I have been dabbling around with how to effectively track my clinicians’ time off. Starting in July, Chicago (where both my practice locations reside) requires employers to pay for sick time for it’s employees. For every forty (40) hours worked, employees accrue one (1) paid sick hour. Two thoughts happened when this law was enacted. One, it forced me to look at my system for how I can track clinician hours-Do I count time they spend marketing? Do I count time they spend doing notes? What about when they blog for the practice website? Time spent calling parents, schools, primary care doctors? Two, how do I convert a percentage to a dollar amount? Most group practice owners pay their clinicians a certain percent of collected payments. How do we convert that into a flat dollar amount for paying for vacation time, sick time, or whatever time off (if that is what you want or have to do)? These are all things to think about before starting to use this tracking spreadsheet. An employment attorney can help you see if you need to count these things towards hours worked or not. For example, I do not require marketing, so I do not count it towards hours worked (and towards paid sick time). Instead, they can market (or not!) and I have a bonus plan every six (6) months for clinicians who do the extra effort of marketing and blogging. Depending on how you have your practice set up, the requirements of your employees, you may or may not have to be paying for and counting towards worked hours.
It is good practice, even if you do not pay for any time off, to track your clinicians’ time off. This helps you see how much (too little or too much) time off your staff is taking, as well as notice if certain months have higher time off rates. So this spreadsheet is something I made that helps me track how many days each clinician takes off per month, as well as the ability to track sick (or vacation time) accruals.
The way my time off tracker is set up, each month I fill in how many days each clinician took off, as well as how many hours they worked (my EHR has a report for that-I add any non clinical hours that I have decided counts towards their overall hours). The roll over tab is specific for calculating paid sick time. In that box, I put any amount of hours they worked that will roll over into the next month. What I mean is, for every 40 hours they work, I give them 1 hour of accrued sick time. If they work 56 hours in January, then I put 56 in the hours/month column and 16 in the rollover column (because 40 hours of that 56 go towards the accrued sick time, leaving 16 hours to go towards the next month’s hours worked). Make sense? You can use the ROLL OVER tab if your practice needs (or wants!) to calculate accruals. If not, delete that column (and the SICK HOURS EARNED column) and you’ll be all set to track hours worked and time off.
Note: I have put in SUM and SUBTRACTION equations in the SICK TIME ACCRUED and SICK TIME LEFT columns, so as you fill in the sick time each clinician earns each month, it will add it automatically into the SICK TIME ACCRUED column, and as they use sick time, it will automatically subtract the SICK TIME ACCRUED from the SICK TIME USED columns.
Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here: LEARN MORE HERE