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/


The 5 Best Ways to Optimize Your Company’s Finances

08 Jun, 2015 | Tags: , , , ,

Optimizing your company’s finances is an important part of staying in business for the long term. This process is something business owners learn to do more efficiently over time. As they become better at handling large sums of money, a business owner will recognize the value of staying on top of their company’s finances and carefully scrutinizing the general flow of cash in and out of their business. Here are the five best methods for optimizing a company’s finances.

Knowing the Essential Operating Costs

To ensure that your company’s finances are operating at peak efficiency, it first requires that you have a solid grasp on your company’s essential operating costs. This means that, if push comes to shove, you want to determine the minimal amount of money required each quarter, month, week and day to keep your company up and running. After calculating items like rent, lights, payroll, and other factors your company will not be able to avoid paying out, this establishes a target amount that you will use to make sure your company is going to be able to handle its essential budgeting requirements. If your company is failing to bring in enough money to handle its weekly requirements, despite meeting its quarterly requirements, then adjustments to your operating costs may need to be introduced to ensure a more consistent financial outcome.

The Future Projections

It is not enough to ensure that your company will be alive and kicking at the end of the first quarter of operations. Your funding sources should be scrutinized in order to develop a financial plan to ensure that your company will be prepared to hold out for the next five years. Having a financial projection that meets this duration requirement, where you know how you are paying off all your operating costs well into the future, is important to getting your company over a critical financial hump. The reason this is critical is because most start-up companies never develop a proven financial strategy to meet such long term financial projections.

Cutting Wasteful Spending

If you notice that your company is spending money in areas that do not prove to generate considerable profit, then such spending will typically turn into nothing more than long term waste. It is your job, as controller of your company’s finances to spot and eliminate these wasteful spending habits. Every dollar wasted in unprofitable spending efforts literally translates to a financial loss.

Stop Mixing Personal and Business Finances Together

One of the temptations that business owners tend to have is that they use their company finances to carry out personal transactions. This generally tends to make for a growing financial mess and should be avoided at all costs. For example, if you are ordering checks, do not put your custom designer personal checks in as an item you pay for with company money. Once you figure out where to buy checks online, be sure to purchase them with your own money instead.

Use a Financial Consultant

Sometimes the trick to ensuring the best path to optimizing your company’s finances involves utilizing the services of a competent financial adviser. It may be the case that your particular niche industry produces special or even abnormal financial challenges. Using a consultant that has experience navigating through such niche specific challenges will be key to ensuring the best possible outcome for your company’s continued financial success.

Conclusion

The key to optimizing your company’s finances is more about getting down to basics than attempting to over-complicate matters. The more complicated your company’s financial situation gets, the more room there is for inefficiency to creep into the works. The straighter forward your company finances happen to be, the easier it is to spot any perceived financial problems and wasteful spending. This will make managing your company’s financial course far easier and profitable over the long term.


How to get new customers through the door and keep them coming back for more

09 Apr, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Getting new customers through the door is a large feat in itself, but keeping them can be just as challenging. There are many factors that play into the customer experience. We have put together the list of some simple and budget friendly ways to get new customers, and a list of reasons that weighs heavily on their decision to come back.

 

How do I attract new customers?

Getting new customers is the goal of all businesses; you cannot grow by simply maintaining your current customers, you need new customers. Trying a new restaurant is a big gamble for most people in today’s market, as they are very selective on where they spend their hard earned money.

Standout

You need to be known for something, it can be type/ethnicity of food you offer, special promotions or signature dishes.

Be social

 If people don’t know that you are out there, how are they ever going to walk in the door? Social Media is huge in today’s culture, not only can you share images, articles and experiences, but now with “check-ins” friends of your patrons can see that they came to your establishment.

Offer deals

A great way to get new customers to try your bar or restaurants is to offer special deals for new customers, such as a free appetizer or shared dessert.

 

How do I keep customers coming back?

Now that you have new customers coming in the door, let’s look at the flip side of keeping them coming back for more. There are many reason that you could experience slow nights (bad economy, it’s a week night or that there are no special events or holidays) that are out of your control. Here are the top 3 reasons within your control that make customers decide not to return to your bar or restaurant.

 Current Menu

Regularly check your menu to ensure that your pricing is aligned with your target demographic and that you are mixing in enough seasonal/trendy offerings with your signature dishes to keep customers interested and coming back for more.

  Loyalty Programs

 Loyalty programs can be as simple as deals based on the amount of money spent during each visit and/or the number of visits, and offer discounts on future purchases.

 Welcoming Atmosphere

 You guests have come to you not only for food and drink, but an enjoyable time with friends and family. Some of the top areas of importance include clean floors/tables/bar, clean bathrooms and the service that they receive.

 

How do I ensure employee satisfaction?

To ensure your customers will have a great experience, you must have a happy staff providing high quality service. The number one reason for employee dissatisfaction stems from scheduling. Scheduling includes ensuring that you have the right number of staff on for your customer level and ensuring that you fairly allot time-off and/or overtime shifts. What Time Do I Work.com offers easy-to-use and affordable online scheduling software designed to make scheduling a staff of any size a breeze with features like automatic staff communication about schedules, the ability to track and store employee time-off requests and scheduling conflicts and overtime alerts. Try What Time Do I Work.com for yourself today and get the first 30 days free.


What is a Signature Cocktail (and why you need them too!)

17 Mar, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

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According to Wikipedia a Signature Cocktail “is any unique or original drink that expresses the nature of the person or establishment creating it.” Signature cocktails typically incorporate local ingredients and culture; match a theme or color for the establishment; and represents the customs of the local area. A signature cocktail is a distinction from your competitors and gives you an opportunity to enhance the experience of your customers.

Before you start creating signature cocktails you should look at current trends. The new fad is all about juicing, try incorporating more juices into your signature drink to reach this portion of the population. We are also seeing a lot of bars and restaurants offering bacon in the drinks, adding a new flavor. Try experimenting with these trends to offer drinks that appeal to a large audience.

When you go to start making your signature cocktail you will find that there are many ways to make a drink your own; you can even make your own liqueur by infusing fruits, herbs, or edible flowers into your favorite liquor to create a truly original drink. You should try combining complementary flavors like sweet & sour or sweet and salty. Another great way to create a signature drink is to substitute some ingredients and play with the recipe of other drinks, inevitably your drinks will come down to trial and error, but these steps will help until you find the perfect balance.

To find the extra time to experiment with your own unique cocktail, you can use online employee scheduling software. What Time Do I Work.com has helped many clients cut the time spent creating and updating schedules by more than 50%. This affordable scheduling software will make your scheduling a breeze and help you uncover unnecessary labors costs that you might not be aware of. With automated labor cost calculations, scheduling conflicts warnings and overtime shift notifications, you can significantly cut your labor costs. Try it today and get your first 30 days free with our no obligation free trial.


History of Bars and Fun Alcohol Trivia

12 Mar, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Alcohol/bars have been a part of human civilization as far back as ancient Babylon, with records of high priced watered down beer like beverages served in alehouses. Originally alcohol, specifically wine, was primarily used as a medicinal agent, but has expanded overtime. In the United States, over the past century, alcohol has gone from an illegal enterprise during Prohibition to one of the most glamorous and profitable businesses today.

We can trace the traditional concepts of bars back to ancient Greece and Rome. Throughout cities and the countryside, taverns began serving alcoholic beverages with food to travelers. As time passed and more people gathered there, these taverns began to expand their businesses to include gaming as well as other entertainment. However, with the fall of the Roman Empire, the number of these taverns began to decrease and only offer food, lodging and stables for travelers.

In Saxon times, “public houses” came into existence in England, and became popular gathering places for business and personal meetings. When New Englanders began moving to the New World, “public houses” were such a large part of everyday life, that in many new colonies the town began building these (called taverns) before churches. In many towns, as far back as the 1650s it was illegal to not have a tavern offering a place for food, drink and lodging. Taverns are very integral in the fabric of this country, and it is said that the spirit of revolution that freed the new world from England’s rule was sparked in taverns.

By the 1800s, the purpose of taverns transformed into what we now call hotels, and at the same time many “saloons” appeared on every street corner. With such high numbers of “saloons” the profitability of these businesses saw a sharp decline. So to increase profits, illegal activities began being offered to patrons. By World War I Americans were so upset about the activities happening in saloons (and from intoxicated townsfolk), that the 18th Amendment was passed. The 18th Amendment made the manufacturing, sale and transportation/importation of alcohol illegal. However this was hard to enforce, as “speakeasies” and moonshining gained popularity. So after only 14 years this amendment was appealed and replaced by the 21st Amendment in 1933, making alcohol legal again, but it brought a heavy list of stiff taxes and regulations that we still use to this day.

Alcohol Fun Facts:

  • Alcoholic beverages have been produced for over 12,000 years
  • Distillation was developed during the Middle Ages and alcohol was called “Agua Vitae” meaning the water of life- in fact it was required at all Treaty Signings at the time and it was also served with breakfast.
  • In the 1800’s beauticians used alcohol for beauty enhancers:  Rum was used to clean hair and thought to improve the health of hair and Brandy was used to strengthen the roots of hair.
  • The origins of “Toasting” at special occasions began with the Ancient Romans who would place toasted bread in wine to wish good luck
  • Early beer recipes included some or all of the following: poppy seeds, mushrooms, aromatics, honey, sugar, bay leaves, butter and bread crumbs
  • In Colonial New England it was common practice to put barrels of cider outside during the cold months, once they removed all the frozen ice the cider had a much higher alcohol content
  • The United States has the highest minimum drinking age in the world
  • Alcohol is also considered to be a flavor enhancer (the highest proof alcohol is still used in medicine today) – the alcohol beverage alone contains no cholesterol
  • One of every five glasses of wine consumed in the world is Sake
  • Some Restaurants provide free non-alcoholic beverages to Designated Drivers

 

What Time Do I Work.com is an online scheduling software designed with benefits for many industries, including the bar and nightclub industries. As a bar scheduling software, the program offers automatic alerts for scheduling conflicts or overtime shifts, reducing the amount of time spent scheduling each week. Additional benefits include one-click scheduling communications to your entire staff and real-time labor cost calculations. What Time Do I Work.com software also manages your employee availability and time-off requests by storing the information for review and automatically populating approved requests into the schedule. Sign up today and try it out for the next 30 days FREE!