4 Ways to Improve Staff Scheduling in Healthcare

Effective employee scheduling is more important and also more complex in healthcare than it is in many other industries. The reason is because, unlike other industries which only need employees during the day, the healthcare industry often needs employees all through the night, and needs to have more people on call.

This can make the scheduling process difficult in healthcare. However, there are some ways that you can improve staff scheduling in the healthcare industry. Here are some of the top ways.

1. Limit Overtime

The problem with having too much overtime is that it is more expensive, and it can burn out your employees. The last thing you want at your hospital is for high numbers of nurses or doctors quitting because they are working way more than 40 hours in a week, and are getting exhausted.

Instead, it is better for you to carefully watch how much overtime hours your employees are working, and to restrict the number of these hours. Doing so can help to save you money, and it can also prevent your employees from getting burned out.

An effective method of managing overtime is to use an employee scheduling app such as Ximble. Ximble allows you to keep track of all the overtime your employees have done, meaning you can intervene when you think this has become too high. Ximble will also help you plan your rotas more effectively, leading to needing less overtime in the first place. Employee scheduling software is discussed in more detail below.

2. Use Scheduling Software

Scheduling software, such as the employee schedule maker offered by NimbleSchedule, can be extremely helpful for improving staff scheduling in healthcare. The reason is because such apps can allow employees to request time off, swap shifts, make shift requests, and even track their work hours all from their mobile devices.

In other words, a shift scheduler can give employees much more control over their work schedules, and it also reduces the amount of work that managers have to do. Online schedulers have the ability to make the scheduling process much more streamlined and efficient. So, these employee scheduling apps can really help health care companies with their scheduling.

Giving employees an easier way to request time off and for swapping shifts makes the process easier for everyone. If it can be done online, or in an app, then there is less time spent getting hold of the relevant people needed to make these things happen. Also, scheduling software makes it easier to distribute schedules to staff once they have been changed. Unlike paper schedules, which require amending and then distributing, often with the chance of missing people out if they happen to not be in work, online schedules can be amended and distributed immediately through the app.

3. Reward Dependable Employees

If some of your employees show up for their shifts on time every time, then you can book more time for them. However, if some of your other employees are constantly late, or are abusing their personal days, then you can give them less time on the schedule.

If you do this, then it sends the message that dependable employees will be prioritized and rewarded. It will also allow you to face fewer scheduling headaches for employees calling out at the last minute, being late, or just not showing up. Rewarding dependable employees can help make your scheduling process better, more efficient, and more reliable. This can help your company significantly in the long run.

While this might seem unreasonable to some employees, it would hopefully only be a temporary measure. The benefit of using an employee scheduling app such as Ximble is that you can keep track of when people clock in and out for their shifts, and so have a much better record of who is taking advantage of the system. This way you will have recorded data of who is pulling their weight, and who isn’t. In an industry such as healthcare, where every second counts, this can make all the difference to budgets.

4. Streamline your schedule building process

One of the biggest disadvantages to planning your schedules on spreadsheet software is that, even if your employees follow the same shift pattern every week, you still need to input this data manually. However, if you use employee scheduling software this work is done for you. Ximble uses Artificial Intelligence to keep track of when employees are usually scheduled, known busy periods, and public holidays, and it uses all this information to plan your schedules effectively.

The benefit of this is that it means managers can spend less time planning schedules and more time on things that are important to the running of a healthcare provider. It also means there’s less chance of you being caught short through ineffective scheduling planning, which is something that can happen to even the most on-the-ball managers.

The healthcare industry requires much more in-depth planning than other industries, mainly due to the wide variation of skills needed at any one time. It can become very difficult to try and juggle all the necessary people for a shift at any one time, but with employee scheduling software this job is made much easier. Ximble is an employee scheduling app that is suitable for all industries, including healthcare, because it has a wide range of applicable uses. It allows you to plan schedules using previous data, and plan for busy periods and 24-hour cover. Using Ximble will help you avoid your employees feeling burnt out from too much overtime, and will help to improve your employee retention rate as a result.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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