At a very busy urgent care in New York City, patients scan their driver’s licenses as they enter and are immediately registered. There never seems to be a long waiting period, whether five patients sign in during an hour or 15. Staffing levels vary throughout the day, but the flow of patients appears seamless. There are never too many providers or too few providers despite varying patient volumes. How is this possible?
CityMD offers patients convenient access to walk-in urgent care centers. The organization has grown from one location and four physicians in 2010 to over 600 providers across 100 locations offering over 400 services today. With over 5 million patients treated to date, CityMD required a revolutionary scheduling process that would ensure adequate staffing and tracking to accommodate surges in patient volumes and multiple care providers across many locations. Also, periods of overstaffing were reduced, which translated into an improved bottom line. CityMD partnered with Intrigma for intelligent scheduling software to make this seamless staffing possible.
We’ve found that the most sophisticated software systems identify peak patient volume times and match these to appropriate staffing levels. Open shifts can be posted and providers can access real-time scheduling needs wherever they are on their personal mobile device.
With Intrigma, providers can input scheduling preferences online, eliminating the need to pass around paper schedules worn with eraser marks or make multiple phone calls to providers who are hard to reach due to busy schedules. Shift swaps can be accomplished quickly between providers on their mobile devices. Providers can see scheduling needs due to vacations, leaves and other staffing challenges.
Dynamic scheduling software utilizes a modular platform that is easily manipulated to adapt to changing needs. For example, during the COVID-19 outbreak, it allows data to be easily changed to adapt to unit staffing needs and allows staff to schedule shifts in locations where they’re not normally scheduled. Also, telehealth visits can be quickly added to the scheduling platform.
Providers feel empowered to control their own schedule, enhancing work-life balance, staff satisfaction and employee retention rates. The perception of a better work-life balance reduces burnout and boosts patient safety. The schedule’s transparency to all providers helps staff feel involved in the success of the unit and empowers them to take on overtime as desired. A user-friendly scheduling platform also increases staff satisfaction.
Building monthly schedules across departments can be complicated and time-consuming. Schedulers must consider vacations, paid time off, family and medical leave, short and long-term disability, breaks and overtime. Intrigma’s secure scheduling platform can lower the time spent scheduling by up to 90%.
Reducing incidences of overstaffing and optimizing staffing to meet patient volume surges increases patient and provider satisfaction and saves your organization money. Organizations that use innovative scheduling software often report bottom-line savings of 20%. Adequate staffing also translates into shorter patient wait times and higher patient satisfaction scores.