The healthcare sector is a crucial sector not just for the health of the people but also for the health of the economy of a country. This industry consists of many medical professionals who work tirelessly to ensure that the patients are well. These staff are the soul of any hospital and up to 50% of the operating costs go for staff. The hospitals and other healthcare facilities use many workforce management solutions to ensure that the staff is satisfied as that improves the quality of care they provide to people.
In any organization, it is essential to have effective employee scheduling for it to function properly. Scheduling it manually is not only complex and inaccurate but it is also time-consuming. There is a need for scheduling and booking tasks like 24/7 labor, emergencies, sick days, and much more. But having an automatic employee scheduling will ensure that covering all the shifts is not an issue even if you are running the busiest hospital in town.
There is a need for the healthcare industry to use advanced tools and technologies as that will not only help the patients but will also add value to the nurses, doctors, administrative staff and other stakeholders too. Here are some of the benefits of automatic scheduling:
Helps to create optimized staffing: The employee staffing in a healthcare center is a great challenge as there is a need to have staff with various skillsets available to care for the needs of the patients. To add to this complexity there is a strict regulation for the nurse to patient ratio apart from ensuring that they comply with the Affordable Care Act, ACA requirements.
The employers thus have to create appropriate schedules, track work hours, ensure they are not overworked, etc. Through automatic scheduling, all this can be easily handled. You can not only streamline your scheduling with this tool but it also has features that will report on the time worked which can be shown when there is an audit. Making changes to the schedules is also easy without any ripple-effect on the other aspects of scheduling. It also has tools that provide notifications to employees about shifts improving employee communication.
Save money: In today’s economy where budget is tight, all the departments and practices are looking at ways to reduce costs. Among the things that take up most of the finances is the labor and hence healthcare is looking at various options to reduce those costs. That does not mean the quality of care is reduced or the staff is decreased. Using an automated scheduling solution labor costs can be optimized by ensuring that there is no unwanted OT, billing hours are calculated accurately, ensuring proper layover time between shifts, etc. It can also forecast labor based on historical data and take appropriate steps thereby reducing staffing expenses.
Avoid burnout: There are some go-to employees in each organization to whom the managers look to when there is a crunch situation, like when a shift has to be covered or has to work overtime. But this can lead to burnout of the employee and even the most dedicated person will need a few days off to regroup. Using a scheduling and monitoring tool helps the managers to identify which employee has worked more than others and give them a break. It can also help to track employees who are under-utilized so that they can be used to cover bases and save money.
More employee engagement: One of the ways to retain quality employees is to ensure that they are happy at their workplace. The happier they are the better the care for their patients. Moreover, when the staff is happy there are fewer sick days which means better productivity. Using a scheduling automation tool the staff is also involved in scheduling as they can express their preferences in the scheduling. The managers can balance the employee’s personal schedules with work. It is a win-win for both managers and employees as the manager spends less time on scheduling and the employees get to have a say when they work.
Keep accurate records: For a department to run smoothly there is a need to know the number of available staff and their time-off. The manual process involves tracking emails or other communication to track time-off requests. Having an automated scheduling application will ensure that there is complete accuracy in the number of days worked, time-off days, and the remaining leaves, etc. That will ensure that the accounting is also proper and is also in ACA compliance.
Employee scheduling is a complex process and choosing the right tool that will help your healthcare service is essential.