Friday, August 8, 2008

Doctor Day Balance

Our clinic has started planning for the 2009 year. To balance where and how the different providers work I balance the days each year. We want to strike a balance between the different offices' to minimize office wait times (for how we find the sweet spot see this post). The more days we work the lower the wait times but there is a plateau where working more does not change the wait. When one office is plateaued we switch the days to another office to minimize its' wait times.

Here's how I balance the number of days:

  • Record the days worked in the previous year
  • Record the wait times in the previous year
  • Look up the organic growth (in our case the change in referrals but it could be total number of active patients
  • Create a ratio of days between each of the offices (e.g. 5/2/2/1). The same ratio could be used between blocks of time for block booking in a single office
  • Create a formula for the scheduler to use.

As the scheduler enters the actual days, Excel counts them and summarizes the number of days per office. A second formula then applies the ratio and creates a 'target' number of days to work.

For instance the total number of days that providers choose to work may be 200 which the scheduler distributes as 80/50/50/20. But if the ratio of 5/2/2/1 is applied to the total number of days (200) the ratio should be 100/40/40/10.

We do this calculation once when we create the schedule for the next year then again mid-year to balance the days a second time.

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