About the Author:
Derek Frer is the Customer Development Director for Swift Shift a workforce management software company based in London. If you would like to receive blog posts to your email sign up here or follow him on twitter.
How Mobile Apps Help Nurses Cover Shifts
Nursing staff shortages can lead to major headaches when you’re working on schedules, especially when you don’t have an efficient way of rescheduling nurses when someone gets sick, takes a vacation or simply doesn’t show up. Chronic shortages and shift issues reduce the quality of patient care and the nurses’ quality of life, with 40 percent of hospital nurses working more than 12 hours per shift. Overtired nurses who have to cover shifts on short notice are more likely to struggle staying awake and make mistakes in patient care. While you can’t magically increase staff numbers so scheduling problems never occur, using mobile apps for covering shifts helps everyone plan better.
Busy nurses who are already time-strapped don’t want to call in to get an updated schedule or go on-site to look at a paper schedule. A mobile workforce management app takes the stress out of figuring out when nurses are supposed to go on shift by providing real-time information. If someone has to call off suddenly, it’s a simple matter of looking at a mobile app to figure out the available shifts, scheduled shifts and other information. If you’re managing nurses for home healthcare or other one-on-one style care services, a missed shift can lead to a lot of stress for you and the patient. When scheduling is handled through a mobile app, available nurses can look at shifts to cover and you can see whether they run the risk of being over scheduled with subsequent shifts.
On the management side, you also get improved visibility on nurse attendance and performance. It can be hard to realize exactly how often a particular nurse is missing shifts if you have to compare papers, spreadsheets or other inefficient scheduling sheets. It also helps you track the total hours nurses are working per week to minimize burnout and over scheduling, allows you to see reliable nurses willing to pick up extra shifts and lets you manage your staffing needs.
Mobile shift scheduling apps provide many advantages for your staff and your management needs. With real-time information and better visibility into your nurses’ schedules, you can minimize shift coverage problems.