Flipping through staff profiles and checking and counter-checking team members’ availability and speciality and level of proficiency? For many industries, especially the healthcare, roster is not just a matching of demand and supply of manpower during a certain period.
It is also the matching of skillset for demand to ensure coverage. Coverage refers to having the right mix of experts available at the right time. In the healthcare sector, it could be cardiac, oncology nurse, certified infection control personnel, neuroscience trained personnel or ophthalmic trained personnel, etc.
A shortage of qualified personnel or nurses can have an impact on the service delivered. In healthcare, it may affect the safety of patients. Early detection of patient’s complications and managing the symptoms can reduce mortality. Studies have linked nurses’ intervention to the timely identification of complications that, if acted upon quickly, might prevent deterioration in patients’ condition and even avoid preventable deaths. Having trained personnel in detecting complications early before the condition worsens and threaten a patient’s life is of utmost importance.
Planning and scheduling the right mix of skilled manpower on duty is one of the demands to ensure quality of care. Ensuring the safety of patients belongs to every healthcare personnel; it is a shared responsibility. Thus, having a good mix of healthcare professional with a diverse set of required inter-professional competencies as well as great communication within the team can improve patient safety and the quality of care.
To ensure that, a manager or planner must schedule a good mix of experts; so that he/she always has a balanced team on duty. Through experience or a sheer good memory of planner, he/she could plan a roster in a day or a few hours for a less complex team. Planner with lesser knowledge of the manpower pool may rely on records, checking and counter-checking staff experiences. With the availability of simple software such as Microsoft Excel, they could have staff records on spreadsheets and take hours, or even days and weeks looking them up. The time spent on such intensive roster planning could easily be diverted to other key critical areas, i.e. spending more care time with patients.
What if the variables are plenty and the need to disseminate new roster needs to be relatively immediate? How to manage multiple roster demands simultaneously and almost instantaneously? Workforce Optimizer is the software that takes in all the requirements and generates a roster that will fulfil the demand requirements looking at the staffs’ attributes such as skills, availability, qualifications etc. Manpower shortage or expertise shortage at a specific timing would be red-flagged in the system, thus allowing planner to make strategic decisions at a glance.
Having a robust roster would ensure demands are met and patient care is not compromised. To empower your planner with the right tool for your rostering needs, start with Workforce Optimizer. Find out more here.