New software helps ProHealth Care end manual physician scheduling

By 2015, ProHealth Care, a three-hospital delivery system in Wisconsin, had tired of its homegrown scheduling information system.

At that time, various departments were handling their own scheduling of physicians, and with the organization treating more than 400,000 patients annually, it became imperative to standardize processes—not only for scheduling, but also for provider credentialing, provider time-off requests, vacation leave and sick time in a quest to eliminate errors caused by manual data entries, recalls Jon Schrantz, senior medical staff services business analyst.

ProHealth Care launched a search to select a vendor of scheduling software and picked the Kronos EZCall scheduling product, which, along with Kronos Workforce Central, is used to manage employee engagement, control labor costs, increase productivity and minimize compliance risk. The suite of services went live in August 2016. While four vendors were seriously considered, only Kronos had the most capability to adapt to ProHealth Care's requirements, provider executives say.

Then, in 2018, ProHealth Care implemented the Kronos EZCall Enterprise Portal to consolidate more than 130 physician schedules across multiple departments and facilities. The reason for doing so was because some departments continued to use different scheduling products and the technology-agnostic EZCall Enterprise Portal enables a single holistic view of all on-call schedules across departments, regardless of what scheduling solution or application those teams use.

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During implementation ProHealth Care received considerable help from the vendor in migrating legacy data to a portal so the organization would not have to manually enter the data, which also ensured that existing functionality was not lost. In return, the vendor learned from the client.

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“We took learnings experienced by ProHealth Care to improve our services and moved to enterprisewide services quicker than expected,” says Sean Slattery, director of product and services for EZCall at Kronos.

For ProHealth Care, the toughest part was training employees to work on the new system—in hindsight “we could have been better, particularly with documentation on how to move step-by-step in the new system,” Schrantz acknowledges. “Change is hard; we leaned on department managers to ensure the smoothest transition possible.”

For example, Schrantz cautions, the biggest surprise was getting adequate user adoption. “Had we known adoption would be as difficult as it was, we would have worked with leadership much earlier. Consequently, the go-live was delayed for two months.”

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