Self-scheduling allows nurses more control over schedules; improving morale and overall care quality.
Nurse managers and hospital scheduling offices use ShiftSelect to create core schedules and then publish open shifts to qualified staff by using unit specific parameters within the software. Through the self-scheduling tools within ShiftSelect nurses can also choose their shifts, creating a greater sense of fairness and a better work-life balance. Because the specific needs of the unit are the driving force behind schedule creation, there is little intervention needed from nursing management.
“The goal of self-scheduling is to create a shared effort between management and nursing staff,” said Kathy Douglas, chief nursing officer, API Healthcare. “When nurses are empowered to choose their shifts, it creates buy-in and reinforces their commitment to the needs of the nursing unit. Research shows that high employee morale leads to better workplace performance. Empowering nurses to take control of their own schedules is an effective way to create a workplace-of-choice environment that supports optimal patient care quality.”
St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Ga., uses the self-scheduling tools in ShiftSelect in most of their nursing and nursing support areas as a means to complete the core schedule and fill shift vacancies in the most cost effective and efficient way.
“Self-scheduling puts staffing accountability in the front lines, and supports a nursing practice environment of autonomy,” stated Heidi Coffee, RN, BSN, CMSRN, administrative director of nursing operations at St. Francis Hospital. “The technology brings consistency and transparency to how we schedule and has significantly improved the percentage of filled core and open shifts.”
At Regional Hospital of Jackson, in Jackson, Tenn., ICU nurses have been self-scheduling using ShiftSelect for almost a year. Nurses who enter their request for what shifts they prefer to work receive a match from the system based upon the unit’s staffing requirements in combination with individual preferences.
“Self-scheduling has significantly shortened the amount of time required to create a unit schedule and has made it much easier on everyone,” said Mary Butler, RN, ICU clinical director at Regional Hospital of Jackson. “Our staff really likes the ability to self-schedule, and having this capability automated has helped contribute to overall staff satisfaction. Self-scheduling helps our nurses to better meet personal obligations and balance their work/life challenges and goals. This scheduling approach has been a win for both the unit and our individual nurses.”
To realize the greatest effectiveness from self-scheduling, nurse leaders must first evaluate the level of staff readiness before implementing this type of staffing model. Group participation in decision making and other important unit dynamics are imperative to the success of this workforce management strategy. API Healthcare has made available a complementary self-scheduling assessment tool to allow hospitals and other healthcare organizations determine their staff readiness.
About API Healthcare
API Healthcare (www.apihealthcare.com) is the largest healthcare-specific vendor focused on workforce management solutions for the healthcare industry. Driven by the mission to elevate quality and performance across the healthcare community through innovative workforce solutions, API Healthcare has been dedicated to the healthcare industry for 30 years. The company’s staffing and scheduling, patient classification, human resources, payroll, time and attendance, business analytics, and staffing agency solutions are used by more than 1,600 hospitals and staffing agencies. Founded in 1982, API Healthcare has been rated by KLAS in the Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards Report (www.KLASresearch.com) as the top time and attendance provider system for the last ten years (2002-2011).
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