Intensivist On-Call Scheduling Software: Covering Intensivist Workforce Shortages
While many small and rural hospitals rely on generalists or hospitalists to care for critically ill patients, larger facilities have long embraced an ICU paradigm that utilizes intensivists to minister to their sickest patients. Intensivists, who are certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Emergency Medicine, have had specialized training in critical care medicine. In order for the intensivist model to be effective, though, doctors must be properly scheduled. That’s where intensivist on-call scheduling software comes in.
Leapfrogging into a New Paradigm
The impetus for the intensivist movement came in the early 2000s from the Leapfrog Group, an organization of employers and other health insurance buyers that advocates for healthcare safety, quality, affordability, and transparency. Leapfrog published rigorous guidelines for ICU staffing that included full coverage during the day and five-minute paging response times when off-site. Hospitals that adopted the intensivist model were found to have reduced mortality, shorter lengths of stay in the ICU, decreased complications, and lower costs.
As a result, there is a push in some quarters to have intensivists at hospitals around the clock. Researchers in Texas cite studies that demonstrate an increase in patient mortality when acute care patients are admitted during nights and weekends – when ICUs typically do not have intensivists on site – and discuss a financial model that estimates up to $3.3 million per year in ICU cost savings as a result of adopting the Leapfrog staffing model.
The Reality of Workforce Shortages
Although 24/7 intensivists may deliver better patient outcomes and cost savings, the reality is that there aren’t enough intensivists to go around. The Society of Critical Care Medicine regularly sounds the alarm about the intensivist shortage in the U.S. Researchers note that most intensivists are actually pulmonologists, surgeons, and emergency medicine physicians, meaning that their availability is limited. Some advocate that credentialed advanced practice providers – like physician assistants and nurse practitioners – fill the gaps presented by the intensivist workforce shortage. Others add that technology can bridge the divide and help providers deliver timely, thoughtful critical care.
The Role of Intensivist On-Call Scheduling Software
Whether one argues that the gold standard for critical care is a round-the-clock intensivist or that a five-minute pager response time is more than adequate, the reality is that intensivists are in short supply. This means that the role of on-call scheduling is of utmost importance. The ability to reach an on-call intensivist is often literally a matter or life or death. That’s why intensivist on-call scheduling software can is crucial to the seamless operation of an ICU.
MDsyncNET’s intensivist on-call scheduling software is in the cloud, which means that schedules can be updated and accessed in real time from any internet-connected device. With intensivist on-call scheduling software, calls are made to the right physician at the right time. That accuracy translates to quicker response times, better patient outcomes, and lower costs.
To learn how MDsyncNET can help you streamline your intensivist on-call scheduling process, call 888-506-5061 for a free consultation.