iNDIGO Health Partners Receives the 2016 IHA Comprehensive Integration Award
Hospitalist Partnership in Rural Michigan Finds New Scheduling Solution Advantageous to Retention and Recruitment
NEW YORK, February 22, 2016 — The Intelligent Health Association (IHA) announced today that iNDIGO Health Partners is the recipient of the 2016 IHA Award for Comprehensive Integration.
iNDIGO serves six rural community hospitals in northern Michigan and is committed to sustaining healthcare in its region. Scheduling healthcare providers in this sparsely populated region, where limited access to physicians complicates an already challenging job of matching skills to need, proved to be overwhelming for a manual scheduling solution.
Nationally, 10 percent of US physicians practice in rural areas where 25 percent of the population resides, according to the National Rural Health Association. The partnership employed one physician scheduler, who spent roughly 1,000 hours a year managing the schedule, but this proved to be so inflexible it was a cause for poor job satisfaction and was further complicated by anticipated growth. iNDIGO redesigned their entire scheduling workflow with a two-fold solution. A full-time administrator dedicated solely to scheduling was provided a software tool that incorporated physicians’ evolving work-life balance preferences and individual skillsets. Lightning Bolt Solutions manages over 3 million physician hours each month for clients worldwide. The automation technology, which allows for provider types, shift compatibility, work pattern preferences, time-off requests, minimum and maximum coverage requirements, and long-term equity, gives iNDIGO the ability to abandon rigid block-scheduling and factor in physicians’ work-life balance preferences without compromising patient care.
Initial resistance to this solution came from voting physicians, who did not immediately see the value of hiring a full-time scheduling administrator and investing in the automation tool. It was difficult to dissuade the notion that a physician scheduler familiar with the group could build a better schedule. Yet the decision was vindicated when iNDIGO saw their retention rate increase to a phenomenal 97.6 percent (compared to the 89.4 percent reported by the Society of Hospitalist Medicine, a professional society representing one-third of US hospitalists).Further, during the first five years, the size of the partnership tripled and utilization increased, with 35 percent of iNDIGO physicians picking up extra shifts. Typically, it is difficult to recruit physicians to rural regions. But iNDIGO uses its retention and utilization data successfully in recruiting hospitalists. See www.indigohealthpartners.com/.
About the Intelligent Health Association
The Intelligent Health Association (IHA) is a global, technology-based and technology-focused organization comprising many new technology communities and societies all operating under one organizational structure with a common goal: to help drive the “Evolution to the Health Revolution™ ” through the adoption and implementation of new technologies in the health ecosystem.
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