It is important to have very clear guidelines for vacation and requested days off. A lack of clear expectations in this area will result in the person responsible for scheduling having to address staffing situations daily, which is very time consuming. Remember, the rules established for one person will set precedence for the entire staff. Do not allow one person to do something that would not be desirable for all staff to do.
Decrease in Patient Census
As long as practice employees are not contracted, they can be sent home at any time because of decreased patient volume. The first staff to be sent home should be overtime staff, per diem staff, part-time staff, then full-time staff. Be sure to send home a different person each time and not pick on any one individual unless it is a per diem or someone who has volunteered to go home early. If a practice staff person is contracted for a certain number of hours or salaried, use that staff to do something rather than sending that staff home. There is almost always some type of paperwork to be done and because the staff person is being paid regardless, it is important to use her scheduled time to the practice's advantage. This is where cross-training can be very effective.