What Would You Do If Your Nurse Scheduling Software Crashed?

What Would You Do If Your Nurse Scheduling Software Crashed?

Why database recovery point matter in scheduling software.

Shane Parker, RN
Co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer

If you’ve ever worked with a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, you’re probably familiar with the concept of auto-save. This feature allows you to set how often Excel should save your work, so you won’t lose it if the program crashes or your computer goes down for any reason. Many people have learned through heartbreaking data losses to save their work frequently – perhaps every 5 minutes or so.

So how often does your nurse scheduling software auto-save? Do you know? Would it surprise you to discover that some of these products only back up your data every 12 hours (or even just once a day)?

ShiftWizard, on the other hand, auto-saves your scheduling data every 15 minutes (the “data recovery point” in tech parlance). That way, in the unlikely event of a catastrophe, almost all of your data can be restored.

Data Recovery Points Make a Nurse Manager’s Life Easier in Two Way

Auto-saving your data benefits you in two ways. First, it obviously reduces any burden on you and your staff to reconstruct staffing history and schedules in the event of data loss, and second it enables detailed audit history tracking to help you justify staffing exceptions when they arise.

Merely thinking about the idea of losing 12 hours or more of staffing data may have made you blanch just now, as you imagined the gargantuan effort that could be involved in trying to reconstruct what was lost. When data loss occurs, people tend to think about “history” – events that occurred in the past and now are lost. But scheduling software also deals with future events: shifts yet to be worked. Data loss affects both of those types of events.

By auto-saving your data every 15 minutes, ShiftWizard helps you avoid the hassle of reconstructing both past history (which nurse was it you called in at mid-shift yesterday?) and future shifts. For example, if two nurses swapped next Thursday’s 7a-7p shift an hour ago, that transaction will be preserved in ShiftWizard, thanks to the 15-minute data recovery point. In a system with a longer recovery point, that shift swap might be lost and lead to confusion about which nurse is scheduled for that particular day.

Beyond protecting you against unnecessary data loss, recovery points also enable detailed audit history tracking reports that you can use to easily justify your staffing decisions. Because ShiftWizard pulls your department census every hour, for example, you can show that you needed to call in an extra nurse one day to provide adequate staffing levels for an unexpectedly high census that day. That data will be preserved in the history, thanks to the 15-minute recovery points, and of course it also will be saved in the event of data loss.

And you don’t need to go through any pen-and-paper wizardry to crunch these numbers, either. Just run a simple report in ShiftWizard with a few clicks of the mouse to get all the data you need to justify your staffing.

Frequent Data Backup Reduces Stress

You shouldn’t have to live with the stress of knowing a computer crash could wipe out hours or even a day’s worth of your staffing data and future schedules. Give yourself peace-of-mind by scheduling a demo of ShiftWizard – the nurse scheduling software that safeguards your data by backing it up every 15 minutes.

Healthcare Staff Scheduling. Developed by Nurses for Nurses.

ShiftWizard makes nurse scheduling and communication easy, so you can focus on what really matters---improving patient outcomes.