Put Requested Cases on the Schedule ASAP
Make sure your scheduler puts cases "on the board" as soon as physicians place their requests, even if they're 3 weeks or a month away, so everyone has them in their sights. The benefits of ahead-of-the-curve scheduling are twofold:
- Preparing for patients. Your nurses will still have to round up lab test results and EKGs 48 to 72 hours before a case, but they'll have more time to call around and catch up with patients for health histories, and get them into anesthesia providers' hands as soon as possible. If we know about patients' potential complications weeks before surgery, anesthesia will have plenty of time to get clearances and take precautions.
- Sufficient staffing. Some days your surgical load is busy, some days less so because your surgeons have cases elsewhere. On busier days, you might retain PRNs. The sooner you know about an upcoming packed schedule, the easier it is to align staffing. If your scheduler waits until a few days before to let you know, you'll be in a staffing crunch.
Maybe your scheduler, seeking to efficiently avoid wasted effort when plans change, only schedules a week out. But let her know how looking further ahead can benefit everyone.