Chapter 1

Introduction

Introduction

Healthcare organizations are faced with a unique set of challenges.

Firstly, it is critical for leaders in the healthcare industry to keep abreast of the latest medical advances and innovations in patient care. While doing so, they must also maintain compliance and work to ensure that the rights, health, and safety of their patients are intact throughout the course of their care.

On the administrative end, the challenges faced by healthcare organizations are just as great. The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of an organization’s staff scheduling must work in tandem with an innovative mindset. In order to run an efficient and innovative healthcare organization, they need to acknowledge and address all factors that impact their organizations’ performance.

Chapter 2

Staff Scheduling: The Hidden Bottleneck

Staff Scheduling: The Hidden Bottleneck

When finding the source of organizational inefficiency, personnel issues and inaccurate scheduling are often at the center.

While staff scheduling may often feel like a secondary activity for healthcare administrators and staff, it is often a facet of organizations that are rife with bottlenecks and can have negative consequences on the bottom line and on the satisfaction and productivity of staff. Late doctors, absent orderlies and fatigued personnel is a recipe for disaster, and is, more often than not, attributed to scheduling errors.

It doesn’t stop at administration and staff. The problem of scheduling trickles all the way down to the patient, affecting level of care and overall patient satisfaction.

As a result of these inefficiencies, cost of staff turnover alone is estimated to be at $1.2 million annually.

 At the root of these inefficiencies lies the need for healthcare organizations to find an integrated, automated system that allows them to address all of the factors that address inefficiency and poor performance. – and automated scheduling software can help to take the guesswork and margin of error out of this process.

Digging Deeper: Looking at Types of Staff Scheduling

From spreadsheets to software, healthcare organizations of all specialty types and sizes use different methods of scheduling. The most common types are:

  • EMR modules
  • In-house/manual solutions including Excel
  • 3rd party scheduling software

But not all scheduling methods are created equal. In a recent survey conducted by our team, we talked to 150 physicians about the state of scheduling at their organizations. And the results were telling.

In the key findings, we found that while a larger segment of organizations utilizes EMR module and in-house solutions, the rate of satisfaction for these scheduling methods were low. These methods are often rife with guesswork and human error, leading to wasted resources, overworked staff and a lower level of patient care.

While only roughly 20% of organizations reported utilizing third-party software for scheduling, this solution proved to have the highest rate of satisfaction.

Indeed, as the state of healthcare continues to change, third-party solutions – better known as scheduling software – is a solution that, when utilized correctly, results in increased ROI and higher levels of satisfaction across organizations.

Webinar:
Wake Up From Your Scheduling Nightmare
Chapter 3

What is Healthcare Scheduling Software?

What is Healthcare Scheduling Software?

Automated scheduling is a process by which a software application algorithmically and automatically generates, and schedules based upon pre-coded rules and constraints.

Instead of making schedules susceptible to human error, automatic scheduling saves precious time and resources with its precision and speed.

Scheduling software can help a healthcare organization tackle a number of administrative and personnel tasks, including:

  • Staff schedule management and notification
  • Self-scheduling and shift-swapping
  • Administrative approval and access
  • Staff hours, overtime, and paid time off tracking
  • Robust compliance maintenance
  • Standard time-clocking

While traditional methods leave these administrative duties, HR tasks and scheduling tasks to the risk of human error, scheduling software works to integrate tasks into one concise system. In result, organizations have a more streamlined system that’s less prone to error.

Whitepaper:
Using Automated Scheduling Software to Improve Physician & Staff Retention
Chapter 4

Benefits for Healthcare Organizations

Benefits for Healthcare Organizations

Increased Efficiency & Lower Margin of Error

Equitable and Complete. Scheduling software uses reporting and metrics to create a more equitable and complete schedule over time. This gives administrators a real-time look at how their schedule is performing day to day.

Reduced Overtime. According to a recent study completed by the Clinical & Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (CGCAHPS), organizations that utilize automatic scheduling experience a 10-20% reduction in overtime. This makes for a more energized, focus staff can better perform their daily duties.

Complete, Accurate Assignments. In the same study conducted by CGCAHPS, feedback showed that automatic scheduling reduced the rate of missed or erroneous assignments by 80-90%.

Ensured ACA Compliance

Verifiable Time Tracking. In order to be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers need to verify that their staff worked their assigned hours. Automatic scheduling provides clocking features that accurately report time worked.

Audit Ready. In the face of an audit, scheduling software’s clocking features generate reports that make it easy for staff and managers to respond in the face of an audit.

Financial Benefits

Increased ROI. In the same study, CGCAHPS found that the use of automated scheduling systems increased ROI of health organizations by 40%.

Reduced Cost Per Schedule. Scheduling systems limit the amount of time it takes to build staff schedules. Using equitable and complete scheduling capabilities, software reduces the cost to build schedules.

Reduced Turnover. With more equitable scheduling, organizations experience less burnout and higher rates of staff satisfaction. This allows organizations to more easily save money through the recruitment process.

Reduced Overtime. More accurate assignments mean more equitable scheduling, reducing the need and cost of unnecessary overtime hours.

Staff Satisfaction & Performance

Balanced Scheduling. By fairly distributing physicians and staff across different roles, scheduling software helps healthcare organizations achieve the equity they strive for.

Built for Responsiveness. Through features like mobile access and real-time alerts, staff can better keep track of shifts and be agile in the face of scheduling changes.

Reduced Employee Burnout. When staff are equitably scheduled, they are given the rest and rejuvenation necessary to give their all to assigned shifts and can help create a culture of physician wellness.

Webinar:
Improving Practice Management: Increasing Physician Retention Through Scheduling
Chapter 5

What to Look for in Scheduling Software

What to Look for in Scheduling Software

While scheduling software seems like a clear choice for healthcare organizations, it is important to choose the right software that meets your needs.

1. Streamlined, Centralized Capabilities

Scheduling software should be able to integrate all facets of your scheduling into one, streamlined management system. A centralized system will make vital information easily accessible and will ensure that no important document is ever lost.

2. Built For Compliance

By keeping tailored tracking and reports, good scheduling software makes it easy for organizations to maintain compliance.

3. Agility in the Face of Change

Good scheduling software should consider the human element of organizations, meaning that it can easily adapt in the face of change or error.

4. HR Management

Scheduling software should be able to track, store and analyze the days off, paid time off, and overtime of staff. Additionally, it should work with an organization’s Human Resource department, intelligently reconciling information to distribute payments successfully.

5. Self-Scheduling Capabilities

Self-scheduling will allow your staff to collaborate with one another to create schedules that work best for them.

6. Mobile Capabilities

For the sake of convenience, accuracy, and acknowledgement of the needs of staff and administrators alike, scheduling software should be mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendly scheduling allows staff to make requests, receive notifications and reminders, and communicate with one another in a concise and intelligent system.

7. Scalability

Outstanding scheduling software grows with healthcare organizations, adapting as the healthcare industry continues to grow and change.

 

Finding the right Medical Staff Scheduling Software can be a rigorous process in and of itself, but a well-integrated system can spell the difference between success and disaster for a healthcare organization.

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