4 different hospitals, many full time, many part time).  We use Shiftadmin and we have one doc who's primarily in charge of it.  Shiftadmin handles most of the work of scheduling, but from what I understand the scheduler has to go in and fine tune it to make sure all the shifts are filled each month and to accommodate special requests.  Seems to work well though.  I have no problems with the program itself and I think everyone else in the group is generally happy with it.

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