The COVID-19 pandemic has not just brought the world to a halt, but it has put all the hospitals and clinics under immense pressure. Accommodating and treating all the rising cases along with treating all the other illnesses have set the staff schedule in complete chaos.
Not all departments have been affected due to pandemics. But, without the healthcare staff scheduling software, the neurology department has been in crisis for months. The concern is still not over, so the scheduling system requires some optimization for maximum efficiency. We cannot deny that the scheduling and every other department is in crisis, so here are some tips on organizing this chaos and getting the best out of each shift.
Alternative Work Schedule
If your staff works beyond their capabilities every day and night, they are bound to be burnt out and fatigued. Your staff will also need some healthcare along with the patients, so the first thing you need to ensure is that your staff continues to work until they have the ability to keep doing so.
The doctors, nurses, and hospital staff can all experience workplace fatigue from time to time. The most important cause, as per research published in NCBI by Khosro Sadeghniiat-Haghighi and Zohreh Yazdi in 2015, is the lack of restorative sleep. There can be other environmental, physical, and mental loads that can lead to fatigue as well.
Workplace fatigue is affecting the healthcare workers the most in the pandemic. Issues that compound this problem are limited sick or paid leave for many hourly workers. To resolve this issue, the Predictive Scheduling law was laid down on 1st July 2020.
The provisions in this law included –
- Posting the schedule in advance
- Employer penalties for unexpected schedule changes
- Employer record-keeping requirements
- Removing requirement for workers to find suitable coverage for their shifts if they’re not able to work
These provisions were set to improve the scheduling process and give the employees ample time to prepare for their shifts. The problem was that this type of scheduling reduces flexibility and doesn’t take unforeseen changes into account.
The government of the United States also laid down the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Certain workers are required by the act to provide staff with paid maternity leave and medical leave for conditions relevant to COVID-19. But there are quite a few eligibility requirements that should be noted.
With these provisions provided by the government, if the scheduling of the staff is still not up to speed, then it is time to get creative.
Have Flexible Hours
Flexible work timings are not just for freelancers anymore. A survey found that 80% of the job seekers prioritize flexibility in hours while deciding on taking the job. So changing the work timings of your employees with the help of the best healthcare roster management software will entice the right new talent to join your organization and help you retain the ones you have.
But this policy doesn’t mean that the work is delayed or the quality is compromised. Every employee is responsible for finishing their tasks and producing their standard output. They have to meet their common goals, but they don’t have to do it in the traditional and monotonous 9 to 5 routine.
If someone cannot join physically, they can join the meetings virtually to work on time with the help of a hospital staff scheduling software. Employees are happy when they can deliver positive results without compromising on their personal life.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln changed its policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. They asked its department heads to institute flex time for hourly and monthly employees with just one caveat: it could not increase staffing costs or decrease departmental efficiency.
Compress the worksheet
The employees should not have to stick to 5 days of the workweek to clock in all the required hours. Ditch the traditional 40-hour workweek and choose a better work week. A medical staff scheduling software can help with this.
You can choose a 9/80 model where employees work 80 hours within nine days in a two-week cycle. So you have to separate the two workweeks into eight days where the employees work for 9 hours, and there should be one day where they work for 8 hours and take one day off. This explains the reason for the term – 9/80.
The work timings still stay 80 hours for two weeks, but this system allows one day off every other week apart from the weekend, which is why it is so popular among organizations. Who doesn’t want an extra day off?
If you adopt this system as well as a staff scheduling software for healthcare, every employee works 9 hours for four days and 8 hours for one day every week. When it comes to payroll purposes, you can split that 8 hour day into 2 four-hour workdays (one half for the 1st week and the second half for the next). Once you employ this system, employees are going to be grateful for their three-day vacation every two weeks and work more productively.
Hire Part-Time Workers
For the work in the neurology department to go on smoothly, hiring fresh new minds and letting your employees rest for a bit would bring in much more productive work. Even before the pandemic, the U.S Bureu Of Labor and Statistics reports that 1 in every six workers is part-time. So you cannot deny the power and efficiency of hiring part-time workers to break the routine and reduce the stress and workload of full-time employees.
These tips should help you schedule your staff better and ensure employee satisfaction without compromising on work quality. When something monumental like a pandemic hits, new issues popping up every day is inevitable. While the best healthcare staff scheduling software, a wise manager knows how to still be able to get the work done. Become a better leader with the help of this article.