Enhancing Provider Satisfaction With Advanced Physician Scheduling Software
Ontario-based Clear Medical Imaging offers a wide range of diagnostic imaging services, with more than 100 medical and administrative team members spread out across a network of 13 independent health facilities performing over 350,000 studies per year. The group has relationships with over 1,200 referring providers and offers patients a streamlined process for medical imaging with a commitment to compassionate care.
As is the case with many healthcare organizations, provider scheduling was a particular challenge for Clear Medical Imaging. The group isn’t large, but their schedule is complicated, with one hospital and 12 clinic shifts to cover every day. Schedule creation—a time- consuming, complex, and needlessly frustrating manual process that relied on Excel—ultimately fell to one nurse.
Despite the nurse’s best efforts and intentions, schedules were frequently unbalanced and required manual edits. Time-off requests were also managed by hand, leading to workflow breakdowns that occasionally prevented providers from taking much-needed time away from the office.
Though the schedule worked well when coverage was needed for understaffed shifts, some wondered if favoritism and preferential scheduling practices were contributing to less-than-ideal schedules. Clear Medical Imaging needed a solution that would speed up the scheduling (and schedule maintenance) process while distributing shifts in a fairer, more equitable way.
After exploring multiple options, Clear Medical Imaging decided to implement Provider Scheduling powered by Lightning Bolt.
Competing solutions required excessive manual edits after schedules were generated, and others couldn’t schedule providers across multiple locations without gaps. Lightning Bolt, on the other hand, can quickly auto-generate a complete schedule—no gaps, no room for error.
Clear Medical Imaging also appreciated Lightning Bolt’s ease of use for shift swaps and its rules-driven scheduling algorithm.
- Clear Medical Imaging’s schedule creation time dropped from 3-5 hours to just 1 hour per month
Reducing Burnout by Increasing Control
- Providers’ individual preferences can now be considered during schedule creation, which gives them a greater sense of control
- Radiologists can easily complete schedule swaps and other edits in the Lightning Bolt app
- Scheduling rules were put into place to ensure the following:
- Appropriate spacing between on-call assignments to avoid back-to-back weekend or evening shifts
- On-site assignments for different locations are not scheduled together
- Limits to the number of on-site, high-volume assignments scheduled per week
- Limits to the number of shifts worked per day
Streamlined Time-Off Requests Increase Approval Rate
- The automated process for time-off requests yielded far greater accuracy and a higher approval rate
Reliable, Equitable Schedules
- Shifts at Clear Medical Imaging are now more equitably distributed among providers
- Because schedules are being auto-generated by a rules-based technology solution, any suspicion of favoritism or bias has dissipated
Because of an outdated manual scheduling process, Clear Medical Imaging was experiencing the pain of inequitable schedules and misplaced time-off requests. A single nurse lost three to five hours a month creating schedules, and the same person was expected to keep track of each individual provider’s preferences, leaving too much room for error.
Clear Medical Imaging needed an automated solution that would make the schedule creation process faster and easier to manage. After implementing Provider Scheduling powered by Lightning Bolt, the group experienced significant time savings each month, and provider satisfaction increased notably thanks to fairer schedules and a higher approval rate for time-off requests. By giving providers the ability to indicate scheduling preferences, submit their own time-off requests, and easily swap shifts, Lightning Bolt took a once-frustrating aspect of Clear Medical Imaging’s day-to-day operations and turned it into a major satisfier for the entire group.