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Does e-rostering improve management of staff time?

  • Comments (9)

Key points

  1. E-rostering technology records annual leave requests, staff shift preferences, sick leave, staff movement between wards, and staff skills. It can also hold information on medical supplies, and help make payroll systems more accurate
  2. E-rostering enables senior nurses to plan shifts well in advance and forecast staffing requirements, reducing reliance on agency staff
  3. It reduces the time senior nurses spend on administration, freeing up time for direct care
  4. The system makes shift allocation fairer, so is less divisive and more popular with staff
  5. It can help with incident planning and to ensure there is enough cover during particularly busy periods

Let’s discuss

  1. What problems do you have with traditional off duty? Think about incorporating requests, holidays, bank and agency staff.
  2. How could e-rostering improve management of staff time in your clinical area?
  3. How can e-rostering promote fairer off duty planning and improve staff morale?
  4. How would you explain the benefits of e-rostering to your team?

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  • Comments (9)

Readers' comments (9)

  • Anonymous

    In principle this seems like a good idea but in practice the systems don't deliver. There are so many variables to deal with including personal requests

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  • I disagree - it does deliver if managed properly with the system updated regularly with changes of staff (ie staff attrition & replacement with different skill set, hours, etc).

    It does need reviewing at least 3 monthly and at least it is far more transparent than other systems. It is auditable and therefore aids goverance (clinical and financial).

    and much more - so sorry, I am an advocate of e-technology being used as a practical management tool.

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  • I have to disagree with you Maria. Although I share your advocacy of some e tech, e rostering takes work life balance or fair requests into account no more than human rostering did. The shift patterns of our profession need completely overhauling, but e rostering is not the way to do them.

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  • The e-rostering does not take into account the personal life or sleep deprivation encountered by staff. If you work four nights in a row the system will happily put you on the next day because it is a spare slot. Since it's introduction the managers have spent more time altering it then we ever did planning the damn rota in the first place. good idea in theory but terrible in practice. At the moment at least

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  • Anonymous

    have worked a 'flexiable' fixed shift pattern for nearly 8 yrs with no problems, third lot of e-rostering out and again i'm screwed! appears to be a way to take up all nurse in charge time whilst still not benefiting staff, have applied to M&S

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  • e-rostering CAN work - it depends on the software that is used. Some software does take account of work-life balance (and lots of other factors). A properly designed system will make a good, efficient, balanced schedule that keeps both management and staff happy.

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  • I'm looking for the features like easy integration with my time tracking software and should automate invoicing and payroll processes. But, not every application will offer integration with our time tracking software.

    Recently, I have come across one such staff roster software from Replicon ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/rostering-software.aspx ). I think, it was created specifically for small to mid-sized organizations that operate on dynamic employee scheduling.

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  • Thought I would revisit this article and still stand by my views having now over 3+years of experience with rostering systems.

    eRostering does work if regularly maintained and set up correctly. If the rules are set appropriately, if personal flexible patterns have been formally agreed, then all these affect how autorostering assigns shifts.

    With regard to night duty, there are Trust set rules and then area rules. I have seen areas where staff prefer to work 7 nights on, 7 nights off and that actually seems to work quite well. However, there does need to be a balance.

    Rosters should and must be planned around the skill mix required to deliver the care to the patients - with the patients central to the workforce numbers. Rather than planning rosters about what people wish to work...controversial but important to say nevertheless.

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  • Anonymous

    Our midwifery staff were not properly consulted and the e roster system was implemented without our knowledge it 'just appeared'. As a result there is approximately thirty midwifery vacancies in our unit, morale is low and the agency bills high, my colleagues are looking for jobs else wear. Many midwives are part time single parents they need to be able to make more than three requests a month, the system is rigid and fails to recognise that we are human beings, exhausted ones at that.

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