A Guide to Medical Staff Scheduling Software Development

Key Takeaways

  • Automated scheduling is the key benefit of medical staff scheduling software as it decreases the chances of double bookings and appointing the wrong staff to a patient.
  • Staff scheduling software development avoids high turnover rates, thereby ensuring positive patient outcomes. A study states that a balanced nurse-to-patient ratio influences patient outcomes.
  • A medical staff scheduling software allows employees to select their extra shifts by looking at the schedule calendar online. This prevents burnout and stress in the workplace.

Improper medical staff scheduling results in distressed patients, long waiting hours, low patient outcomes, and low-quality care. A well-managed staff schedule eliminates all these issues and promotes a healthy workplace. Medical staff scheduling software development helps to prepare a balanced schedule that’s suitable for all staff members.

Medical scheduling software is gaining newer heights in the current market. According to a report, the medical staff scheduling software market is estimated to reach $612.5 million by the end of 2026. This article highlights the benefits and the complete development process of the medical staff scheduling software.

Benefits of Medical Staff Scheduling Software

1. Automated Scheduling

While creating manual schedules, achieving efficiency is nearly impossible. Several unforeseen aspects come into the picture such as no-shows, cancellations, urgent appointment requests, and so on. So, with this in mind, figuring out the schedules of every staff member and dispatching them for work becomes a cumbersome task.

Admin staff have to figure out which staff is mobile, on leave, has left for the day, or has the necessary skills to attend to a patient. The automated scheduling feature alleviates this burden from the admin, thus increasing efficiency.

Further, automated scheduling decreases human errors such as double bookings and scheduling the wrong staff to a patient. Automation in medical staff scheduling software ensures that the right staff is dispatched at the right time and there’s no room for error.

2. Reduction in Turnover Rates

Effective scheduling reduces employee turnover rates. With medical staff scheduling software, factors such as employee responsibilities, resources needed to support operations, and availability of staff can be easily identified. With this knowledge, employees feel respected, valued, and excited about day-to-day work. The staff has a balanced state of mind to stay focused on work and fulfill all responsibilities of the day. This thereby results in the reduction of turnover rates.

It’s necessary to maintain enough staff members to ensure a positive patient outcome. According to a study, a higher nurse staffing level decreased the risk of in-hospital mortality rate by 14 percent. Here, the nurse-to-patient ratio influenced patient outcomes.

Apart from this, staff scheduling provides stability and flexibility to employees. They can maintain a steady work-life balance, thus increasing their satisfaction rate as well. Advance scheduling is a great way to value staff commitment and this builds a positive work environment as well. Therefore, increasing the employee retention rate.

3. Manage Work Shifts of Staff Easily

Healthcare organizations hire varied staff members. Some employees may have kids’ responsibilities, others may be pursuing higher education, and some may have immense household responsibilities. In these cases, a well-managed shift plays a crucial factor for medical staff who wish to work despite the obstacles.

Healthcare staff with kids may prefer a day shift as compared to students who may opt for a night shift. Medical staff scheduling software is an ideal tool to assure that all staff members get their preferred shifts. Additionally, tailored shifts help to cover all hours and leave no gaps. This approach eliminates the chances of leaving any patients unattended for hours.

4. Boost Morale and Staff Satisfaction

Medical staff scheduling software allows employees to select their extra shifts by simply looking at the schedule calendar online. The accessibility to choose from open shifts increases staff satisfaction rate because it minimizes forced shifts that cause stress amongst the employees.

Productivity at medical facilities is driven by staff morale and satisfaction rate. Hence, it’s best to avoid immense frustration, burnout, and lack of will to work at hospitals and clinics. According to a study by Deloitte, 91 percent of the respondents say that having unmanageable stress or negativity impacts the quality of work.

Also, 83 percent of the respondents say that burnout can negatively affect their relations. These reasons eventually hamper medical staff morale and satisfaction.

If the staff is passionate about their work, then due to frequent stress they are likely to lose that spirit to work. The Deloitte report states that 64 percent of the respondents are constantly stressed, hence dispelling the myth that passionate employees are immune to burnout.

5. Adherence to Labor Laws

Healthcare organizations can rely on medical staff scheduling software to accommodate changes in labor laws and CBAs (collective Bargaining Agreements). Scheduling software averts the need to manage any last-minute changes in labor laws.

Additionally, staff scheduling software offers integrated compliance to assure compliance across the entire scheduling cycle. Medical staff scheduling software helps to control labor costs as well.

The management staff has details of overtime rates, real-time employee allocations, retention, and turnover. This data is useful to make informed decisions on cost-cutting on premium labor while assuring that all duties are performed. Overtime costs are cut down through these insights too.

Features of Medical Staff Scheduling Software

1. Schedule Management

The schedule management feature allows the admin to note the availability of medical staff for the day to the entire week. This feature ensures a balanced schedule for all and reduces the risk of routine complications and errors.

Additionally, the self-scheduling aspect of this feature empowers medical staff to take ownership of their shifts, leaves, duty time, and so on. This reduces unnecessary administrative burdens.

By enabling accountability checks and work trackers, admin staff is free to focus on other urgent aspects of work. Staff management feature maintains a balance between staffing needs and individual preferences.

2. Shift Management

The shift management feature allows admin or management staff to schedule shifts of employees for an entire month or week, depending on requirements/policies.

The shift management feature contributes by:

  • Listing out Requirements: This includes workforce requirements for medical facilities and staff is managed as per these requirements.
  • Automation: Medical staff is notified of their shift start and end timings and dates regularly.
  • Shift Management Plan: This consists of planning shift schedules ahead of time, so staff can prepare a frame of mind for the upcoming changes.
  • Tracking Staff Check-ins: This ensures that medical staff is fairly paid for their shifts and averts disputes at the end of the line.
  • Report Analysis: This helps to modify shifts and employee requirements.
  • Backup for Absenteeism: This covers last-minute sick leaves and time off needed from work. So, the admin can hunt for last-minute replacements.

3. Payroll Tracker

The payroll tracker feature assists management staff to implement and design a robust salary structure for the medical staff. This feature allows management to make swift changes to the structure whenever required. Also, all financial and accounting issues are resolved through this feature too.

The manual calculation is a time-intensive process, however with a payroll tracker complex calculations can be wrapped up speedily. One simply needs to feed information and the scheduling software calculates everything such as base salary, perks, deductions, extra hours, and so on. Additionally, this feature automatically generates pay slips and helps in better tax management.

4. Employee Database

Employee database allows the management team to access all essential staff data from a centralized location. An efficient employee database system makes it easy to search for any information and make business decisions accordingly.

Medical staff scheduling software allows employees and management to access data from anywhere, including making changes if required. Overall, the database ensures the highest level of security and accuracy to stay compliant.

Furthermore, staff gets a clear view of the organization’s hierarchy and understands the reporting structure. If any issue arises, then staff will know whom to approach.

Guide to Medical Staff Scheduling Software Development

1. Research and Planning

Research is an important part of any development process. This helps to create software that is up-to-date and preferred by the target audience. The research includes analyzing existing software in the market, defining business needs, and asking medical staff about their preferences. These insights help healthcare software developers to design a software solution.

During the planning stage, the healthcare software developers work on defining project goals, and requirements, team building, gathering resources, and scrutinizing risks. Planning also includes mapping business activities during the software development process.

Budget estimations and timeline creation of the entire project fall under the planning section as well. Having a written description for all the mentioned facets helps to quicken the pace of medical staff scheduling software development.

2. Design Phase

In the design phase, the development team determines what the software needs, what it will look like, and what will be the timeline for the development. Further, the software design phase can be divided into three levels:

  • Interface Design: Here, the main focus is on the interaction between a system and the users, devices, etc.
  • Architectural Design: This specifies the key components of software such as properties, interfaces, and so on.
  • Detailed Design: Here, all the internal elements are specified such as algorithms, data packaging, user interfaces, etc.

3. Software Development

Once the design phase is completed, it’s time for software development and coding. There’s a lot of planning involved until the first code is written. During this stage, development tasks are broken down and software is built into pieces.

Some of the popular development methodologies used are the agile methodology and DevOps. These methods help healthcare software developers to deliver value to users at a faster rate and with fewer errors. Moreover, these methods help to scale an app and it involves constant collaboration with stakeholders.

4. Testing and Maintenance

Testing ensures that the medical staff scheduling software is free from bugs and it runs on all devices without any issues. Once the testing phase is concluded successfully, it is time to deliver the software to clients or users.

In the maintenance phase, developers must conduct regular security checks, update software, and add new features according to the market demands/conditions. Regular updates make the software more interesting to use and keep it free from malware.

If you’re looking to build medical staff scheduling software for your healthcare facility or need help creating healthcare software, then connect with Arkenea. With over 12 years of experience in healthcare software development, our team of experts is trained to deliver innovative software for your facility.