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The use of software in intensive care scheduling

Posted on 11/30/2016 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

An intensive care unit (ICU) is a crucial area of a hospital that provides patients with intensive care medicine.

Seriously ill patients are cared for by qualified, and highly trained staff that include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Social workers
  • Dieticians
  • Social workers
  • Chaplains

Why intensive care scheduling is so critical?

With such a vast array of staff, as well as patients with differing needs, it’s imperative that staff scheduling is seamless, and that there are enough available staff members with the specific skill sets required at any given time.

Attempting to create a schedule that takes into account the following can be extremely challenging:

  • Overtime hours
  •  Schedule changes
  •  Availability
  •  Vacation days
  •  Practice hours
  •  On-call hours
  •  Union requirements
  •  School hours
  •  ACGME regulations
  •  Accreditation requirements
It can take several days of juggling the schedule to get it worked out correctly, thankfully this can be better taken care of by using emergency medicine scheduling software.

How can scheduling software help?

Scheduling software is invaluable in terms of intensive care scheduling as you can input all the information you need, the software correlates that data, and creates a workable schedule without you needing to do any more.

This makes the shift scheduling process much more streamlined, and frees up valuable staff hours so more time is invested in critical patient care rather than on planning the week’s schedule. As a recent article in The Hospitalist pointed out, America is host to a population containing millions of aging baby boomers. With this in mind, it’s likely that over the coming years there will be far heavier demands placed on ICUs, therefore, it’s imperative to focus on ways of making staff scheduling easier.

A recent research article published in Critical Care Research and Practice, surveyed 145 ICU staff at Oslo University, and found that they were exposed to considerable levels of work related stress, and that the mean job satisfaction among nurses was 43.9, whereas in doctors is was a little higher at 51.1.

As pointed out in The Hospitalist by past president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and professor at Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Timothy Buchman, critical care nursing is very hard on a person’s spiritual, emotional, and physical health, and many nurses are becoming burnt out.

With this in mind, effective staff and physician scheduling can contribute to both the wellbeing of ICU staff as well as their patients.

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