Healthcare facilities have often relied to some degree on traveling nurses and visiting physicians or specialists. Especially in locations where full-time positions aren’t necessary or realistic, from a budget and personnel standpoint, those healthcare professionals will spread their hours across multiple locations.
Widespread healthcare staffing shortages, coupled with the potential for calamities like the pandemic, have no doubt underscored the critical need for traveling healthcare personnel. It has also accentuated the dire need for organizations to have the flexibility to move staff from one floor to another – and one location to another – when the need arises.
Siloed departments impede quick decision-making
The challenge for many healthcare organizations is they don’t operate under one cohesive scheduling system. Different locations use different systems, and in some cases, departments within the same facility adopt different technology or staffing processes.
Scheduling managers are often operating in a vacuum, focused only on their direct reports. If a nurse calls off, it usually means a shift is left under-staffed or other nurses are pushed into overtime to keep patient-to-staff ratios where they need to be. Meanwhile, on another floor within the same hospital, nurses are being sent home early because census is low.
Healthcare leaders may reach out to other departments in emergency situations when severe understaffing and too-high census collide. But that often involves an inefficient process of calling around to see who can send someone to another floor. In the meantime, employees are overwhelmed, and patients are waiting for care.
Leaders need more visibility across the organization
To prevent understaffing, overstaffing and overtime, leaders need more visibility into specific schedules and across locations. That’s true across all levels of the organization, from team leaders to executives. You just can’t get that level of visibility without scheduling applications or software. For example, with SMARTFORCE Scheduler, managers, on a permissions basis, can see who is available to work across multiple locations, whether those locations are in the same building or across the state. With ABILITY, you also get these time- and money-saving benefits:
- PowerScheduler™. In one screen, managers can view schedules in one-week, two-week, four-week or six-week formats, to see when all staff members are scheduled to work. It provides a simple, complete view that enables quicker, smarter decision-making when it comes to covering open shifts with both home unit staff and staff from other locations.
- “By Employee” scheduling. Move staff into any department they are qualified for and can access regardless of their location. Units that don’t allow staff to float in can be locked down so only home unit staff will be scheduled.
- Overtime monitoring. See immediately who is approaching overtime in your specific department. Plus, because overtime and hour commitments are not locked to a single location or unit, you can easily determine the overtime risk of moving staff between locations.
- Staff collaboration. Using their personal devices, staff can access the schedule, receive communication about open shifts, swap shifts and volunteer for shifts. The application also enables staff to pick up shifts at other locations if they possess the right credentials and qualifications.
At the highest level, ABILITY SMARTFORCE Scheduler enables you to optimize staff across your entire organization, helping to ensure individual units’ needs are met, while reducing the cost of overstaffing and overtime. To see the top mobile scheduling app ABILITY SMARTFORCE Scheduler in action, request a demo now.
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