Adopting Online Nurse Scheduling and Staffing Systems

by bryan on September 21, 2009

When the internet pioneers named the world wide web, they certainly had to know it was a spider’s web with a million, billion, trillion strands.  There is so much information out there, on every conceivable niche, that it can be a huge challenge to find what you are looking for. We’ve been researching adoption and growth in the use of Software-as-a-Service tools and applications for hospitals, healthcare facilities, nursing departments, and so forth to see how the market is changing and adapting to web-based software. We hope to gather info that helps our customers make the case for why these tools are necessary for today’s nurse leaders.

Nurse Scheduling is Going Online

A few years ago, Lauren Sabet, from the First Consulting Group did some analysis.  She found that,

As hospitals and health care professionals struggle with a chronic shortage of nurses, Internet-based software packages are being developed that can make the staffing and scheduling process more efficient.

They did their analysis showing, what many saw as brutally obvious but not yet clear on how to execute, that technology can help address challenges related to nurse staffing and scheduling.  I’ll add in here that it definitely does help.  At the time, they wrote six case studies profiling a variety of integrated software products, ranging in price from $60,000 to $150,000 for a 300-bed hospital, offer a range of benefits. Today, those costs have dropped for those using web-based online scheduling software.

• Optimizing staff resources and minimizing use of agencies (Shiftboard note: We have seen a lot of data and growth around the use of outside staffing firms);
• Boosting staff satisfaction and retention (Shiftboard note: We see this daily);
• Streamlining traditional management processes;
• Expanding personal accessibility, flexibility, and choices through staff bidding and self-scheduling; (Shiftboard note: we have not seen the bidding systems operating successfully, however, they could still be out there.)
• Improving control of staffing costs and potential cost savings; and
• Simplifying management of regulatory requirements.

    Nurse Managers and Nurses Lead the Way

    Today,  more health care organizations are taking advantage of online scheduling and staffing programs. The research findings from Sabet indicated that once nurses started using online tools, other departments began to demand them. So, in large measure, nurses drive adoption in the world of healthcare technology.

    We couldn’t find updates to the analysis, but in our next post, we are going to explore some of the findings of the new FCG parent company, CSC. They created a report about healthcare costs and regulations, which includes healthcare staffing and retention, in 2009 and looking forward over the next 5+ years.

    –TJ M

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