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Shift scheduling mistakes to avoid in your hospital

Posted on 5/1/2019 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Shift scheduling is an integral part of all hospitals operating on shift work. When your scheduling system is effective, it boosts staff morale, reduces labor costs, and improves efficiency and a whole lot more. However, creating effective shift schedules can be a time-consuming and challenging process with a lot of opportunity for mistakes. In fact, here are seven mistakes you may be making with your hospital's shift schedules.

1. Not Using Scheduling Software

The very first and probably the most important mistake to avoid are not using physician scheduling software to create your shift schedules. Scheduling software really helps to take the errors out of building the schedule and streamlines the process.

2. Not Calculating Doctor Coverage Instantly

You need to fill gaps in your schedule efficiently and quickly. You must make sure you have the right number of doctors scheduled at the right time and place based on shift acuity, count or any staffing requirement. This is where emergency medicine scheduling helps. It allows you to instantly see if you're under- or over-staffed.

2. Not Controlling Overtime Costs

One mistake many schedule administrators make is not controlling overtime. And, this can spike up overtime costs. Shift scheduling software can provide you with a real-time view of all the hours scheduled by staff across all your schedules. This allows you to stay proactive and make good staffing decisions.

4. Not Communicating in Real-Time With Staff

Not being able to communicate with your staff for a last-minute change in the schedule is another mistake that can lead to under-coverage. If you have a staff member call in sick and you need to change the schedule up, you need to be able to communicate with your staff in real-time. With software, you can update your staff instantly with email or text messages and choose who will receive messages by shift, availability, position, skill or certification.

5. Not Accommodating Time Off Requests

You need to be fair when it comes to time-off requests. While you can't accommodate all time off requests, you can take the hassle out of it with shift scheduling software which will coincide the requests with your busy times to ensure you have adequate shift coverage at all times.

6. Not Being Able to Track Your Staff

Physician scheduling software also allows you to track your doctors' attendance, time and productivity from not just at the hospital, but from anywhere there's access to the software. This takes the difficulty out of the task when you can't be in multiple places at the same time.

7. Not Scheduling Shift Coverage for High Turnover

If you have high-staff turnover in your hospital, it can wreak havoc with your scheduling system. A disorganized scheduling process with no calls and no shows leaves you without proper coverage and lowers the quality of patient care.

Not making one or more of the above mistakes in your hospital’s shift scheduling can make a huge difference in your efficiency and labor costs.

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