Hospital Staff Scheduling

06 Sep, 2016 | Tags: , , ,

Every healthcare organization faces a challenge in managing staff scheduling and ensuring open shifts are filled. It is important to note though that costs are minimized when patients are matched with the staff in such a way that patients’ needs are met and the scheduling is done professionally.

Depending on a number of factors, staff scheduling gets complicated and thus end up wasting a lot of time and resources. However, every healthcare organization is different they all share a common need in scheduling their staff.

How to Avoid Three common Staffing and Scheduling Drawbacks

Most healthcare systems experience common drawbacks in their efforts to meet staffing and scheduling. However, this can be avoided by using a new methodology referred to as the “Collaborative Staffing”. The methodology is a ground-up that enables employees to be part of the solution in deploying the workforce. This approach minimizes the labor costs and ensures optimal patient coverage. Here is keener look at the three common drawbacks and how they should be avoided.

Carrying the Staffing Process from the Top down With Limited Employees Involvement

In a “manager-directed’ approach, creating staffing plans and filling staffing needs is the responsibility of unit managers and/ or a central staffing office. This top-down approach gives very little input or insight to nurses and other frontline staff into staffing process. This makes the nurses do very little to be part of a solution in case of gaps in staff coverage. In this regard, the challenge of staffing and scheduling rests on the manager’s shoulder.

However, managers’ time would be best spent focused in more tactical initiatives such as mentoring staff quality and patients safety. This is important than spending time in the routine tasks of managing staffing coverage. Moreover, staffs know about their preferences and availability than the managers. Thus, giving them control over shifts makes them enjoy better work/life balance and an increased sense of freedom.

The feeling of working in an empowering environment brings about many benefits. For instance, nurses tend to be more committed to the organization and register high quality of care in their units. Thus, collaborative staffing is a staff-partnered process that enables employees by granting them visibility into the organizational needs. It also gives them a right that empowers them to be part of the solution. In this regard, mangers and staff are able to collaborate to fill open shifts. This considers the employee skills and preferences to ensure that the patient care needs are put into account.

Staffing in Units to Match Staff with Patient Needs across the Enterprise

The opportunity to develop a dependable staffing strategy lacks when each unit is solely involved in their own staffing. This is because it may bring about lack of transparency thus making it difficult to available staff to fill gaps in another unit. In this regard, when a nurse is sent home for low census in one unit, another one is called in to meet increased needs.

Thus, even though the one going home is more qualified and is willing to fill the shift than go home, it is not possible. This is because there is no connection made due to the lack of visibility.

Lack of Standardized Staffing Policies in the Organization

There should be consistent policies regarding overtime, incentive programs and holiday schedules in the entire organization. This is because all employees like being treated equitably and fairly. Thus, inconsistent practices in staffing can bring about perceived or actual inequities.

However, in a collaborative model system, consistency and fairness are driven by the transparency. Moreover, standardized staffing policies create equality that can lead to a more unified workforce. This ensures that workers can work together to handle the challenges of staffing and scheduling.

Collaborative staffing ensures interdepartmental visibility and communication. Everyone in the healthcare is able to enjoy the benefits like system-wide staff optimization, increased employee engagement and decreased overtime and premium labor costs.

Better Scheduling Improves Management

Scheduling is major issue when it comes to running a big healthcare. Moreover, it influences the number of the practices run and serves as a foundation to a successful healthcare business. In this regard, scheduling of physicians and staff maximizes the efficiency of the healthcare and the patients’ care.

The best way to improve your scheduling is to get an automated physician and staff scheduling application. The machine should be able to work with unique policies and rules in the healthcare organization.

Conclusion

According to Dr. Karlene Kerfoot, a Chief Nursing Officer for API Healthcare, a GE company, technology has brought a great value that is growing each day. This is because technology helps healthcare staff in performing most activities daily. Moreover, technology can also be used to manage broader job satisfaction in hospitals like staffing and scheduling.

References:

How to Avoid Three Common Staffing and Scheduling Pitfalls

http://www.emrendhi.com/tag/nursing-staff-scheduling/


Tips To Keep Your Workspace Organized

05 Oct, 2015 | Tags: , , , ,

A disorganized workspace can leave you feeling unproductive. You walk into the office determined to get lots of work done, sit done at your desk, and immediately feel overwhelmed by the amount of clutter on your desk, against the wall, under your chair, and on your computer desktop. Not feeling so productive anymore, are you? Now the only thing you can think about is how much stuff you have to do, but where do you even start? Here are some tips to get your workspace organized, so you can sit down and get the work done that really matters.

1. The Great Office Purge:

Take a quick look around you. What haven’t you used in awhile that is sitting nearby? Are there any gadgets that don’t work anymore? If you haven’t touched it in several months, you probably don’t need it. Don’t forget some of the trinkets or fake (or dead) plants that are around the office too. Take a few moments with a garbage bag, and don’t be afraid of the Great Office Purge.

2. Create Your Office Zones:

If you have a printer, make sure all your paper, ink, and other paper products are in one area of your office—neatly organized. If you have several filing cabinets, create an area of your office for all your filing work. Look around and determine what work happens in your office, and then create work zones for the work that needs to be done, creating a simplified and organized area for each work zone. This way, you’ll never wonder where you left that stapler!

3. Welcome To The World Of Digital:

Speaking of filing cabinets, if you’re still holding on to receipts from 15 years ago, maybe you should consider using a digital filing system instead of holding on to all those papers. It will help you keep track of your information, and keep everything much safer if everything is saved digitally. And another plus, you’ll have more room in your office space.

4. Tackle Your Desk:

Clear off your desk completely! Only keep on your desk the things you need on a daily basis. Perhaps you’ll need a calendar, or a pen, or a notebook, a couple of business cards. Decide what you absolutely need on your desk, and discard or place in another appropriate place. Don’t forget to clean out your desk drawers as well. And remember, If you don’t need it on a daily basis, reconsider it’s position in your desk or even reconsider it’s purpose in your office completely.

5. Repeat Daily:

Once your office is organized and looks nice and clean, you’re ready to be the productive you you’re meant to be! Keep your office clean by spending a few minutes at the end of every day doing a quick evaluation of your office space. Remember to throw out what you don’t need, or to properly put away things you don’t use on a daily basis. And while we’re talking about keeping things organized, make you sure you have the What Time Do I Work app downloaded on your smartphone to keep your scheduling easy! Happy organizing!


Online Tools To Improve Hotel Management

10 Aug, 2015 |

Time is a valuable commodity in today’s fast-paced world. Unfortunately, the tasks that fill up the day of a hotel manager or employee are time-consuming with little room for any additional activities. When feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to remember the virtual tools designed to make these jobs simpler than ever. With these simple, but effective tools, hotels can be more effective at their daily operations. These tips provide effective ways to manage time and tasks efficiently. 


Online Reputation Management Systems


Each hotel’s reputation has a significant effect on their reservations. Additionally, one of the primary ways that hotels develop a reputation is through online reviews. Many managers are tasked with protecting the hotel’s online reputation, a job that may seem overwhelming. However, there are several excellent tools that make it easy to monitor an online presence. Google Alerts, for example, is a free tool that can be used to track where the hotel is mentioned across the internet. Social Mention and Who’s Talkin are also effective tools to manage online reputations and track what people are saying. Take advantage of these tools to streamline part of the day. 


From booking to sales, a hospitality property management software system is the key to avoiding problems on a daily basis. There are hundreds of systems available today so look through each one available to find the best option for the property. Examples of what these systems do include managing reservations, tracking costs, and training employees. Larger hotels may need an all-inclusive suite that covers all areas of hospitality whereas small hotels can get by with smaller systems. However, be sure to find a system that covers all areas needed for effective daily operations. This system takes some time to set up and learn. However, it can save hours of time and help increase staff efficiency and productivity as well, helping managers to keep costs low. 


Hotel Scheduling Software


Trying to schedule employees is a challenge, but today’s managers can streamline the process with hotel scheduling software readily available. This software can be used to track number of employees needed and how to schedule employees for the maximum productivity. It can be used to plan for vacation coverage as well and takes much of the guesswork out of scheduling. These software programs are used by managers in almost every area and with good reason. For hotels that have even small hotel staffing needs, these programs reduce employee mistakes and increase productivity significantly. Even the most organized of managers is going to make some mistakes which can be harmful for the hotel and its reputation. Keep the process simple by investing in this scheduling software. They’re an inexpensive way to run daily operations and employees. 


Online Inventory Systems


Hotels go through a huge amount of inventory each year. From the complementary soaps to the towels that guests keep taking, it’s not always easy to know when to reorder products. While each hotel uses a different system of ordering, hotel inventory systems are a good way to track and re-order products as needed. Use a complete hotel inventory system to simplify the complexities of hotel room stocking. Even regular employees can be involved in the process by inputting how much stock they use each day to make the process as easy as possible. Having a virtual inventory system also takes the guesswork out of the process and some even automatically place orders as needed. While this system provides benefits for almost every hotel, it is an essential part of larger hotels. 


Clocking In/Out Programs


This is a small aspect of productivity, but can make a difference in most hotels, especially larger ones. Many managers are frustrated with having to deal with employee clocking in and out. One of the best ways to monitor which employees clock in and out on time is to have a time clock which collects the data and sends it to an online system where it can be tracked. This allows management to see which employees constantly show up late or leave early. While simple, it can help to catch smaller problems in the hotel system.
These tools offer significant methods to prevent error and increase productivity. Consider adding these tools to the hotel system to improve workflow on a daily basis.


Why Every Restaurant Needs to Use Scheduling Software

06 Aug, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s pretty easy to see that communication is a necessity to any thriving business.  In today’s economy, it’s paramount to have a step-up in your communication whenever possible. The restaurant business can be brutal at times, with small margins and long hours, not to mention all the variables that can quickly turn a successful start to a day into an understaffed nightmare!  Keeping a large crowd waiting too long at the hostess station and you may have just lost potential customers forever.  Between understaffed waiters/waitresses, tables that need to be cleared, food orders getting cold, and special customer requests, many times managers and their employees alike can quickly feel the stress of the situation, and that’s not good for anyone!  That’s where innovative technology comes into play.

Share the Load

Using staff scheduling software can lighten a manager’s load considerably by

  • allowing managers to have the ability to create their schedules from home, if they choose, instead of in the midst of all the commotion in their backroom
  • managers no longer need to cater to all those interruptions from employees asking when they are scheduled to work next
  • they won’t be inundated with scraps of paper with handwritten notes trying to decipher when their employee is requesting some time off
  • since now the employee is responsible for adding their own requests directly into the system, if you try to schedule this employee during an unavailable time, a pop-up will remind you about their request
  • when it’s time to schedule that team meeting, it takes the guesswork and out of wondering if you’ve contacted everyone because now, it’s only a button click away

Think of all the time you’ll save by not having to rewrite a schedule over and over again! 

Employee Approved

Your employees will love using the online employee schedule system too!  They’ll be able to

  • access their schedule via smartphone, or simply check online; no more time wondering when the schedule is completed, or having to run back up to the restaurant to check the board
  • input their own requests for time off, eliminating potential disagreements or friction; no more keeping your fingers crossed in hopes that your manager remembers your request
  • receive reminders for when you’re scheduled to work; no more awkward feelings, wondering if you should call work to find out, or just show up and hope you were scheduled   

The Bar

Another important area of a restaurant that cannot be overemphasized is the bar. If a bartender doesn’t show up due to a lack of communication this can cause a potential great loss in revenue to everyone involved. Using a streamlined bar scheduling software can open up lines of communication and increase a restaurants profits substantially by

  • having each bartender’s hours specifically laid out in such a way that meets everyone’s needs; bars typically open during later hours, and bartenders are typically balancing many schedules throughout their day
  • bartender’s having the ability to put in requests from their smartphone or computer saving them time, and better organizing their daily schedule which expands communication
  • increasing profit margins by keeping the bar open on time and keeping those drinks filled; generating greater profits for everyone
  • keeping the highest profit margin available means that employee hours don’t get cut; everyone in the restaurant can be affected by this    

Now, everything goes directly into the system, all in one, easy to use place!

The folks at WhatTimeDoIWork.comhave made a huge impact to help you save time, improve even the best communication, all while saving you money.  This new innovative scheduling software didn’t happen overnight.  It was developed by experts with over thirty years of scheduling experience who took the time to sit down and listen to what managers and their employees both needed and wanted to become more successful.  Taking all their data into consideration, this team has developed a polished system where everything transpires in one place and can be accessed any time, day or night, from any place in the world.  They have produced the gift of giving you less stress and making life easier, while at the same time allowing you more time to work on those other important tasks for your business, you know, the ones listed under all those other papers that you can now throw away!


Is Your Answering Machine Driving Away Potential Customers?

22 Jul, 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

You’ve created the perfect product, service, or eating experience. You worked hard to effectively market it, and are now receiving a  stream of calls from prospective buyers. Everything appears to be going according to plan – after all, you’ve made plenty of sales – but what about those sales you’ve missed because your office was closed, the phone line was busy, or for whatever reason, no one was able to answer the phone?

If you’ve been letting your answering machine take your calls or worse yet, letting the phone endlessly ring or send out a busy signal, then you might be losing out on some potential sales.

Now obviously losing sales is bad for business. That’s why partnering with a professional answering service can make a big difference. Because live agents  will be able to speak with your potential customers when you aren’t able to, you’ll never have to worry about missing out on a sale, simply because you were away from the office or too busy to answer the phone.

The People Effect

Your customers will enjoy the added benefit of being able to talk with a live representative any time they wish and your company will profit from the additional sales that might otherwise have been lost.

At this point you may be asking yourself if hiring an answering service to represent your business is really necessary. An answering service is an additional expense and money is tight. Well, think about it from a different perspective – how much money have you lost out on as potential sales have fallen through the cracks? How many interested customers decided to simply hang up the phone when they were redirected to your answering machine and never bothered to call back?

Quick is More

Granted, not everyone who reaches your machine will hang up. Some have probably even left their contact details so you could get in touch with them at a later time, but in today’s world, most buyers are seeking immediate results and will simply hang up the phone when there’s no one around to take their call. If you’re lucky, some potential customers may call back at a later date, but those who don’t may lose interest in your product or take their business to one of your competitors.

The easiest way to ensure that you aren’t losing your potential customers after sending them to your company’s answering machine is to simply take the machine out of the equation. Instead of merely hoping your customers will react favorably to your answering machine when you are unable to take their calls, why not enlist the help of a professional answering service?

Training

By taking full advantage of an answering service, you can rest assured knowing that trained agents will always be available to represent your business should a potential customer wish to inquire about or buy one of your company’s products.

Partnering with a professional answering service means your customers will be able to say goodbye to your answering machine and hello to your company’s new round-the-clock by phone availability. It also means you’ll never lose a potential customer whenever you are unable to come to the phone, because the answering service will be there to help you retain and convert any callers who may have otherwise fallen by the wayside. As a result, you should see an increase in both your customer satisfaction rating and your overall product sales – a win-win for all involved.