Workforce shortages are one of the main challenges currently facing nursing homes, long-term care, assisted living, and senior care facilities. Employees are the lifeblood of any long-term care home—yet even before COVID-19, supervisors struggled to maintain the right staffing levels. Rising patient numbers combined with labor shortages have meant longer shifts and overwhelm for care teams. For patients, it often means less access to the care they need. 

Increasingly, care supervisors are using automated shift filling solutions to help relieve some of the pains of schedule management. Here are some of the ways automating your shift-filling process could save your long-term care organization time and money, provide relief for stressed teams, and ensure better care for seniors.

Streamline & Improve Communication

Many scheduling frustrations are actually the result of poor communication. Instead of spending valuable time calling employees one by one, shift management software automatically notifies all available employees of new open shifts. 

Generally, teams can receive instant notifications via email, text message, or app. Every change is documented and updated automatically. And since employees can always see their schedule on the app, there tend to be fewer misunderstandings. 

Fill Shifts Faster 

When someone calls in sick or doesn’t show up, it can throw the entire day off. Shift filling apps allow care teams to recover faster from unexpected circumstances by keeping everyone in the loop, automatically. 

Long-term care and personal care workers can respond to changing shift needs in seconds, right from their phones. This means you can get available shifts filled while you’re working on other tasks. And employees are happier when they don’t have to bear the brunt of a sudden no-show colleague. 

Learn from Data

Shift management software solutions provide data and reporting that you can learn from. See who often misses shifts, who never misses, learn what days work best for people, and where you tend to have recurring gaps. 

With an accurate picture of your scheduling needs, you can manage overtime better and schedule more effectively. Some automated solutions even track trends so they can begin to predict your shift needs and save you even more time. 

Empower Your Teams

Automated scheduling apps make it easy for employees to add their desired days, shifts, locations, and time-off requests. This gives them power over their schedule and ultimately improves employee satisfaction. 

Many long-term care home workers say scheduling apps also handle vacant shifts more fairly. Since everyone is notified everyone at the same, all eligible caregivers have the same chance to respond to a shift need. Some automated shift filling solutions have reported as much as a 30% increase in employee engagement through the use of an app.

Increase Employee Retention 

High employee turnover is an ever-present challenge in senior care facilities. In such a demanding industry, it’s just the nature of the beast. But when people are happy, they stay longer—and scheduling can have a big impact on employee well-being.

Flexible and predictable scheduling is key to the healthy work/life balance that employees crave and deserve. Automated scheduling apps provide flexibility by letting employees self-schedule open shifts and quickly find replacements. Shift planning software makes scheduling more predictable by helping care supervisors get the schedule out sooner. When employees know their work schedule ahead of time, they can plan ahead and have less stress about income.   

Spend More Time With Patients

Seniors in nursing homes and long-term care facilities need care 24/7, 365 days a year. In many cases, there are required staff-to-patient ratios. And the number of senior patients needing care is rising. When you can fill shifts accurately and quickly, you free up time for other important tasks like patient care. And you can always ensure that there are enough care workers, with the necessary abilities, to meet your patients’ needs. 

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