What Do You Mean You “Didn’t Get the Memo”?

What Do You Mean You “Didn’t Get the Memo”?

Shane Parker, RN
Co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer

When you decided to move up the nursing career ladder into a management position you may not have thought it meant you would become the Credentialer In Chief for your department. After all, you make it a point to keep track of your own CEs, ACLS expiration date and license renewal information. Why should you have to do that for every other nurse on your unit?

Most nurses do, of course, take personal responsibility for maintaining their license status, as well as all the other training the hospital requires. But the hospital has a responsibility, too: To ensure every nurse maintains important certifications in order to deliver the highest quality patient care. Risk management takes a dim view of departments that allow a nurse to continue working after her PALS or another critical certification has lapsed. That’s why most human resources departments work closely with clinical supervisors to remind nurses about important expiration dates.

And licensing and certifications aren’t the only things you need to communicate effectively to your staff nurses. Crucial shift information, new policies and revised procedures need to be seen by every nurse…but that’s not always likely if you simply tack those documents up on a cluttered bulletin board.

How to Make Sure Everyone Gets the Memo…Every Time

The surest way to confirm that every member of your staff receives every piece of critical communication is to make it part of their log-in process within your scheduling software. This functionality blocks an employee from proceeding to his or her dashboard without acknowledging receipt of the crucial message – and it works no matter what device they’re logging in from. You can configure this capability for both global messages disseminated to all staff and for individualized reminders to help nurses stay current with all their training and licensure requirements.

Trackable Nurse Messaging to Eliminate the “I Didn’t Know” Refrain

Whether the notice is designed for all staff to read or for individual nurses, the system works the same way. Staff logging in from a desktop computer or via the ShiftWizard scheduling app on their mobile device will encounter a dialogue box that contains the message, and they cannot proceed with the login until they click to acknowledge receipt of the information. Each acknowledgment can be tracked, so you can eliminate those awkward scenarios where a nurse stands in your office and says she was “never told” that her ACLS was expiring or that he “didn’t know” about the change in vacation policy. It’s easy for you to pull up the information in your manager dashboard to point out the person’s acknowledgment.

Automated Licensure and Certification Reminders: A Boon for Staff Nurses and Management Alike

Many nurses must juggle a plethora of certifications and trainings along with their regular work, and automating the reminder process keeps them organized and helps them stay on track. At the same time, the software relieves you – as the manager – of the stress and hassle of trying to review and update vast spreadsheets with all of the data for every nurse on your unit. Sure, human resources probably also helps with this, but isn’t it much simpler to just input the expiration dates once per credential and know the software will do the reminder work forever after that?

This doesn’t mean you can’t still see at a glance whose certifications are expiring. The “license expirations” drop-down in the left pane of the manager dashboard displays the names of nurses who need to renew their PALS or RN license or any other critical training – and it’s ordered by date, with the closest expiration displayed at the top. Imminent expirations are even listed in red, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time digging for data.

Take the Hassle Out of Critical Nurse Communications for Good

Sometimes scheduling software is much more than just “scheduling software.” By using the expanded functionality of ShiftWizard, you can automate nurse communications so you can spend your time and energy on the really important functions of your job, like improving patient care quality and unit efficiency. Schedule a demo today.