New Study Finds Emergency Medicine Tops Healthcare’s Most Complex Physician Schedules

2016-Schedule-Complexity-MockupAccording to new research shared this week with MHW on physician shift scheduling trends, emergency medicine departments in the U.S. balance the most complex sets of staffing rules and monthly requests of any specialty in the medical sector.

The report, 2016 Physician Scheduling Complexity by Specialty, analyzed rules and requests used in 5,547 department schedules across 57 medical specialties.

From the report:

Physician schedules in emergency medicine departments apply an average of 62 repeating scheduling rules (i.e., physicians can’t work two 12-hour shifts in a row) and 276 monthly schedule requests, which are not pattern-based like rules and can include vacation time or be used in staffing locum tenens or moonlighters with variable schedules. Compare emergency medicine to pulmonology, which has the most repeating scheduling rules (at 134, more than double emergency medicine) but far fewer monthly schedule requests. Schedules for office-based physician specialties, including primary care, pediatrics, and nephrology, were less complicated.

“Emergency medicine department schedulers are juggling more variables than there are atoms in the universe,” said Suvas Vajracharya, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Lightning Bolt Solutions. “Keeping emergency rooms staffed with the right balance of physicians and locum tenens to meet patient demand 24/7 is essentially rocket science. Our technology platform, built out of operations research technology used in the airline industry, professional sports, and manufacturing industries, is helping to meet these needs while also promoting physician work-life balance and preventing burnout.”

Top 11 Most Complex Physician Specialties to Schedule

  1. Emergency medicine

  2. Hospital medicine

  3. OB-GYN

  4. Pulmonology

  5. Anesthesiology

  6. Surgery

  7. Radiology

  8. Primary care

  9. Cardiology

  10. Pediatrics

  11. Nephrology

Want to know more? Check out the report here.

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