How Scheduling Automation Can Help the Healthcare Industry

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Maintaining the schedule for a hospital department can be a very stressful, demanding, and time-consuming job. The sad part is that most organizations do not realize the complexity of the task. Below are some of the reasons why your organization can benefit from an automated time and attendance tracking software application.

At the very core of the healthcare industry are the innumerable medical professionals battling every day to keep our people alive and well. With more than half of a hospital’s costs going towards its staff, healthcare organizations are embracing scheduling and workforce management solutions to repair labor costs, employee engagement, and the quality of care.

While skilled healthcare staff scheduling is crucial for a successful healthcare organization, a recent AMN Healthcare survey stated that more than 50% of administrators still schedule manually. On top of that, many nurse managers aren’t aware of the automated staffing solutions accessible to manage their schedule complexities.

There are a notable number of benefits for healthcare institutes when they use an automated scheduling or time and attendance tracking software.

Reduced Labor Costs

An automated scheduling solution is an excellent ground for healthcare professionals who want to control labor costs. In the healthcare industry, decreasing labor costs doesn’t mean diminishing staff or decreasing patient care quality. In place of that, managers must optimize labor costs by reducing unnecessary overtime, avoiding turnover by guaranteeing proper rejuvenation time between shifts.

Keep Detailed Time-Off Records

Keeping track of staff time-off is imperative to ensure that your department runs seamlessly. An employee attendance tracking software will allow for 100% accurate tallies to be kept on the number of days each person has taken off over any necessary period. This benefits accounting, ACA compliance, personnel management, and shift distribution. 

People do not have to keep track of emails or paper notes with time-off requests. The attendance management software will also serve as a permanent repository for applications to make year-over-year comparisons.

With the right scheduling automation solution, companies can manage their historical data to forecast labor based on demand. Scheduling the precise amount of staff to the right place at the right time means companies not only subdue overstaffing expenses but also better plan for seasonal demand spikes.

Improved Employee Engagement

Patient care improves when nurses are happy. It sounds simple, but employee engagement isn’t something to be ignored in the healthcare industry, especially when many studies link nurses who are unsatisfied to increased infection rates, higher injury fall rates, and increased hospital readmission.

One significant way to improve employee engagement in healthcare is to give staff more influence over their work schedules. By engaging your team in the scheduling process, you relieve your managers of always balancing workload with unknown personal plans. By empowering your staff to display their schedule preferences, your managers waste less time scheduling and more time focused on the aspects that matter to them.

Be Compliant with ACA Requirements

An automated scheduling software can guarantee compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements. To be fully compliant, companies need to do more than make the right schedules; they also need to double check that their staff worked the designated hours.

For many reasons, the team can work longer than their required shift, which can put their hours beyond a PT designation and put the organization at stake for noncompliance. An outstanding automated scheduler should not only build optimal schedules, but should provide time clocking features that report on actual time worked. This can give supervisors peace of mind in case of an audit. 

Cost Savings

In today’s healthcare environment, many departments are operating on a fixed budget. Every dollar counts, so it is necessary to make sure you are not wasting money. Automated scheduling applications are an impeccable tools for making sure that your department is saving money.

Scheduling applications save money on various levels. First, they decrease the cost to build each schedule by limiting the amount of time it takes to make. To figure out your current price for each schedule, take the hourly rate, or the hourly rate of the schedule, multiply by the time it took to create the schedule.  

Conclusion

The days of nurses filling out their schedules on paper and rushing to the hospital to grab prime vacation slots are quickly disappearing, thanks to the advent of automated staffing solutions. 

The technology permits hospitals to match open positions with qualified nurses, will enable nurses to manage their schedules, and reduces the need for costly contract agency personnel or extra incentives to fill slots.