12 Gifts of Christmas Day 9: Shift Roster

On the ninth day of Christmas, Engage Squared gave to me…a Teams-based roster to make my shifts easy!

What is it?

If you work a 9-5, you often forget that others don’t have that structure. Or want that structure. Most industries with a frontline workforce have some sort of roster system in place, and it’s likely that system hasn’t changed much over the years. Whether you’re a casual at Coles or work full time at your local restaurant, chances are you’ll be working to a roster and checking your shifts daily/weekly. There might be the odd change because Tom is sick or Sarah’s on leave, but generally, once you know your shift, you’re good.

The healthcare industry on other hand, is a different ballgame. Imagine the number of staff needed for a hospital? There is certainly no 9-5 for them because they’re open 24/7. Now imagine what the roster looks like. Members of the medical team within a hospital regularly need to engage their peers to consult and provide opinions, as well as helping when things get tough. These roles are filled by on-call specialists on a rostered basis. Stick with us…

Medical professionals are fairy godmothers. Your baby comes early, and it’s a midwife to the rescue. A broken leg and the doctor works her magic. And this is before we even worry about emergency surgeries. However, no matter how well the rosters behind our fairy godmothers are planned, medical professionals won’t truly know the on-call roles required until the shift is in full swing. So how do you plan for that?

Well, a central point such as the switchboard is commonly used to request the details of the on-call specialist that medical staff require. On-call medical specialists share the responsibility across multiple areas within a hospital and this changes throughout the day. The main issue here is that calling a switchboard to request an on-call specialist rather than the role itself is subject to huge errors. This is mainly due to uncommunicated shift changes or if the on-call specialist is unavailable and there is no secondary resource named or free. When you’re dealing with patients, there needs to be a better option…

Today we gift to you our Shift Roster. Shift Roster is a MS Teams app allowing medical staff to bypass the complex and inefficient switchboard systems and request specific roles rather than specific people. It’s a game changer for everyone involved.

How does it work?

Built as a Teams app, the Shift Roster solution is centrally hosted in Azure as an Azure App Service.

Once downloaded, Shift Roster is added as a tab within a Teams channel. Shifts are shown in a familiar calendar-style weekly grid, with upcoming and past shifts visible that can be filtered by:

  • Assigned staff
  • Role type
  • Date
  • Time
  • Status

Administrators can create and edit shifts from within the roster view in the app on their desktop or laptop. Here, they can assign multiple staff members to a shift in a particular order. Staff members can also assign themselves to shifts. If an administrator creates a shift with no staff assigned, staff with the same role as the shift will be asked to assign themselves.

Screenshot of creating a a new shift using Shift Roster

Shift Roster lets medical professionals quickly and easily roster and request on-call specialists rather than individual specialists, bypassing the complex and inefficient switchboard. Shift Roster allows staff to be rostered on as on-call and be requested via Teams when there is an emergency. The specialist in question is instantly notified of these requests through Teams which allows them to respond quickly to an emergency.

Screenshot of a shift request using Shift Roster

On-call specialists can then accept or decline a request. If declined, the next staff member rostered onto the shift is notified in their place, so the request has multiple places to go to ensure that there is someone who can respond. When a shift is requested, it automatically moves into upcoming shifts, allowing staff to easily see where and when they are needed.

Screenshot of a the calendar view request using Shift Roster

What problems does it solve?

Working in the healthcare industry is unpredictable enough, without rosters making things hard. With Shift Roster you can…

Say goodbye to:

  • Medical staff asking a switchboard who is on-call for a given role
  • Medical staff notifying the staff member individually to request that they come in
  • Rosters not integrated with any communication method

And say hello to:

  • Increased efficiencies by providing medical staff to engage specialised resources by role type, rather than by name
  • Increased efficiencies by ensuring the right care staff get to the patients in a timely manner
  • A connected workforce

How to get started

The Shift Roster app can be downloaded from AppSource today!

If you need more help, Engage Squared can deploy the Shift Roster app into your environment, and further customise the app to meet your specific needs. We can also help with the change management activities and ongoing support of the solution if needed.

To learn more about how we can help, get in touch

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