Managing the schedule for a hospital department or specialty practice can be an extremely stressful, demanding and time consuming job. The unfortunate reality is that most organizations don’t recognize the difficulty of the task. Many times providers and staff get the schedule and never see the countless hours and sweat that went into the creation of that schedule. This is one big reason why organizations never look into purchasing a staff scheduling application. Only one or two people feel the pain associated with the scheduling process so providing support for those people is often low on the list of priorities. This is why it is up to the schedulers to go out and get the tools they need to perform their job at the highest levels.
You have been asking your boss for a scheduling software but they won’t make a purchase because they don’t see it as a critical tool. You know it is critical to the success of your department but nobody else feels your pain so you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you need some help convincing your boss that getting a scheduling application is the right thing to do, show them this article. While making your job easier is the ultimate goal, it may be important to show your boss benefits that relate to things they are concerned with in order to get the green light.
How Does Automated Scheduling Benefit Your Department or Practice?
In today’s healthcare environment, departments and practices are operating on a tight budget. Every dollar counts, so it is important to make sure you are not wasting money. Automated scheduling applications are great tools for ensuring that your department is saving money. Scheduling applications save money on multiple levels. First, they reduce the cost to build each schedule by limiting the amount of time it takes to build. To figure out your current cost for each schedule take the hourly rate, or what would be the hourly rate of the schedule and multiply by the time it took to make the schedule. The number might shock you. Secondly, they help to reduce turnover so they can save money throughout the recruitment process. Finally, scheduling software can save money by ensuring that overtime scheduling is not done unless necessary.
Reduce Scheduling Timelines by Weeks
Along with saving money and reducing turnover an automated scheduler can take week’s long projects to create staff schedules and reduce it down to a single day. The manual changes, equity calculations, distribution, rule analysis and everything else that goes into a schedule can all be done automatically by the software, allowing for the scheduler to focus on other important tasks within the department or practice.
Keep Accurate Time-Off Records
Keeping track of staff and provider time-off is important to ensuring that you department runs smoothly. An automated scheduling application will allow for 100% accurate tallies to be kept on how many days each person has taken off over any desired period of time. This helps with accounting, ACA compliance, personnel management and shift distribution. No longer do people have to keep track of emails or paper notes with time-off requests. The system will also serve as a permanent repository for requests so year-over-year comparisons can be made.
Comply with ACA Requirements
Another benefit of an automated scheduling application is that it can ensure compliance with Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements. To be fully compliant, employers need to do more than build the appropriate schedules, they also need to verify that their staff worked the assigned hours. For many reasons, staff can work longer than their intended shift which can put their hours beyond a PT designation, and put the organization at risk for noncompliance. A good automated scheduler should not only build optimal schedules, but should provide time clocking features that report on actual time worked. This can give managers peace of mind in case of an audit. More information about this topic can be seen in one of our previous articles: How Staff Scheduling Software can Ensure ACA Compliance.
Keep an eye out for the second part of this article, coming soon.