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empty Free form: Example seven-day on/seven-day off hospitalist schedule : Medical Staff Leader
January 12, 2010 | | Comments 9,693
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Free form: Example seven-day on/seven-day off hospitalist schedule

If your hospitalist program is just getting off the ground, you may be wondering what type of scheduling system will work best. Staff size, hospital culture, and the type of coverage that your program is expected to provide will all factor into your scheduling decisions. Here is a rundown of the various options: 

  • Daytime coverage: Daytime coverage is typically defined as 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hopsitalist conducts daily rounds on all patients and conducts all admissions that occur during these hours. Referring physicians that use the hospitalist service provide the night call. Another option is to have the hopsitalist participate in the nighttime call on a regular rotating basis with the same frequency as the outpatient physicians.
  • 24/7 coverage: This model is for a full-time hospitalist program that does not require full-time in-hospital presence. The practice is responsible for covering itself 24 hours a day/365 days a year. Most mature hospitalist programs provide this scope of coverage. 
  • 24/7 in-house coverage: This model is a full-time hospitalist program that requires in-house hopsitalist presence 24 hours per day/365 days per year. Staffing requirements are typically greater for this type of coverage. Hospitalists who are part of these programs usually become an integral part of rapid response and code teams due to their around-the-clock hospital presence.
  • Traditional call: This coverage arrangement requires all members of the practice to cover night call on a regular rotating basis. Thus, the hospitalist typically works a 36-hour shift.
  • Block scheduling: Multiple providers work days, one or two providers work nights, and some combination of providers work during the weekend. This schedule allows for 12-14 hour shifts, and no provider is required to take call. The hospitalists’ schedules are blocked, so that each works for four to 14 consecutive days followed by a number of days off.
  • Shift work: Shift work is often confused with block scheduling, but it is a distinct model in which providers are scheduled to work a day, evening, or night shift. The shifts may vary from day to day and hospitalists’ work may be fragmented (e.g., no consecutive shifts).
  • Seven days on/Seven days off: With this schedule, hospitalists are divided into two or three teams depending on the practice size. They are scheduled to work for seven consecutive days followed by seven consecutive days off. Typically, the work week concludes with a 24-hour shift. The team rotation is staggered so that all hospitalists do not change at one time. View a FREE EXAMPLE SCHEDULE for a five-hospitalist program from Tools and Strategies for an Effective Hospitalist Program by Jeffrey R. Dichter, MD, FACP and Kenneth G. Simone, DO, published by HCPro, Inc.

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Error: Unable to create directory uploads. Is its parent directory writable by the server? About the Author: Elizabeth (Liz) Jones is an associate editor at HCPro. She writes and contributes to several monthly newsletters including Medical Staff Briefing, Hospitalist Leadership Advisor, and Credentialing and Peer Review Legal Insider. Liz graduated from Salem (MA) State College in 2003 with a B.A. in professional writing. Before joining HCPro, Liz wrote for a national monthly business publication where she gained experience in executive-level business and healthcare issues.

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