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Managing a team of nurses is a time-consuming task. There are so many variables to contend with that it almost feels like too much for one person to handle. Thankfully, there is a simple solution: nurse scheduling software.
Software suites like Sling provide you with tools that automate and streamline many of the common tasks associated with managing your nursing staff.
But which software is right for you and your team?
In this article, we discuss some of the essential features of nurse scheduling software that will make coordinating even the largest team a breeze.
Intuitive scheduling is the heart and soul of the nurse scheduling software you choose for your organization or business.
The right software will not only offer powerful features, but those features will be easy to understand and use.
For example, Sling lets you:
All with a simple and intuitive interface that will have you organizing your staff rota like a pro in no time.
Time tracking is another essential feature of good nurse scheduling software that no manager should have to go without.
The time tracking features in modern software such as Sling make it easy to track everyone’s full workday AND an individual nurse’s time on task.
In the past, many businesses relied on pen and paper to conduct this important activity. That often meant relying on hand-recorded data, entering it into a computer, and then examining the output to look for trends and discrepancies.
Now, the Sling app makes it easy to track and control when your nursing staff works without you having to allow for user error, deal with incomplete forms, collate reams of paper, and spend hours entering information into your computer.
Not only does Sling allow you to track total work hours and time-on-task, it also gives you the power to:
Whatever type of nursing team you manage, the Sling nurse scheduling software can help you simplify time tracking for all involved.
Another essential feature to look for in nurse scheduling software is distribution and accessibility. Even the perfect schedule released with plenty of lead time is useless if it’s not easy to access.
Your team needs to be able to reference the schedule at work, at home, and on the go, so posting a paper copy at the nurse’s station is no longer effective. It’s easily accessible to those at work, but it’s not accessible to those at home or visiting patients where they live.
Similarly, handing out a paper copy of the schedule doesn’t work as well as it once did. Many employees have gone digital and would likely lose or forget to reference a hard copy.
And while you may think the digital solution for communication is email, think again. Some of your employees may not use email as often as they once did or at all anymore. So, while you may reach the majority of your team this way, some may not get the schedule at all.
The most convenient way to provide easy access to your schedule for all your employees, day or night, is to store it in the cloud. Employees can simply log on from their mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to find out when they work next.
Automation is a unique feature of the best nurse scheduling software that uses data about the way your team works, user-defined parameters, and artificial intelligence to select the best employees for a particular shift.
For example, imagine you need to schedule a nurse for the morning shift on October 24th. With automated scheduling, you can instruct your software to sort through relevant information, find a candidate, and insert them into the schedule.
But does this really save that much time?
Imagine that it takes you five minutes to find all the data you need to make an informed decision about who should work the morning shift on October 24th. That’s not bad, but you need a total of 12 nurses to cover that shift.
If it takes you five minutes to schedule one nurse, it’s going to take you an hour total for all 12 team members. And that’s just one position for one shift on one day. Multiply that by the number of positions, shifts, and days that you have to fill, and it could take hours to get everything done.
Automated scheduling does all the work for you — in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it manually.
Communication is vital for organizing your nursing staff. Staying in touch with your team — whether they work in the hospital or on the road — can be a full-time job in and of itself if performed incorrectly.
So, whether you communicate by talking directly to each employee or by distributing information via SMS and push notifications, the tool you use for the job becomes incredibly important.
The best tool for the job is nurse scheduling software that helps make communicating with your team simple and straightforward.
With the Sling app, for example, you can send messages to groups or individuals. It’s easy to find and communicate with employees within groups, locations, or specific positions. You can even share files, photos, videos, and links for faster and more comprehensive communication.
Your team has a lot to do and overlooking something could lead to major problems later on. That’s why the ability to assign, organize, and optimize vital tasks is an essential part of effective nurse scheduling software.
It doesn’t matter if your nurses are part of a team that works onsite in a hospital or are part of a team that works as home healthcare providers, assigning tasks and making sure that they get done in a timely manner is crucial for success.
The Sling app, for example, makes this easy and gives you the power to assign and distribute tasks across your team and prioritize what gets done when — whether the right person for the job is just down the hall in a patient’s room or all the way across town at their house.
Your team members can even access the task list from any device — phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop — so they always know where they need to go and what they need to do next.
Labor costs are one of the largest expenses that most nurse managers have to deal with.
But with nurse scheduling software in place, you can gain more control over both the way your team works and the costs associated with this activity.
For example, the Sling app allows you to set limits on labor expenses and then view and control labor costs as you create schedules and assign tasks. How does this help?
This prevents overtime from eating into your budget and helps you distribute shifts and tasks equitably amongst your team — all with the goal of keeping labor expenses under control.
The nurse scheduling software you choose shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. Rather, it should give you everything you need to manage a team of one or one hundred, with just a few taps or clicks, and at a reasonable price (like free!).
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate hours worked, visit GetSling.com today.
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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.