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Challenge
The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology had outgrown its manual approach to scheduling. Along with a large increase in faculty, they had also added numerous calls and roles. They needed a solution that could handle their new complexity, and track their time and pay accurately.

Solution

OpenTempo implemented an automated faculty schedule and time tracking system for the Department. Touch-screen kiosks were also installed, which allowed for differential pay to be calculated accurately.

Results

  • 50% reduction in schedule build time, despite tremendous increase in schedule complexity.
  • Differential pay accurately tracked for 60 physicians, 45 residents, and 5 fellows.
  • Electronic access to schedule provided to all faculty.

Practice Growing in Size and Complexity

After decades of manually creating faculty schedules, the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center was looking to make a change. With a new Chair who was a strong advocate of automated scheduling, they were searching for a system that could handle their rapidly growing practice.

Since the 1970s, the Department had built the schedules one month in advance, with everybody working the same amount of call. Throughout that time, everybody in a specific job also got paid the same way. It was simple and straightforward, yet it still took two full days to build each faculty schedule.

As their practice grew, they changed how they handled call and compensation. They now have several specialty calls – Liver, Cardiac, and Acute Pain – instead of the single call type they had previously.
With their new approach, everyone now works general call, plus a specialty call. Furthermore, faculty no longer all work the same amount of call. Instead, each faculty member has a targeted share of call, which varies from person to person.

As if that were not enough, the Department also added many new roles to their schedule, including pre- and post-anesthesia care clinic, neurology, administrative time, education time, and academic time.

In the face of rapid practice growth and an increasingly complex schedule, their manual system was no longer able to meet their needs.

OpenTempo is able to handle the numerous specialty call schedules of our growing practice, and accurately track our faculty’s differential pay.
– Barbara Hurlbert, MD
UNMC Department of Anesthesiology

Rapid Scheduling, Accurate Differential Pay

By implementing OpenTempo, the Department was able to cut the time spent building the faculty schedule in half. Instead of taking two full days to build a simple schedule, they now need only one day to build a far more complicated schedule.

The Department can also now confidently ensure that differential pay is accurate. By providing an accurate tally of the number of days a provider takes call, the number of hours worked after 5:00 pm, and whether the call is specialty or general, OpenTempo helps the Department keep track of time and target shares.

Ease of Use

OpenTempo makes it possible for every provider to know precisely where they need to be each day, despite frequent updates to an already complicated call schedule. The faculty like that they can just look at their schedule and not think twice about it. They can go online to view their schedules, as well as make requests online for PTO or call.

Summing it up neatly, Dr. Ellen Roberts explains, “We like OpenTempo – it’s very user-friendly.”

OpenTempo enables the Department to easily adapt their schedule to their changing needs. As their Department continues to grow, this capability has proven essential.