Technology Helps Bridge Gaps in Nursing Coverage

September 25, 2020

Nurse scheduler working on the unit staff schedule.

In a perfect world, healthcare schedulers never have to worry about gaps in coverage as all shifts are always filled with highly skilled nurses who never miss a shift. In the real world, that’s just not the case. Last minute call-outs are a daily occurrence for all facilities and a real issue for schedulers as GAPS in coverage means a higher workload for the other staff and decreased quality of care for patients. In a last-minute call-out scenario, the easiest thing for a scheduler to do is call a supplemental agency for shift coverage, however, that decision comes at a much higher cost per shift than using an in-house employee.

In a manual scheduling world of spreadsheets and outdated systems, communicating with qualified and available staff is a tedious and time-consuming process of multiple phone calls and texts. Fortunately, there is a better way to manage this pain point that quickly and seamlessly manages these last-minute call-out scenarios with your own employees and diminishes and eliminates the reliance on expensive agency labor.

Nurse Scheduling Software Reduces Agency Need

Schedule360’s nurse scheduling software is the most advanced, clinically focused scheduling solution with numerous innovative features designed to optimize staff scheduling and ensure you always have the proper staff coverage during every single shift. Implementing nurse scheduling software provides admins with a comprehensive view of the schedule in real time. With the ability to view the entire schedule at a glance including overtime thresholds and deficits in target work hours, you can optimize your nursing staff and reduce agency dependence.

Last-Minute Schedule Management

The right scheduling software enables last-minute critical scheduling needs to be dispatched to all available (not working), qualified staff to ensure optimal coverage for urgent scheduling needs. Through the software messaging system you can choose to send messages to all employees, employees who haven’t met work targets, employees who are available, or even employees who are currently working right now.

Credential Tracking

Each unit or facility has the ability during set-up to disallow those employees with expired or missing credentials from picking up shifts they aren’t qualified to fulfill, which could otherwise jeopardize patient safety.

With nurse scheduling software you have the ability to track employee licensure and credentials right in employee profiles. Management can view color-coded reports that clearly display expired or expiring licensure and credentials. Skills that require recertification are tracked from the expiration date and the system alerts the employee 60 days prior to expiration. This can be linked back to the credential page for rapid updating. This ensures only those with the proper skill set and qualifications can fill certain shifts. Optimizing shifts by utilizing your current staff can reduce the need for agency use, saving you money.

Rules-Based Self-Scheduling

Give employees a sense of freedom and flexibility over their own schedule with rules-based self-scheduling, all within rules and guidelines defined by management upon set-up. This ensures individual work targets are met and safe levels of staffing occur. Automating your scheduling tasks also leaves more time to better utilize your scheduler’s resources elsewhere.

Shift Swapping

Self-scheduling for nurses gives your staff the power and responsibility to make their own shift trades with other staff members who hold the same credentials as themselves. Doing so gives staff more control and balance in their work/personal lives, while still ensuring shifts are optimized with the right set of skills to provide a high quality of patient care.

Web-Based Benefits and Schedule Transparency

Nurse scheduling software provides complete schedule transparency by giving schedulers the ability to view the schedule in real-time, all in one place, and fill scheduling gaps with under-utilized staff, such as PRN employees, where they are needed most.

In the past nurses often had to call in to find out whether or not they had to work, or to let the scheduler know they needed to swap or pick up shifts.

With Schedule360, nurses will have full access to view their schedule anytime, anywhere. Schedules can be checked remotely, 24/7 from any device with internet access. A transparent schedule posted in advance requires fewer shift changes and swaps because nurses have more time to plan their personal life around their work schedule.

Proactive Scheduling

Integrated, real-time reports allow one-click management of employee compliance to work targets and enables rapid schedule management. Scheduling software also provides accurate forecasting of upcoming shift demands, decreasing last minute overtime shifts. Reports can provide shift level patterns in patient flow so schedulers have an easier time forecasting upcoming demands through individual units.

Schedule360’s advanced nurse scheduling software is the perfect solution to cure even the most stubborn scheduling pain points. Contact us to set up a configured demo with your unique scheduling needs in mind. We’d love for you to see how it can work for your unit.