Too Busy to Do it Right?

By Kathy Douglas RN, MPH-HA, Chief Clinical Officer with ShiftHound

Being a manager in healthcare is hard. Along with 24×7 responsibility comes a constant flow of complex situations, unpredictable variables and sorting through the vast array of human needs that comes with people facing compromised health. On top of this are responsibilities for quality, safety, best practices, regulatory compliance, patient and staff satisfaction and financial performance.

Given the complexities of this incessantly difficult role, the value of a manager’s time quickly becomes clear. In this light it is troubling that staffing has been identified as one of the most time consuming aspects of the manager’s job. What’s even more confounding is the large number of managers that rely on paper and basic spreadsheets to get staffing done.

Why Staffing Is So Important in Healthcare

Healthcare delivery relies on the fact that there will be a workforce that is ready, available, and qualified to answer the needs of patients they serve. For any given care area, a manager is accountable to make sure that happens. Most managers will tell you that this is the main thing that keeps them up at night. That is because everything else hinges on having the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. Everything managers work for; quality, safety, best practices, optimal efficiency, effectiveness, best possible outcomes and financial performance have some connection to effective staffing.

The Value of Automation in Staffing and Scheduling

It would be hard to find anyone in today’s world that could not see the value in automation of such an essential part of healthcare operations. Known benefits include:

  • Manager time savings
  • Optimized communications
  • Data driven decision making
  • Decrease use of overtime
  • Decreased reliance on expensive contract labor
  • Tracking and reporting
  • Data collection, analysis and performance improvement
  • Operational efficiencies
  • Increased staff satisfaction
  • Decreased turnover
  • Improved financial performance

Even with all these benefits the number of healthcare organizations who are using paper processes for staffing have been estimated to be as high as a staggering 50%.

Why The Resistance to Automation?

With so many benefits it is hard to imagine why there continues to be so much resistance to adopting staffing and scheduling technology. But here is a summary of typical reasons.

  • What they are doing now is working, so there is no urgency to change
  • Too busy to learn another new system
  • Comfortable with the way things are
  • Feeling threatened by the visibility that comes with automation
  • Fear of losing control
  • Reliance on opinion based staffing decisions
  • The costs and complexity of implementing new systems
  • Bad experiences they have had trying to implement technology solutions

Next Generation Scheduling Solutions Breaking Down Barriers

There is good news for Managers and organizations alike in the newest generation of software technology solutions for healthcare staffing and scheduling. These powerful, easy to implement, easy to use, cost effective solutions have been designed to address many of the concerns Managers have. Their benefits are undeniably alluring to even the most hesitant manager.

Bypassing older technologies that have left a trail of frustrating experiences and poor return on investments, these new solutions have leveraged technology breakthroughs and design strategies that bring immediate value and eliminate much of the problems associated with over built and antiquated solutions.

Now a manager can easily see their staffing situation from any mobile device, have access to the data needed to make an effective staffing decision at their fingertips, execute a decision in one click, have that update all schedules, and instantly notify staff of changes.

Along with the efficiencies that come with daily staffing, with the resulting data that is collected through automation, Managers now have sophisticated reports, the ability to see trends, recognize opportunities and use data to drive change, justify budgets and strengthen their voice with data to back their positions.

The value of these next generation systems does not stop there. New pricing models that are simple, predictable and all inclusive, have replaced large licensing fees, the need for capital budget approval, maintenance fees, service fees and those irritating hidden costs that always seem to surface after a contract is signed.

It’s an exciting time for managers in healthcare as the barriers to benefiting from the power of automated staffing and scheduling are removed. By designing software with a deep understanding of the manager’s needs and workflow, these new solutions become powerful tools that once adopted will leave managers wonder how they ever lived without them.

About ShiftHound, Inc.

ShiftHound is the leader in cloud-based Staff Scheduling and Human Capital Management software. Healthcare organizations with shift-based staffing needs use ShiftHound to reduce labor costs by preventing overtime, decreasing Employee turnover, and increasing scheduling efficiency, communication, and compliance to right-staffing ratios/PPD. Using ShiftHound, Management and Employees gain back valuable time to do what they do best – provide quality service. Customers choose ShiftHound because of its extremely simple to use interface, quick implementation time, and proven ability to deliver immediate ROI thorough cost savings, increased efficiencies, and better quality of life for their Employees and Staff.

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