Workforce planning in the healthcare sector

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The Corona crisis has reinforced what was already commonplace in the healthcare sector: long working hours, unwelcome shifts and an enormous psychological pressure which leads to extreme stress among employees within this industry. 

These are precisely the issues that cause the greatest challenges in the context of staff scheduling in hospitals, care facilities and healthcare companies. On the one hand, nursing personnel and doctors, especially those with children, often find it difficult to combine the frequently changing shifts with their private family duties.  On the other hand it must be ensured that shifts are scheduled in accordance with the required qualifications at all times. 

Another important factor in shift scheduling is the compliance with special legal regulations – designed to protect the employees. As in many other industries, healthcare facilities must adhere to specific laws in the context of duty scheduling. Despite observing specified rest periods, weekend or overtime regulations, staff schedulers have to ensure steady operations through efficient planning, often pushing the needs of individual employees into the background. 

According to a study made by the University of Münster, which was published in the German Medical Journal (https://www.aerzteblatt.de/archiv/88231 ), 63% of the nursing staff surveyed suffered from excessive fluctuation in shift assignments. In particular, night shifts and those that change frequently have an immense impact on the physical and mental health of employees. 

Sheepblue is a rostering software designed to automatically create optimal schedules, while taking into account the preferences and qualifications of your employees. Our intelligent scheduling algorithm fills vacant shifts on the basis of clearly defined strategies and optimization criteria while considering employees` wishes. The use of shift rotation cycles and the automatic compliance with any legal regulations and internal guidelines can significantly reduce the planning effort and ensure an increase in employee satisfaction. 

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