One Way to Stop Nurse Overtime from Wrecking Your Budget

One Way to Stop Nurse Overtime from Wrecking Your Budget

Shane Parker, RN
Co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer

When a nurse calls off sick on your unit, how do you choose someone else to cover for her?

For many nurse managers, the answer is like the old “Dialing for Dollars” TV show: she picks up the phone and begins calling each available nurse in sequence until – ding! ding! ding! – she finds one who is both answering calls and willing to work. “And we have a winner.”

But that strategy could be bad for your budget. What if the nurse you’ve tapped to work the open shift has already worked 40 hours that pay period? Can your budget accommodate the overtime premium you’re about to pay out?

Tame the overtime with real-time workforce reporting

Traditionally, nurse managers have lacked access to real-time information about how many hours each staff member has worked during the current pay period. ShiftWizard, which made its debut on the Nurse & Staff Scheduling 2018 Performance Report published by KLAS in August 2018, changes that by providing real-time reporting on hours worked per staff member.

In the KLAS report, ShiftWizard received high marks from users for providing organizations with options to reduce overtime costs by giving managers the data they need to better optimize their workforce across the enterprise.

As one nurse leader interviewed by KLAS said, “ShiftWizard helps reduce our overtime costs, float and agency costs, and usage costs because we get information in real time. We are able to see who has worked overtime, and who we can bring in who hasn’t worked overtime yet. Typically, we wouldn’t have this information. We would just have a bunch of names without knowing who worked overtime. ShiftWizard also helps us understand who has floated from one unit to another and who has competencies to float between units.” (2018 KLAS)

Match available nurses to shifts

The beauty of having real-time information at your fingertips lies in your ability to quickly and easily match qualified nurses with open shifts. Imagine how much better your budget might look if you could – with the push of a button – call off a nurse who has maxed out her hours and float in a staff nurse from another department instead.

ShiftWizard offers you that precise ability, said one Chief Nursing Officer whose organization uses the software. “Now that we are using ShiftWizard, I can have snapshots within minutes, see my open positions, and see my open shifts. ShiftWizard is lovely. It is visual and easy to use. I do not have to go back and look through the payroll sheet. ShiftWizard has made a significantly positive impact on our organization.” (CNO, 2018 KLAS)

Know which of your nurses floated outside the unit so you can reschedule accordingly

And the benefit of real-time reporting works both ways. Not only can you identify nurses in other departments with the competencies and availability to float to your unit, but you can see if any of your own staff nurses recently floated to another department and now are in jeopardy of going into overtime status themselves.

“ShiftWizard flags staff who are approaching their maximum work hours per pay period, which gives nurse managers the ability to see at a glance if they need to refine the schedule to avoid paying overtime,” said Shane Parker, RN, ShiftWizard Chief Nursing Officer and co-founder. “Our software eliminates the unpleasant budget surprises that can arise because you didn’t realize one of your nurses would be in overtime after working just part of her shift.”

Stop overtime from wrecking your budget by using workforce optimization software

Reducing or eliminating overtime from your budget doesn’t have to be complicated or painful. In fact, doing just one thing – using ShiftWizard – easily allows you to make intelligent staffing decisions to improve your bottom line. To find out what others said about the financial benefits of ShiftWizard, read the entire KLAS report.

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