March 20, 2017 –The advance of technology has driven improvements to the delivery of patient care.
Walking into a hospital, the use of technology can be seen in nearly every facet – from surgical instruments in an OR to monitors beeping by a patient’s bedside. Patients expect the best care when they choose a facility, and excellent care is often supported by cutting-edge technology.
Sophisticated technology isn’t limited to what is visible to the patient. Data-driven, technology-enabled solutions for staffing and scheduling are gaining traction in healthcare to ensure the right provider is placed at a patient’s bedside at the right time. Predictive analytics automates the scheduling process by forecasting needs up to 120 days before the shift. This forecast is updated in real-time, and is 97 percent accurate by 30 days prior to the start of the shift. Accurate forecasting ensures the delivery of care long before a patient enters the facility.
Nurse managers can spend a lot of time scheduling their staff. If using manual scheduling tools such as paper-based methods or spreadsheets, there may be a lot of guesswork involved when scheduling staff 4, 6 or 8 weeks before the start of the shift. Automated scheduling fueled by predictive analytics can greatly diminish the level of uncertainty when aligning the right number and types of staff with predicted volume. Data-driven solutions reduce the stress of scheduling for a manager, and delivers valuable time back in their day to focus on patient care and supporting their staff.
The use of predictive analytics to forecast staffing needs also sets the stage for an effective open shift program that rewards staff for picking up shifts several weeks in advance.