What is one of the worst feelings for department or practice managers and staff alike? Being understaffed. Understaffing situations can occur for a number of different reasons, including vacation, conferences, or other personnel conflicts. While not everything is 100% preventable, an automated scheduling software can help to keep most understaffing situations to a minimum. There are several ways in which scheduling software can help prevent staffing related issues.
Using an automated scheduling system that includes time-off rules is key to ensuring that understaffing staffing situations do not arise. In situations where schedules are building built by hand or in MS Excel, it can be very difficult to keep track of who has time-off at any given point. Managers and schedulers are required to stay on top of all of this information in order to ensure that there are not too many staff unavailable at any one time. This is a time consuming and stressful process. Time-off rules in an automated scheduling application allow administrators and schedules to set rules about how many people in specific roles can request time off at the same time. This ensures that there are never understaffing situations and takes the pressure off of schedules and administrators to remember who is not working at any given time.
Another way that schedulers and administrators can keep control over staffing levels is the concept of “block dates.” Block dates are specific dates on the schedule when staff are not allowed to request time off. For example, in order to prevent a mass number of requests for a holiday, administrators can say that time-off requests cannot be submitted for specific dates. This allows administrators to quickly tell staff when they can and cannot request leave.
Another automated scheduling application component that helps with staffing levels is the demand tracking. Demand tracking allows schedulers to set minimum and maximum levels of staff that are needed for a particular role at any given time. This allows organizations to staff roles based on known needs. The ability to set minimum levels of staff help schedules to determine when and when not to let people take time off, preventing understaffing situations.