5 Must Have Features Of Your Nurse Scheduling Software

June 12, 2019

5 Must Have Features Of Your Nurse Scheduling

Managing a nursing staff schedule is a complex task full of common complaints. Not only are there specific rules that must be followed, but also attempting to fill multiple shifts may feel more like a juggling act than a job.

How do you ensure that you’re meeting the demands of the administrators, while still keeping your nurses happy and content? While most nurses truly love their profession, many of them become easily overextended and frustrated due to scheduling issues. This can quickly lead to burnout, which is a real concern throughout the healthcare industry.

Fortunately, there are programs available to help you manage your nurse scheduling woes. With numerous options available, how do you know which nurse scheduling program to select? Here are some features to look for when choosing a self-scheduling program for your nursing staff.

1. Rule Based Self-Scheduling Software

Self-scheduling can help bridge the gap between nurses and administrators by allowing nurses more flexibility and control over their own schedules. This can easily be done while still ensuring that all of the rules and regulations set forth by management are met.

With rule-based self-scheduling software, nurses have the ability to pick up extra shifts, request time off, swap shifts, and more-all within the limits and guidelines pre-set by the administrators.

This includes the ability to balance schedules. Management can pause self-scheduling and shift trades when there is a need to balance the schedule according to skill set. Once the schedule is balanced, self-scheduling can be resumed with a quick click.

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A good self-scheduling program also allows schedulers to create recurring shifts for employees at different facilities. Templates can be stored in the system and replicated to create future shifts, making reoccurring schedules, like rotating weekends, much simpler. They can be edited, deleted, or inactivated, then re-activated at any time.

2. Messaging Capabilities

Messaging is an essential communication tool. Having a self-scheduling program with a messaging feature keeps everyone up to date and on the same page. This is especially helpful when it comes to schedule changes and staffing needs. Using a messaging feature for your nursing staff means all of the communications are in one place, and when messages are opened and read, they are time stamped. This will lessen the chances of messages being overlooked and shifts being double-staffed or missed all together.

Through the messaging feature, staffing managers have the ability to broadcast their scheduling needs to any and all available and qualified nurses, while not duplicating messages to those already working in the hospital. And managers are able to see who has opened the message, and who hasn’t, eliminating the guesswork of whether or not someone received the message.

If there is a hot shift or a critical need requiring a speedy response, it can be immediately communicated via an email or text message.

3. Employee Post and Exchange

Sometimes circumstances arise where a nurse is unable to work his or her scheduled shift, such as an illness or family emergency. With an employee post and exchange feature, nurses have the ability to swap or trade shifts, or even pick up extra available shifts provided their request falls within a certain set of rules and guidelines set by management.

This includes the ability to broadcast any last minute shift needs to qualified and available employees directly to their cell phone, email, or pager. Gone are the days of scouring over calling lists and playing phone tag with employees, or having to leave voice mails which often go unanswered.

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4. Reporting and Analytics

Any feature that can help staffing managers to more easily and safely manage appropriate staffing levels in order to maintain higher patient and employee safety standards should definitely be a top priority.

Productivity tracking has never been easier. Nurse scheduling software can provide immediate calculation of Care Hours per Patient Day based on department Census levels. With a quick click of a button, departments can have their labor cost data calculated and displayed in real time for each department.

It can also help keep you on track when it comes to budgeting and fiscal responsibilities.

5. Documentation

Simplify the lengthy and tedious documentation process by having everything readily available and organized, such as documentation of shift trades, vacation schedules, time off requests, call-offs, charge nurse modification, OT approvals, and float documentation in real-time. Messaging transparency allows administrators to see when messages are read, so there’s no longer a need to wonder who has or has not received the communications.

Literally any of your daily documentation needs, including who did what, along with whatever other additional daily documentation is required, can be included.

No matter how complex your nurse scheduling concerns may seem, there is a viable solution out there ready and willing to help you tackle your scheduling pitfalls. Schedule360 offers all of this and more. With our user-friendly integrated online software program, scheduling can be accessed anywhere at any time from multiple devices. We’ll take the dread out of your nurse scheduling tasks. Contact us today to see how we can make a difference in your department.