Unless you've worked in the healthcare industry, you might be surprised to know that it's one of the most unique workforces in the world. Not only does staff have to answer to managers, but they also have to satisfy their patients. It isn't like many businesses where, when the clock strikes 5, everyone goes home. This unique issue creates a variety of problems. One of the largest management issues in the Healthcare industry is managing the schedule.
With the unpredictability of patients, emergencies and personal life, scheduling just the right amount of employees at just the right time is nearly impossible. Employees often work overtime or extra shifts to cover gaps. Critical positions stand open. Hard working medical providers are over-looked for their dedication. However, there are solutions for these issues.
Before we take a look at solutions, we need to take a moment to acknowledge why the healthcare industry scheduling is such a challenge:
- The healthcare industry is ever-changing. Emergencies, new patients, ongoing care, to new symptoms change the game from week to week let alone day to day. It's nearly impossible to predict a steady schedule. Even for those to create it.
- Employees often have little control over their schedules. When the schedule is posted, they are expected to be there.
- Unpredictable overtime, extra shifts and time off. This leaves employees exhausted and more likely to make mistakes.
- Lack of shift coordinators. Shift coordinators are often the people who approve shift changes requests. Usually, this duty falls to a nurse or the HR department, but it's never easy to make sure all shifts are adequately covered.
- Employees are often unable to take care of personal issues and sometimes even get enough sleep to properly do their jobs. This creates a great deal of personal and mental stress which often leads to burnout and employee overturn.
Thankfully, the solution to many of these issues is scheduling software specially created for the healthcare field. With its many variations and needs, a healthcare scheduling system needs to be able to track individual employee records, create a profile for open positions, identify outstanding workers and help new employees transition into the workforce.