Hospitals Rely on Nurse Scheduling Software for Greater Efficiency

December 15, 2021

Creating nursing staff schedules can be frustrating, time-consuming, and difficult for hospital administrators and schedulers alike. Schedule creation is an ongoing balance with factors like Employee Time Off Requests, Backfilling openings, Census Projections, Ensuring Employee Work targets, and optimizing Full-time and PRN resources. This process happens every scheduling period and many Hospitals and their respective units are experiencing an inefficient process for scheduling nurses. The constant need to balance these factors with an inefficient process can lead to continuous gaps in coverage, over-use of agency labor, and ultimately a decline in quality patient care.Nursing manager working on creating a unit schedule.

Schedule360’s nurse scheduling software is an effective tool for significantly reducing the time spent on creating the hospital staff scheduling. Schedule360 can also help your nursing staff find a better work/life balance, helping to improve employee morale. A happy nursing staff provides quality patient care, and efficient workforce management tools can reduce the occurrence of employee burnout and turnover which can wreak havoc in hospital departments, especially when nursing shortages continue to be a real issue across the country.  

Automated Tasks

Automation helps to manage employee expectations and reduce human error. With nurse scheduling software, you can achieve operational efficiency without draining your resources by automating time-consuming tasks, including employee shift swaps, rules-based nurse self-scheduling, time-off requests, credential tracking, overtime monitoring and holiday rotations. Integrated, real-time reports allow one-click management of employee compliance to work targets and enable rapid schedule management. Efficient scheduling can balance workloads and decrease last minute overtime coverage. Real-time reports can provide shift level patterns in patient flow, so schedulers have an easier time forecasting upcoming demands through individual units.

Schedule Transparency 

Our nurse scheduling software provides employees with complete schedule transparency including 24/7 access to their schedules. Real-time updates allow admins to view the schedule in ways that make managing schedules a simpler process, even across multiple locations. Your staff will benefit from having access to real-time schedules from any mobile device with internet connection, which can reduce the number of open shifts, missed shifts, and frequent interruptions requiring schedulers to handle time-consuming scheduling related issues on the fly. 

Self-Scheduling 

Schedule360’s rules-based self-scheduling feature saves your schedulers significant time. With this rules-based system, individual work targets are easily met, which helps to achieve safer levels of staffing on every shift. After the scheduler releases shifts for the upcoming schedule and immediate booking of set-schedule shifts, remaining open shifts are available for self-scheduling by unit-based employees. Management controls the process by defining setup, rules, and features that can be turned on or off for the entire department or for individual employees. Scheduling software allows staffing managers to adapt more quickly and easily to changes in employee availability, which helps prevent schedule conflicts or gaps in staff coverage.

Shift Swapping 

Allow employees to swap shifts with other employees while maintaining shift coverage and balanced shift credentials without the need of admin involvement. Employees who are qualified to cover any given shift will be able to, and those who fall short of credentials won’t have access to the shift slot. With the right scheduling software, you can create balanced shifts and only call out to agency help when it’s necessary. Shift reminders can be sent to staff to lessen short shifts due to picked-up shifts being missed, and because management sets the guidelines, you can configure this feature to address the unique needs of your facility. 

Credential Tracking 

Utilizing nurse scheduling software makes it easy for schedulers to keep track of employee licensure and skills, conveniently stored in employee profiles. When creating a schedule, shifts can be broken down by shift type and required credentials, ensuring that only those employees qualified to work the shift are being scheduled. 

Allocated Resources 

The increased workload assumed by employees across the country demonstrates the need for healthcare facilities to develop agile responses to unpredictable medical situations.

With nurse scheduling software, you can allocate resources quickly and effectively for the best patient care. You know it’s vital to ensure that employees aren’t working outside of their licensure or skills, so our software solution provides the right features to help you allocate your resources to where they’ll be the most beneficial. Being aware of and having the ability to prevent staff shortages is made possible with the help of our robust web-based solution. 

Segmented Messaging 

Our web-based software solution includes a platform for messaging and provides admins with segmented options based on current needs. Admins can select nursing staff within one unit, department, facility, enterprise, or even across multiple campuses. For example, messages can be dispatched to employees scheduled to work that day, those who aren’t currently working but available, or to everyone on the list. Greatly improve all aspects of communication by sending scheduling requests or changes to staff in real-time text, email, and message board messages, complete with timestamps to ensure they were delivered and read. 

Hot Shift Coverage Options

The responsibility of having to fill urgent, Hot shifts can be stressful, but nurse scheduling software can help with that task. Our scheduling software makes it easy to communicate any critical shift needs to your nursing staff within set parameters of 12, 24, 48 hours in advance via text or email to all available and qualified staff for those shift openings. 

Call-Off Feature 

Managing call-offs can be a complicated process, especially for large healthcare facilities. This feature eliminates the need for a dedicated employee to answer the phone all day long. Whenever an employee “calls-off” through the Schedule360 interface, the request is listed as “pending”. Once submitted, schedulers are notified, and they can process the request in a more convenient and efficient manner. In most cases, this feature is for the shifts that are called off relatively close to the scheduled shift, so this feature will simplify the process of handling urgent open shifts.

When a scheduler is processing the call-off, they have the option to:

  • Reopen the shift.
  • Make it Hot – Critical Need
  • Dispatch shift immediately.
  • Or do nothing and leave the shift unfilled depending on the need.

Schedule Templates 

Scheduling software allows schedulers to build a recurring schedule template for each employee by facility. These templates are stored in the system and replicated each period to lock down and confirm employee shifts. Set schedules can be edited, cleared, or inactivated anytime. Schedule templates provide significant time savings in managing weekend and holiday rotations, and for nurses who only work weekends, or have set days they’re unavailable to work. 

Why Schedule360? 

We offer a highly configurable scheduling solution built around solutions for the common pain points associated with staff scheduling. Our features enhance our already robust and reliable scheduling software, and you can enable the features you need without sifting through the ones you don’t. As your workforce evolves, you can add or remove features to reflect your desired administrative processes.

Schedule360 will increase scheduling efficiency in nearly any type of business organization, no matter the size or industry. We’re interested in working with you to create a systematic process for your staff scheduling needs to help you create a proactive workflow. At Schedule360, We Know Scheduling™. Contact us for a configured demo tailored to your current processes so you can see exactly what our solution can do for you and your staff.