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Salaried, exempt physicians and nps required to clock in/ out

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  • Salaried, exempt physicians and nps required to clock in/ out

    Heard this doozy from a colleague.

    Has anyone here heard of this or experienced anything similar?  I can understand for record keeping purposes or for tracking pto, however requiring an salaried, exempt outpatient clinician to clock in and out when the office opens and closes, as the hourly employees are required to do so seems to blur the line between exempt vs non exempt employees.

    Aside from the degrading nature of such a request for her, she said her contract requires "full-time" hours but does not specify what full time is, or specific hours.  Typically works 45-50 hours per week.

    Apparently this new request comes after 4 years of employment for her and has never been mentioned or required previously.

    Sounds like just one more "rule" to keep her in her place by non clinical administration, however she was assured the company (privately owned practice) is required to have the same rules for all employees, although the employees are a combination of hourly employees and salaried physicians and nurse practitioners each with differing contracts.

    Just sad, really that it has come to such 'rules' and I feel for her.  She is debating whether this is even legitimate on their part if it is not specified in her contract or been required until now.  I'm not an attorney, but curious if anyone else has experience with similar requests?

  • #2
    We've talked about it but I've never actually heard of any organization doing it. Should have known it was inevitable.

    We have lots of disagreements about what constitutes fair amount of work. We have debates over what time someone who is efficient should be allowed to leave. Accusations of cutting corners at times. The punch in seems to be an objective way of measuring hours at work.

    Logically people who work hard have least to fear. However in my experience, the ones who work the hardest will be biggest protestors of this type of policy and most likely to leave organization based on principle. Lose lose.

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    • #3




      We’ve talked about it but I’ve never actually heard of any organization doing it. Should have known it was inevitable.

      We have lots of disagreements about what constitutes fair amount of work. We have debates over what time someone who is efficient should be allowed to leave. Accusations of cutting corners at times. The punch in seems to be an objective way of measuring hours at work.

      Logically people who work hard have least to fear. However in my experience, the ones who work the hardest will be biggest protestors of this type of policy and most likely to leave organization based on principle. Lose lose.
      Click to expand...


      I agree with your last paragraph there. Let's just say, that badge scanner would not last on the wall more than a couple of days  :twisted:

       

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      • #4
        They may be misinterpreting the "rules" or who they actually apply to, that happens all the time. Of course if you're cynical/realistic they are looking for another measure to use to decrease peoples pay. If it isnt in her contract than theres no such thing as full time, that kind of thing needs to be explicit.

        What about call or journal reading, emails, prep, etc...? Does that count too?

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        • #5




          They may be misinterpreting the “rules” or who they actually apply to, that happens all the time. Of course if you’re cynical/realistic they are looking for another measure to use to decrease peoples pay. If it isnt in her contract than theres no such thing as full time, that kind of thing needs to be explicit.

          What about call or journal reading, emails, prep, etc…? Does that count too?
          Click to expand...


          Or when she is up until midnight at home charting because the office is crazy during the day. Can she clock back in for some OT action?

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          • #6
            Our EHR (Epic) can track login and activity times and even has efficiency diagrams to help assist in guidance for efficiency.    In this world of ours, that would be a lot more accurate measuring device of 'logged in time' than 19th century Butt-In-Clinic time.

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            • #7
              Considering that most of us are paid for the number of patients we see and days per year we're working, there should never be any tracking of actual time spent at work.  I'm speaking for hospitalist work.  The only exception to this of course is being on call.  On call days we obviously have to be there during a set period to accept new patients from the ER.  But, outside that, we should always have the freedom to come and go as we see fit.  I work at a hospital with resident coverage and we don't respond to rapid responses or code blues, so there's no reason we need to just sit there when our work is done.  And besides, the one or two people who are designated as "on call" are there for any unforeseen urgent situations anyway.

              Tracking a doctors hours at their place of employment is really insulting in my opinion.  Like Zaphod pointed out, our days are filled with all sorts of other responsibilities that are difficult to quantify (such as studying) and is part of the reason we need to have the freedom to schedule our days the way we feel fit.  A doctor's responsibility is really a 24/7 thing anyway.  No matter what specialty you're in, your responsibility doesn't end with the hours you spend actually on duty.  Whether it's a CT you read a year ago or a patient you saw in the ER 5 months ago, your mark is there and you're at least legally responsible for it for a couple of years after the encounter. That's why it's silly to track hours IMHO.

              The day I'm told that they are tracking hours on me and requiring me to sit around for a certain period each day is the day I'll be turning in my resignation from that position.  I have no problem with sticking around long enough each day to completely fulfill all my responsibilities to my patients and partners, but I'm not going to sit around and twiddle my thumbs just to satisfy some silly corporate rules.

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              • #8
                We were required to do this as residents which I also found highly degrading

                That being said, I usually get to work early and am borderline OCD so it made me look like the paragon of professionalism and consistency

                There were others in my program who were consistently late and hated the clock in system. The card reader had to be changed multiple times / year thanks to mystery abuse

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                • #9
                  I don't even make my office employees clock in.

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                  • #10
                    If I was a business owner I would use these data to decrease the doctor:census ratio and to know who I was going to replace first if I was able to hire a cheaper new grad.

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                    • #11


                      Add another file Submit In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.
                      Click to expand...


                      Really! We don't, either, even for interns and part-time work. How unprofessional - sounds more like factory workers. (No offense to factory workers, as I grew up in a family-owned printing business, clocking in with the rest of the employees.)
                      Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                      • #12





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                        Click to expand…


                        Really! We don’t, either, even for interns and part-time work. How unprofessional – sounds more like factory workers. (No offense to factory workers, as I grew up in a family-owned printing business, clocking in with the rest of the employees.)
                        Click to expand...


                        JFox, I think that is the point. They are trying to wring the professionalism out of doctors at some places. I read on Sermo yesterday a post by a physician who was told by the lead custodian that it was now his responsibility to take out the garbage.

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                        • #13




                          I don’t even make my office employees clock in.
                          Click to expand...


                          I used to be like you years ago and never even had a time clock, and treated all employees as adults. But unfortunately there is always one employee who abuses this privilege and acts like a spoiled child. She was in the process of getting married and would take her 1 hour lunch break and then add another 15 minutes. Then 20 minutes. And so on. The other employees started to mimic her. She would also have the lunch with us when the rep got us lunch, and then take a separate lunch break.

                          When she broke the last straw in the camel's back by coming 30 minutes late I went to Sam's club, got a time clock and time cards and put it on the desk. Greeted all employees the next morning and said this was the new rule for all. Also made it clear that if they took 10+ minutes extra they might miss half a day pay. And if they want to join me in the drug rep lunch they have to clock out first.

                          Every employee but one was happy with this arrangement. Over the years I have never looked at the time cards of my long term employees  ( 12-14 years with me) but it keeps the new hires ( usually the front desk) from abusing their privilege.

                           

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                          • #14
                            If everyone was responsible like the people here we would not need the system. Sadly, there is a wide range of professionalism even in medicine.

                            The corporate types are not likely to respond well to arguments of just show me what work I didn't do. If they know you are leaving early, even if all your work is carefully and thoroughly done, they can't leave it alone. More work will be your reward. More meetings or committees or clinical work for people who complain that they can't manage their share. If someone else's inbasket is not regularly emptied, guess who the winner is. If there is an access problem, seems like there is an obvious solution.
                            The corporate types need to measure something to justify their existence. And they need to show improvement whatever that means. And they believe firmly they are improving care by whatever they chose to implement.

                            Having said that sometimes it is easier to measure these things to document facts that can't be argued rather than subjective claims or that person is leaving too early.

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                            • #15
                              There was probably a bad apple or two that may have taken to leaving too early for admin's liking and that probably precipitated the micromanagement of everyone.

                              From my understanding none of the contracts specify any specific hours requirements.  So while admin my be trying to coerce everyone to staying until a specific time every day, nothing in the providers contracts obligate them to.

                              I would assume as long as the work is being done, patients are being seen, and charts are kept current, while admin may not like it, probably don't have much ground to stand on to force them to stay to a specific time.

                               

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