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Challenge
The University of Vermont Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology needed an efficient, automated approach to scheduling their residents.

Solution
OpenTempo provided a residency scheduling system that fully integrates with the daily and call schedules of the permanent staff.

Results

  • 69 residents scheduled successfully with OpenTempo since 2008.
  • Error-proof system provides 100% scheduling transparency.
  • OpenTempo incorporated into OR Management elective for third year residents.

Wanted: Easy, Transparent Medical Resident Scheduling

The University of Vermont Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology trains medical students from around the world. Providing care throughout Vermont and northern New York, they serve a population of over 1 million people.
The University of Vermont Medical Center previously used a manual system to schedule their 42 attendings, 18 CRNAs, and 18 residents. The schedules were built and updated using a mix of bulletin board postings and paper notes, but the result was not always what was desired. Requests for days off or shift swaps were getting mixed up, and there was no way to keep track of who was first in line for those requests.

Worst of all, staffing errors were slipping into the schedule – like the time they scheduled the same person to be in three different places at the same time.

Something had to change.

Time for Technology

The University of Vermont Medical Center spoke with OpenTempo to discuss what they wanted in an integrated resident scheduling system. Their work together resulted in a residency scheduling module that is fully integrated into the daily and call schedules for the permanent staff. This saved time for schedulers who no longer had to go back and forth between resident and staff schedules to see who was available.

Most importantly, the module keeps track of every resident’s prerequisites, certifications, and rotations, allowing the scheduler to see instantly who is appropriate for staffing each case.

Resident scheduling is so much easier with OpenTempo. We even made it part of an OR Management elective for 3rd year residents.
– Mitchell Tsai, MD, MMM
University of Vermont Medical Center

Balancing Clinical and Academic Time

Scheduling for an academic medical center goes beyond the needs of tracking resident rotations. Attendings also have scheduling requirements unique to the academic environment.

Specifically, attendings have both clinical and academic duties and the amount of time they are allotted to spend on each area is typically stipulated in their employee agreement.

Therefore, OpenTempo worked with the University of Vermont Medical Center to incorporate a time balancing feature into the scheduling module. This made it possible for them to assign a ratio for each attending, based on their individual clinical and academic time requirements. The software automatically took these ratios into account, ensuring that each attending stayed near their target ratio throughout each scheduling period.

OpenTempo Now Part of the Curriculum

In 2010, the University of Vermont Medical Center launched an OR Management elective, with the goal of preparing residents for future supervisory roles. As part of this rotation, residents learn how to run perioperative services, including scheduling and staffing cases.

Due to its precision and ease of use, OpenTempo proved to be an essential tool for teaching residents how to build schedules that support the clinical, educational, and administrative goals of their department.

Transparent Medical Resident Scheduling

OpenTempo provided the University of Vermont Medical Center with a medical resident scheduling system that was easy to use, transparent, and seamlessly integrated the resident and attending schedules. Scheduling errors that had previously been commonplace disappeared and it became much easier for attendings to stick to their contracted ratio of clinical and work time.

The result is a residency program that can get back to doing what it does best – training the next generation of physicians.