There are few professions where time and schedule management are as important as they are in clinical practice. As highly trained, highly skilled professionals, disruption in a clinician's work patterns or chaotic time management ultimately have a negative impact on outcomes - both for patients and for the clinicians themselves in terms of work-life balance. A clinician’s quality of life is tightly aligned with their working schedule and overall job satisfaction and yet many organizations still rely on manual processes to schedule clinical staff time. A more automated system to manage clinician scheduling brings balance, transparency, and control.
The staff schedule for a clinical service or department in a hospital setting rarely remains static for very long. It is dynamic and is constantly amended when shifts swap, or when particular requests occur. The scheduling process is interactive and requires input on no-call weekends, conference time and vacation requests, email, notes, and phone calls, which end up caving in on the scheduling manager from all sides. The more complex the clinical workplace, the more difficult it is to balance all these requirements and properly schedule to everyone's approval.
In a manually scheduled environment, it is virtually impossible for those in charge of the schedule to track, manage and accommodate every input. These challenges cause delays in request approval to become the norm, which has a direct impact on clinician satisfaction and quality of life.
The Benefits of Digital Hospital Employee Scheduling
There are simpler ways to organize your department’s needs and simultaneously empower your clinicians to take control of their schedules.
A digital scheduling solution holds availability and coverage needs for every clinician and staff member in one place. Clinicians gain visibility into available shifts and opportunities for additional shifts, or for time off based on the needs of the department and the staff during that requested period. They can also see how much vacation they’ve accrued as time goes on and can plan in advance when they want to take that vacation.
Giving clinicians the ability to see and (to an extent) control their schedules in an easy-to-use mobile app that they can influence directly will empower them by giving them control. It also improves their quality of life, which is imperative in retaining staff.
Transparency in scheduling benefits the clinicians in two ways. It eliminates the veil of mystery that comes when a scheduling manager has to manually decide who gets what time off and when. In a digital scheduling solution, there is no possibility for favoritism because rules are consistently applied to everyone and schedules are visible to the staff. This level of transparency underpins the integrity of the workforce management process and supports better clinician engagement.
Not only are the clinicians empowered with a deeper understanding of their schedules, managers can develop a clear, data-driven prediction for the flux of demand the department will experience month to month. The person in charge of scheduling will have informed insight to which departments will need more help and when.
A digital scheduling solution can modernize and streamline management of the clinical workforce. A digital scheduling solution that centralizes scheduling information and brings choice and control back to your clinicians will improve retention and quality of life for those clinicians and for administration. Being able to track and analyze staff data will take the guesswork out of scheduling and provide clarity for you. Everyone — including the patient — wins.
Topics: Physician Scheduling