Generating the Call Schedule for Attendings in an Acute Care Unit


Faculty/Clinicians/Staff: Amy Cohn, William Pozehl, Krishnan (“Raghu”) Raghavendran, Penny Trinkle

Students: Daniel Cao, Daniel Cullen, Jhawan Davis, Matt Howard, Jacob Martin, Caroline Owens, Shraddha Ramesh, Hannah Strat, Kristine Wang, Nicholas Zacharek

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Project Synopsis:

Trauma surgeons save lives every day, but sometimes are tasked with other less-critical tasks like creating schedules, which is time-consuming and not the best use of their valuable time. CHEPS has partnered with Michigan Medicine to create scheduling tools to optimize this process for the Division of Acute Care Surgery in the Department of Surgery. We assign doctors to weeks-on-service in 5 different units: Trauma/Burns Intensive Care Unit (TBICU), Acute Care Surgery 1 (ACS1), Acute Care Surgery 2 (ACS2), Burns, and Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). Because traumatic injuries can happen at any time of day or night, our team creates both daytime and nightly schedules.

The CHEPS team works with the trauma surgeons to generate a schedule spanning a 6-month period. Thus, this scheduling process occurs twice a year. To build a schedule, the team uses our scheduling tool to generate a day call schedule that assigns doctors to their weekly daytime units while abiding legal restrictions, departmental policies, and faculty requests. The team iteratively revises the schedule based on faculty feedback. Once the daytime schedules are finalized, we begin a similar process for the nightly schedules. A key focus of the scheduling process is on ensuring schedules that are balanced and meet surgeons’ preferences.

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