It’s not very often that we can speak about software as a matter of life and death without seeming over the top. But in the case of nurse scheduling software, that’s exactly what it could turn out to be... life or death!
Maintaining a well-run health practice requires excellent organization, efficient management, and (we can’t leave it out) a well-oiled scheduling machine. Hospitals, health practice managers, and leaders have to juggle various calendars, client appointments, procedures, staff rosters, venue availability, and more. At the center of this scheduling hotpot, are the practice nurses.
There’s so much to consider, and that’s where nurse scheduling software comes in.
In this guide, we’ll take you through what to look for in scheduling software and how to use it. We’ll also highlight the most important features and benefits of nurse scheduling software when picking your ideal solution.
Finally, we’ll share a couple of suggestions for good nurse scheduling to help get your medical organization management in order.
What Can Nurse Scheduling Software Do?
Nurses play a pivotal role in providing patient care, organizing patient data, keeping doctors informed about each patient, etc.
Each patient requires a nurse allocated to them. However, it can’t just be any nurse. You need to allocate nurses according to their specialty, skills, patient needs, availability, capacity, and so on.
This is where this dynamic software comes into play. Nurse scheduling software helps you oversee your processes and consider all the important factors so you can create the most efficient scheduling strategy.
It may not be the first challenge that comes to mind when one thinks about managing a medical practice, but nurse scheduling is particularly difficult. You have a lot of aspects (sometimes conflicting, too) that you have to consider. These include:
- Worker shortages
- A disproportion between patients and available nurses
- The demand for 24-hour coverage
- Varying nurse skillsets and qualifications
- Unique patient needs
- Patient preferences
- Managing part-time and full-time staff
- Patient care provision (akin to customer service provision)
- Practice venues
- The schedules of other medical staff like doctors, nursing assistants, etc.
Who Benefits From Using Nurse Scheduling Software?
It’s no secret that the healthcare industry never sleeps, with healthcare professionals generally working around the clock. As a healthcare manager, your job is to ensure that your staff isn’t overworked and the needs of both nurses and patients are met. This is where scheduling software becomes useful for your institution.
Various medical organizations and patient care providers can benefit from using this kind of software, including:
- Private practices
- Virtual or telecare companies
- Home care organizations
- Institutions with in-house medical care (like schools or universities student clinics)
Benefits Of Nurse Scheduling Software
1. Gives Nurses Control Over Their Shifts (swaps, open scheduling, etc)
Nursing is tiresome work and an overworked team can compromise the wellbeing of your patients and staff. Because of this, it is vital to give your nurses control over their workload in a way that helps them prioritize their wellbeing. The result? They can work at their best and provide premium care to their patients. It’s a win-win.
Scheduling software gives nurses more power over the shifts they take. They can view open shifts on the nursing roster and select those they can fulfill. This is a fantastic feature of the best open-source nurse scheduling software systems. Not only can they choose their work, but the platform can also empower them to reject allocated shifts, swap work with other nurses, choose overtime, and more.
Open scheduling improves communication, empowers nurses, and ensures that all shifts are covered. In doing so, it also minimizes understaffing issues when nobody takes up a shift.
2. Helps Allocate Work In Different Departments
Nurses have a versatile skill set, working in different departments across the clinic, hospital, or practice. One nurse could work in the ER, pediatric, and ICU in one shift, for example. Because of this, it’s important to have a way to allocate work without getting departmental rosters mixed up. Good scheduling software makes this cross-control much simpler and more accessible.
For example, Book Like A Boss has multi-booking page possibilities. You can have separate booking pages for different departments with correlating calendars. Therefore, you can manage a single, unified calendar for all departments, with the option to view them by department.
3. Allows You To Match Qualified Staff With Suitable Patients
While nurses are quite versatile, they can also develop pretty specialized skills. They could have qualified training, experience, or education that leads them to particular departments or patient cases. It’s important to keep these elements in mind when allocating staff to shifts and patients.
Patients with higher risk conditions may need a nurse with more experience. These patients may also need a nurse with a unique education or skillset. A scheduling solution can serve as an easily-accessible storage platform where managers can store patient and nurse data. With search and/or filter features, this information is accessible to you with a few clicks.
This is a crucial benefit that helps with the management of specialist nursing teams. It also encourages the best patient care provision.
4. Minimizes Shift Conflicts
Enhanced visibility and control can't be a bad thing, right?
Scheduling software will help minimize these shift conflicts, allowing workers to control their time, letting managers gain a clear view over different departments. It will also help reduce staffing conflicts. Now you won’t double book nurses or the venues they work in or allocate too many nurses to one patient.
5. Improves Communication
One thing’s for sure, open communication is key for any work schedule! Managers need to quickly communicate roster changes and staff need to communicate with each other about swap-outs or other details.
Having a consistent flow of communication about all patient data is imperative. Remember, patients also need a way to make bookings or articulate their needs for a booking, consultation, etc.
Nurse scheduling software is the ideal tool to help you improve communication. With dynamic chat features, you can easily facilitate communication between your staff.
When it comes to communication, calendar visibility and access are a must-have! Patients can leave notes in their booking form which nurses and other medical staff can access easily. This gives nurses an understanding of patient needs and enhances the patient’s experience.
Doctors and nurses can also leave pre and post-care notes, streamlining patient care outcomes. This system of engagement can also make tracking prescriptions and diagnoses so much easier.
Need more? You can also share notifications with your staff, managers, and patients. This includes notifications about new patient bookings, changes in shifts, cancellations, swaps, and more. Real-time notifications like these are unparalleled, allowing you to easily keep everyone in the loop.
6. Supports detailed patient data history
This software makes it a breeze for nurses to access patient history with just a few clicks. Nurses can view past information, diagnoses, prescriptions, symptoms, treatments, patient feedback, and more. We love this feature because you can easily collect details from each patient booking and store them for future use.
Your nurses can also use this information to prepare for each patient on their schedule.
7. Eases Schedule Management For Managers
We love that this system simplifies schedule creation, organization, and management for medical managers. With features like automation, predictive analytics, information storage, and calendar integration, managers have better control over schedules.
Automation, for example, minimizes the work managers have to put in towards creating well-structured and efficient schedules. While predictive analytics can guide you to make more informed decisions about scheduling based on previous data and schedule patterns.
Features To Look Out For In A Good Software
Some of the features to consider when investing in or implementing nurse scheduling software include:
- An accessible and intuitive interface
- Multi-device schedule viewing and management options
- Custom schedule template design
- Open source calendar viewing and editing
- Chat options / chatbots
- Real-time notifications and updates
- Predictive analytics and reporting
- Third-party integrations (including payroll management)
- Multi-calendar management
- Simple onboarding process
- Patient history tracking
- Flexible scheduling options
- Nurse-to-patient skills and needs matching
How To Use Book Like A Boss As Your Nurse Scheduling Software
With so many options available on the market, you need to find a software solution that meets your needs. With Book Like A Boss, you get a full head-to-toe experience, making your day-to-day activities that much easier.
Here’s how to get started with BLAB:
Get Your Nurses Involved
WIth BLAB, nurses can update their own availability, giving them control over their workload. They can view open shifts and select ones for overtime. Now you can track nurse availability and empower managers’ scheduling efforts, with real-time updated views of all nurses’ schedules.
Use What You Have
Your medical organization probably already has organizational tools in place. With BLAB, you can integrate some of these platforms into your software, creating a one-stop-shop for your scheduling and other organizational needs. With calendar and email integrations, you can continue to manage calendars and communications as before, just from one place. It’s convenient and efficient.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
Not sure how to manage upcoming meetings or appointments? Use booking reports to guide you through this process. Tracking analytics and reports can help you understand which nurses to schedule and when, for efficient operations.
Look At Patient History In Context
With booking history, BLAB makes it effortless to track patient data, making it easier to understand your patient’s needs and medical condition. With a digital footprint of previous appointments, you’re less likely to misplace important patient information.
Yes, BLAB has a ton of cool benefits and enhanced communication is one of our favorites. Capitalize on this by focusing your scheduling efforts on communication. Keep nurses informed and aware of what is expected of them and ensure that your schedule runs as smoothly as possible.
Plus, with BLAB, you can always go back and see exactly what you said, reducing and overwhelming miscommunications.
Nurse scheduling is no easy feat! It’s challenging work, with many factors and people to consider. Using the right scheduling software can help reduce this scheduling stress for managers, empower nurses, improve patient care, and enhance communications.
With a scheduling solution like BLAB, created with specialist teams in mind, you can improve your medical practice’s efficiency. This will enable everyone on your team to feel supported in doing the most important thing: caring for the ill!
So, are you ready to Book Like A Boss? Sign up for a free trial today.