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How to Know Your Shift Management Software Needs Updating

Posted by Shift Admin on December 5, 2017 at 6:15 AM

Compiling the best shift combinations, meeting your team’s expectations with the schedule, and publishing the schedule quickly is an overwhelming process. Yet with access to cutting-edge technology and innovation, creating a schedule is quicker and easier than ever. But several online shift generators require manual schedule editing, cumbersome time-off requests, or non-weighted rule systems. Even worse, creating schedules by hand or in a spreadsheet doesn’t allow you to manage updates and disseminate updates in real time.  If after all that work, the outcome with your existing scheduling tool is still a complicated, static schedule, then it’s time to change shift management software.

Let’s take a closer look at the software problems you might be facing to know it’s time to switch.

Schedule Creation Takes Too Long

Consider the length of time it takes to create a schedule from start to finish. You check your email and recall in-person conversations about colleagues’ time off requests and preferences. You double check your software’s equally-weighted rule system to assign shifts. You review special circumstances or events your facility has coming up to ensure all shifts should be balanced. You attempt to focus solely on the task of creating the schedule but you’re inevitably interrupted by emails, phone calls, and drop-in conversations with coworkers. After your first run of the schedule and an initial review, you see that the created schedule has all kinds of conflicting rules, invalid patterns, and unfilled shifts. You attempt to correct the issues and run the schedule again, but it ends up with just as many errors again, so you resort to completely redoing the schedule by hand. The entire process takes many days, or even weeks, to finalize the schedule."

An automated schedule generation system should sort through endless shift possibilities and weighted rules to create the best schedule in a few iterations and a few hours at most. Creating a fully optimized schedule that balances all important rules and requests can eliminate the frustration team members feel when they receive the final schedule. Plan to finalize and share a fair schedule in a few hours over the course of a few days.

Creating the Schedule Each Cycle is Inefficient (Without Patterns)

Creating the schedule each period should become more efficient, not more laborious. Most schedule generators require several manual steps to review and rework the schedule, putting that burden on the scheduler each time.

Utilize a scheduler that makes it easy to recognize patterns in schedules and create rules to address them each cycle. Each schedule cycle should get easier because your scheduling software allows your team’s scheduling rules and weighting to be more dialed in. As rules are optimized to achieve the patterns you want, each subsequent schedule should only require a small amount of adjustments for any one-off needs for that particular schedule.

For example, by accepting time off requests through a centralized system, adding specific rules that ensure equal distribution of night/weekend shifts, or adding weights to prioritize your schedule’s rules, you will save time each and every cycle.

Your Software Isn’t Customizable

One crucial feature in your scheduling software is the custom configuration of rules. Weighted rules establish your facility’s priorities, creating a more fair and equitable schedule. Alerts and reminders are basic components to a valuable scheduling software to allow schedulers to track hours and always know the most up-to-date version of the schedule. And again, customization saves your team time.

Users of Shift Admin are able to configure their settings to prioritize rules to make logical shift decisions or go one step further to incorporate custom integrations and features with the help of our US-based customer support team. The Shift Admin auto-generator is 100% customizable, meaning our software engineers can develop custom rules and patterns to handle any scenario that might come up for your group. In addition, our team can build custom reports and payroll integrations to make schedule creation smart and efficient.

You Can’t Integrate with Other Software Systems

If you’re creating the schedule by hand, then a lack of seamless integration and automation is an obvious sign it’s time to update your schedule creation process. But if you have a software and it doesn’t allow you to create custom reports, integrate with 3rd party payroll systems or view the schedule from any device, it’s time to upgrade. Integration not only ensures a balanced and equitable schedule, but it makes running custom reports, time tracking, and payroll easier because all the needed information is readily available in the system.

Shift Admin makes it easy to quickly retrieve the most up-to-date information out of the scheduling system, integrating with several of your other important facility software.

It’s a Burden to Access or Distribute the Schedule

Most scheduling software interfaces require added effort to create, update, and easily distribute the schedule to your team. Have providers know when they’re working, staff always know who’s on call, and administrators know the schedule at a glance by using an easy-to-navigate web-based software. Employees can easily access their schedules on their handheld devices and sync it with their preferred calendar application or view it with a read-only link. This means updates can be seen in real time.

Switch to an Effective Shift Management Software

Scheduling software that wastes time and overcomplicates the schedule exhausts your energy and resources, and honestly, probably does not create a great schedule. Invest in a scheduling software with premium features to optimize your time and help you make schedules efficiently. Request a demo of the best scheduling software available:

 request a demo of shift admin

Topics: Physician Scheduling