In addition to nurses and physicians, your hospital needs auxiliary staff to support patient care. Perhaps having an employee on hand who speaks a foreign language is necessary to meet critical needs. Whatever the situation, auxiliary staff scheduling software can help to keep things running smoothly.
Having employees with specific skill sets available for round-the-clock shifts is not only required, but it is also essential. No one can precisely predict when people will need healthcare services. Therefore, it is best that you be prepared for all possible scenarios.
Healthcare auxiliary staff scheduling software is designed for diverse staffing needs. If your hospital has complex scheduling needs, you want to take advantage of programs like eSolve. You get full use of a system that allows:
- Schedule coordination
- Credential tracking
- Overtime reporting
- Mandated staffing levels
- Enterprise mobility
- No-show replacement
Robust scheduling helps to boost morale and reduce turnover. Department managers can ensure all hands are on deck when needed to take care of patients.
Overcome Challenges with Managing Auxiliary Staff Scheduling
One of the biggest challenges for hospital department managers is the ability to fill skill-related needs. To help make this happen more consistently, auxiliary staff scheduling software offers a quick way to accomplish this very important task.
Typically, managers can assign skills to each employee. As they build shift schedules, they may use trends to determine when certain skills were needed most. With this information, managers can schedule employees who match those skills.
The skills feature narrows which employees are available for specific shifts. Coupled with availability preferences, managers assign employees to shifts until each slot is filled.
An important point to note is how much time and resources are saved by following this process. Matching employees based on skills ensures patients are connected with appropriate staff members.
Another challenge is a lack of communication. Hospital auxiliary staff scheduling and coordination are manageable with the appropriate system. Managers and employees gain online schedule access.
Each member of your staff receives instant communication on real-time updates when someone calls out. Automated shift alerts ensure the right employees can fill those gaps.
Avoid Common Drawbacks to Auxiliary Staff Scheduling
As much as the right healthcare staff scheduling system helps, it is important to avoid common drawbacks. Like any technology designed to improve efficiency, you want to implement a system that does not interrupt patient care.
Additionally, you want a system that helps to minimise labour costs while ensuring optimal patient coverage. Below are three things to consider avoiding as you schedule auxiliary employees.
Following a Top-Down Staffing Process
Limiting employee involvement with their work schedules may seem like a good management decision. However, this top-down, manager-directed approach can quickly backfire. As committed as your employees are to patient care, they may only do the bare minimum.
In other words, employees who have no input toward decisions regarding their schedules may not perform at their optimal levels. They may also do very little to resolve staff coverage gaps. In this situation, managers are solely responsible for staffing shifts.
Contrast this behaviour to an empowering environment. Auxiliary staff will feel more committed to the hospital and the level of care. Collaborative staffing is completely possible with scheduling software.
Employees can view available shifts and request hours based on their preferences. Moreover, managers can spend less time on routine tasks such as creating schedules. Therefore, they will have more time for tactical initiatives like patient safety and staff quality.
Having Separate Staffing Strategies for Each Unit
It is not unusual to fall into the habit of staffing departments separate from one another. While each unit is solely involved in its staffing, the strategy lacks transparency. This makes it difficult for available employees to fill shift gaps.
In contrast, a dependable staffing strategy across the entire hospital is one that informs each unit of available shifts. Therefore, an employee not working in one unit can cover a shift in another unit to meet patient needs.
Auxiliary staff scheduling provides this type of opportunity. Furthermore, employees do not need to be at work to learn of available shifts. Enterprise mobility, which allows the use of mobile devices to access scheduling information.
Lacking Standardized Staffing Policies
In addition to each department having its own way of scheduling shifts, your hospital may not have standardized staffing policies. This is another drawback to not having a centralized system. To function properly, there should be consistent policies for employee scheduling that covers procedures for:
- Call outs
- Time off requests
- Vacation requests
- Holiday schedules
- Shift swaps
Employees want to be treated fairly and equitably. Thus, having inconsistent practices in staff scheduling can create a perception of inequity. Morale suffers and eventually spills into how patients are treated.
With a collaborative model system that is supported by healthcare scheduling software, fairness and consistency are never questioned. Having standardized staffing policies create equality that encourages a unified workplace culture.
Better Auxiliary Staff Scheduling Improves Management
Employee scheduling is a major part of smoothly running a hospital. Having the right people covering shifts at the right time determines how well you can deliver patient care. This should be a top priority for every hospital system, large or small.
Along with efficiency in medical care, staff scheduling software helps to improve management processes. Your entire hospital staff enjoys system-wide optimisation of staffing needs. Therefore, employees become more willing to cooperate with management requests.
As managers spend less time scheduling shifts, they can devote more energy to other activities that strengthen their departments. Communicating with employees about their preferences shows confidence in their ability to meet the demands of serving patients.
Maximising efficiency throughout your hospital is a win-win situation. Patient care does not suffer because department managers have a tool to fill planned and unplanned gaps. In addition to keeping shifts staffed with appropriate personnel, a scheduling system can help with forecasting future staffing needs.