Safe Nurse Staffing is Critical to Proper Patient Care

March 11, 2020

Close up of a nurse scheduler's hands on a laptop.

Nurses play a monumental role in the healthcare field and continue to be at the forefront of our healthcare system. Due to their importance, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that nurses carry a large chunk of the operating costs, making them an easy target for reduced hours and other cutbacks. Unfortunately, those cutbacks come at the expense of patient care and well-being, especially when the remaining nurses are forced to work overtime to cover open shifts, leaving them fatigued and burned out. Therefore, maintaining safe nurse staffing levels are critical when it comes to preserving the overall quality of patient care, as well as keeping your nursing units in prime condition to provide the best care possible.

Implementing nurse scheduling software can help strike the perfect balance between keeping your nursing staff happy as well as ensuring safe staffing levels are being met.

Messaging Feature

Nurse scheduling software provides a messaging feature to address acute staffing needs. Each employee has a message board and admins can quickly message employees with any pertinent information they need to communicate to their employees. Messages are time stamped when read to avoid those common communication mishaps that occur, such as an employee saying they never received the message. This saves both the employee and management time by being able to communicate more effectively.

Shift Reminders

Sometimes even the most responsible employee can forget about an upcoming shift, especially if it was a last-minute change, or not their usual scheduled shift. Thanks to the messaging feature, shift reminders can be sent out, allowing employees to know exactly when and where they’re supposed to report for duty without having to call in to find out when they work next.

Overtime Alerts

With nurse scheduling software, self-scheduling employees can request to work overtime shifts which are displayed under the pending tab for admin approval. Alerts can be overridden at an admin level, making it a more fair and balanced process for everyone involved.

Credential Tracking

With nurse scheduling software comes the ability to track employee licensure and credentials. Skills that require recertification are tracked from the expiration date and the system alerts the employee prior to expiration. This can be linked back to the credential page for rapid updating. Each unit or facility has the ability during set-up to disallow those employees with expired or missing credentials from signing up for shifts or even being offered shifts that they aren’t qualified to work, since doing so could jeopardize patient safety.

Skill Mix

Nurse scheduling software allows administrators to gain visibility into any unit’s schedule to ensure compliance with patient regulatory requirements are being met. This also allows administrators to easily communicate with employees to fill open shifts and ensure that only those employees with the proper skill set are on the right shift. Furthermore, since we have the ability to choose highly skilled or standard jobs, there is always a good skill mix.

Base Staffing Numbers

In the master schedule you can input basic numbers to ensure there are enough jobs for everyone. While certain skills can designate an employee as highly skilled or standard, the standard can only work standard, but highly skilled can work both. This prevents placing all of your new hires on one shift. With base staffing numbers, you can add basic numbers for their lowest possible number on a day, but still maintain full coverage across their schedules.

Schedule360’s nurse scheduling software can eliminate employee scheduling conflicts as well as reduce labor costs and increase the quality of patient care. We’re confident our software can make a difference in your workforce management. Contact us today for a customized demo to see exactly how our software can work for you.