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Five ways to make medical staff scheduling easier

Posted on 2/19/2015 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Medical shift scheduling is stressful. Without a process in place, it can be a magnet for frustration and feeling overwhelmed. Morale and efficiency take a hit, from the healthcare personnel on down to the scheduler who has to deal with the confusion.

It doesn’t have to be like that, though. Medical scheduling software can streamline the actual process for delivering a schedule. But first the scheduler needs to develop a method for handling the entire procedure.

When utilizing medical scheduling software, here are five tips that will help you put together a workable system for your healthcare facility, whether it is for overall physician scheduling or emergency medicine scheduling.

#1. Suit the person to the job. When personnel get routed to departments and positions that they are not suited to, either by preference or because of their training and skills, productivity and morale can plummet. Even worse, patients may not get the level of care they need and deserve.

Be clear about the skills, training, certifications and talents of each person on your staff list. Learn what each person does best and input that data into your scheduling software. Customizing your schedules through medical scheduling software to reflect the preferences and abilities of your staff will make a big difference.

#2. Set up a reliable communication system. Make it easy for staff to let you know when they are available, and more importantly, when they aren’t. Illness happens, people need emergency time off, and vacations occur throughout the year.

The sooner you know about it, the easier it will be to produce a new schedule that takes this information into consideration. Even the best scheduling software is only as good as the information you feed into it.

#3. Make your schedule easy to find. Put it up on the company website. Email it to each person, or at least send a reminder when the new schedule is up. It is easy for them to get busy and forget to check it.

#4. Keep your staff list is up to date. Have a system in place so that you are immediately informed when people leave or are not available for extended periods. Make sure you are notified right away of new hires.

Your staff list should include names, addresses, contact information, training, skills, preferences, overtime restrictions, certifications, and whether they are part-time or full-time.

#5. Always have a Plan B. If someone doesn’t show up—and even in the best run facilities it will happen—the people affected need to know what to do right away. Design your schedule with an emergency backup already in place.

Put together an availability chart, accessible at any time by the people who need it. Make sure the rules affecting shift trades and absences are posted where everyone can see them.

Your shift scheduling software makes life incomprehensibly easier when compared to manually figuring out who should be where at what time. But you still need to have a system for scheduling in place. This requires research and great communication with staff. It is well worth the time and effort involved. Frustration levels will drop and productivity will skyrocket.

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