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Rule Writer

The Rule Writer toolbox enables admins to create advanced schedule rules. Typically, it is used to generate lists of people who meet conditions laid out in a rule.

Most people who build schedules don't need the Rule Writer. It comes in handy when simpler methods don't give you enough flexibility to define how your schedule works.

Create A Rule

To create a rule, open your schedule in OnCall and go to Window → Rule writer. The Rule Writer toolbox has three dropdowns in the upper left:

1. Type of Rule (top dropdown)

  • Amion report: Create custom lists for the "Who's on call" page at amion.com. The list can return people on select rotations, in certain clinics, who's post-call or on-call for certain services, and more.
  • Staff-by rule: Define who's available to take call or cover a shift.
  • Coverage rule: Determine when a shift needs to be covered.
  • Target rule: Specify the number of shifts each person needs to work, but in more detail than just a number of total shifts or hours.
  • Can-cover rule: Define who's available for cross-coverage when standard staff are not.
  • Paging group: Build custom paging/messaging groups.
  • Sequence rule: When there is a maximum number of consecutive days a service can be staffed.
  • Daily staffing level rule: Track the number of staff scheduled per day or at a certain time of day.
  • Pattern-apply rule: When only certain staff follow a call/shift pattern.

2. Rule Name (middle dropdown)

Amion gives each rule a starter name, e.g. "Staff-by rule 1". If you create more than a few rules, give them more meaningful names.

3. Conditions (bottom dropdown)

Select a condition and then choose entries to include or exclude from the rule.

Choose Results from the bottom dropdown or click the = button to see the list of people a rule generates. If you have the call schedule on screen, the results will draw from the selected day.

For staff-by rules, choose Apply to from the dropdown selector or click => to apply the rule to one or more call services or shifts.

About Advanced Rules

A simple Rule Writer rule can have just one condition. A single staff-type condition, for example, would return everyone in the selected types. Rules become more powerful when you combine conditions to generate highly filtered lists. Put a day-of-week condition next to a staff-type condition, for example, to specify that the people in the selected staff types are available only on certain days of the week. Add a + to create another set of conditions to specify who's available for other days of the week.

A basic staff-by rule for a residency program would have two conditions, the staff type and a list of rotations.

Rules work somewhat like equations. You can use mathematical operators such as + and - to add or subtract people from the list. Conditions that appear adjacent to one another will be combined with a logical "AND"; each condition must be true for a person to end up in the list the rule creates.

Let's say we create a rule with two conditions. The first specifies staff-type and has only PGY1 selected. The other specifies rotations and has MICU and SICU selected. With no + or - between them, the two conditions will return all PGY1s who are on MICU or SICU. That's the logical AND. With a + between the conditions, the rule would return a list of all PGY1s and anyone on MICU or SICU. Put a - between the conditions to get a list of all PGY1s who are NOT on the MICU or SICU.

Amion evaluates rules from left to right. Most rules don't need parentheses but you can use alter the order in which conditions are processed. Any conditions inside parentheses will be processed as a group.

The best way to learn to use the Rule Writer toolbox is to create a simple rule with one condition and view the results. When you have the first condition working, add another and view the results again. Continue adding conditions and viewing the results until the rule produces the desired list.

Some staffing and sequence rules are simple enough that they do not require the Rule Writer toolbox. But instead, the Day-after rules toolbox. Click here to learn more.


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