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Seven ways to improve shift scheduling amid staffing shortages

Posted on 9/22/2021 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Burnout, stress, and anxiety are cited as reasons for many people leaving their jobs. Unfortunately, the resignations are making it more difficult for the remaining staff. It becomes a vicious circle, with the remaining employees feeling overworked and burdened, prompting them to consider changing organizations as well.

Productivity suffers when your company is understaffed. When there aren't enough staff to go around, your customers suffer the most. And if your customers aren't satisfied, your bottom line suffers.

The optimal allocation of your staff's working hours is critical to your health care clinic's performance. However, you may find that you are spending more time organizing your employees' schedules. Scheduling medical professionals takes a lot of time and is quite stressful. Managing piles of calendars, spreadsheets, shift scheduling, physician scheduling, requests for leave, and various continuously changing schedules requires time and effort.

The ideal approach for a smooth workflow is to use shift scheduling software. The scheduling software allows hospitals and other healthcare organizations to spend less time assigning work schedules, save money on overtime, and provide continuous experience to healthcare personnel.

Shift scheduling with a staffing shortage doesn't have to be an anxiety attack waiting to happen if the correct tools are in place. Here are seven strategies to make your hospital's shift scheduling easier:

1) Always have a backup plan in place to ensure that shifts are covered.

Even if you have a good emergency medicine scheduling system in place, there will be instances when staff members are unable to work their allotted shift for the day, forcing physicians to scramble for replacements on the spot.

To counteract this, ask employees to confirm their allotted shifts as soon as possible. This will allow you to anticipate the need for a backup rotation roster to ensure that all shifts are filled, and productivity goals are met.

2) Hire on-call employees

Some employers feel that hiring employees, particularly for on-call shifts, is more convenient. Having a group of on-call staff can help save money by only spending it when workers are needed. These employees are aware that their schedules will change depending on demands; thus, the expectation is clear from the start. This shift in scheduling could aid hospitals in better managing labor costs and get more work done amid staff shortages.

3) Know your business.

When it comes to creating a suitable shift scheduling procedure, the best place to start is by looking at your hospital's labor costs and patterns. You can make better shift scheduling selections if you know that your hospital has busy days of the week or periods of the year when additional staff is needed.

4) Let employees manage shifts.

Allow your employees to view and select available shifts, as well as easily alter shifts and access schedules. You can program the scheduling software to assign schedules to physicians based on their specialties.

5) Make it easy to change schedules.

If you allow it, make it simple for employees to make schedule changes, such as asking for time off, claiming open shifts, or swapping shifts with another employee. This procedure can be streamlined by using a shift scheduling system, which gives everyone full visibility into the scheduling process.

6) Get to know your employees.

Understanding your physician's commitments and schedules is also essential for good physician scheduling. Take this into account if you have many college students on staff or even single parents who are unable to provide childcare at specific hours. When you show compassion for what's going on in your employees' lives, they will feel valued.

7) Make schedules available online.

Make it simple for your employees to get their hands on the schedule. Making your schedule public ensures that everyone has access to it and establishes accountability. You can even use self-service notifications and messages to keep in touch with your team regarding schedule updates and changes.

You'll be able to boost your team's efficiency, improve the patient experience, and boost your practice's profitability with the proper technology in place. Shift scheduling software is the way to go if you want to improve shift scheduling in the face of staffing shortages.

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