Think Herding Cats is Hard? Physician Practice Managers Make it Look Easy
When was the last time your cat willingly hopped into its carrier for a trip to the vet or stopped scratching the corner of the couch in response to your polite request? Biologists point to the historical symbiotic relationship between cats and humans to explain feline independence – and why herding cats is next to impossible.
This may sound familiar to physician practice managers, who are responsible for managing outpatient medical practices and coordinating physician specialist care for hospital outpatient clinics. It’s up to physician practice managers to juggle a challenging array of roles, ranging from new patient registration to insurance authorizations and from physician scheduling to medical records maintenance. Overall, physician practice managers are responsible for ensuring a high level of provider engagement, adherence to quality and risk management programs, implementation of revenue cycle management policies, and compliance with value-based care standards.
Those providers and medical practices are usually independent, often headstrong, and – like our feline friends – resistant to being told what to do. That’s why it can be next to impossible for physician practice managers to coordinate physician schedules that are accurate and reliable.
Physician Scheduling Challenges
Creating manageable physician schedules requires surmounting a number of challenges, including squeezing a wide range of responsibilities into defined shifts, accommodating individual physician preferences, and working with long planning horizons. Compounding the difficulties are turnover in physician practices, switches in preferred methods of contact, and last-minute changes in availability. All too often, the proverbial cats scatter, resulting in an inaccurate schedule that leads to the wrong physician being called and, ultimately, to patient delays.
The impact of these issues is compounded when schedules are constructed manually, using a spreadsheet or even pen-and-paper. It is next to impossible to adapt to the ever-changing scheduling environment, as making and disseminating changes is both time-consuming and cumbersome.
Physician Scheduling Solutions
In contrast, MDsyncNET’s web-based physician scheduling software streamlines the scheduling process for physician practice managers. Contact information for practice-based physicians and specialists is a tap or click away, and group or multi-group schedules can be constructed in a fraction of the time that it takes to complete a manual schedule. Most compelling is the ability to update physician schedules on the fly and making accurate, real-time schedules available to authorized users from any internet-connected device. For physician practice managers responsible for mapping shifts worked to physician compensation, the software creates seamless and reliable reporting for accounting teams.
Researchers studying the behavior of cats have found that, while herding cats may be impossible, they do become more compliant when human meet them partway. For physician practice managers, MDsyncNET makes it easier to handle the scheduling idiosyncrasies of providers at independent medical practices by delivering accurate schedules and reliable contact information. In the process, MDsyncNET boosts physician satisfaction, increasing the probably that the cats will all head in the same direction.