Manage Requests Like Never Before

Lightning Bolt streamlines the request management process, providing a centralized location for submitting and managing providers’ time-off requests. Advanced rule-based scheduling allows hospitals to more easily consider providers’ individual work-life balance preferences, reducing burnout and improving physician-hospital relations.

Request Time-off

With Lightning Bolt, providers can login to the web-based system and enter their requests for time off such as vacations, conferences, etc. Depending on how the system is set up, requests may be auto-approved or may require administrator approval. As a provider, you can also modify existing requests that were granted. If your request was denied, the system will show you the reason for the denial, along with any comments entered by the administrator.

Manage Requests

Managing absence requests is the first and most important step in creating a fair and accurate schedule. A significant challenge with managing absence requests without an effective collaborative tool is that the decision to grant or deny an individual’s absence request is not an isolated decision, but a decision that depends on the collective absence requests for the entire group. Without a global view of all requests and without knowing how each request impacts the group or institutional requirements, individuals may make unrestrained requests that cannot be realized. Scheduling administrators may not be able to see or catch potential problems until they discover that some assignments are impossible to cover during schedule creation.

The Request Manager in Lightning Bolt  allows you to automate the process of approving or denying absence requests based on policies or rules that the group defines. The system validates requests as they are entered providing immediate feedback to the requesting individual. It provides a means for the entire group to collaborate on a central website.

Rule-based Approval using Request Manager

With Request Manager, you define the scheduling policies/rules, and the web-based application enforces them the instant requests are entered. Since the software executes your pre-defined policies mechanically, policy legislation is effectively separated from policy enforcement, allowing your group to focus on identifying an agreeable set of rules to govern your absence requests. The flexible design of Request Manager allows users to define complex custom policies.

Request Manager approves any request automatically unless the request violates one or more of the pre-defined rules. If the system cannot approve a request due to some rule, the request enters a pending state and the user is given a description of the rule that prevented the request’s approval. The scheduling administrator can override the rule by manually approving a pending request. Since most requests are valid, the system avoids involving the scheduling administrator in most cases. When the scheduler’s intervention is required, i.e. when a request becomes pending due to a rule violation, the scheduling administrator is automatically emailed a summary of the event.

Round-by-Round Requests

Some groups need additional flexibility in managing their requests. They may need to enforce a certain order in which physicians are allowed to make requests, potentially with more senior providers being given the choice to make their requests first. To accommodate this, Lightning Bolt has a Round-by-Round Request Manager where physicians can be assigned to specific time windows to complete their requests. Many groups have found this to be a very useful feature for managing requests.

Automated Rule-based Scheduling

Do you spend hours trying to come up with a schedule that meets everyone’s requirements?


  • What is the distribution of assignments to physicians?
  • Does the current list of absence requests cause coverage problems?
  • On how many weekends did a particular physician work?
  • On which days did a physician request to be scheduled? Which days off?
  • What is the spacing in days between undesirable calls? Did anyone get scheduled for consecutive weekends?
  • What is the distribution of holidays?
  • Are the physician pairings agreeable?
  • Did a physician working late night assignment get scheduled for early morning call the following day?
  • Did part-time physicians get scheduled for apportioned amount of work?

These are just some of the considerations that are taken into account while generating a schedule.

Lightning Bolt automatically generates schedules that meet all the above objectives or as defined by your unique set of rules to produce a schedule that balances institutional and individual needs. Lightning Bolt uses a patent-pending algorithm for generating accurate schedules in the presence of complex rules with varying priorities and exceptions. It is the number one reason that users who have tried all other software products finally find a solution in Lightning Bolt.