Use Nurse Scheduling Software to Foster Teamwork

Use Nurse Scheduling Software to Foster Teamwork

Shane Parker, RN
Co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer

We all know patient care is a team sport. When a person is hospitalized, an entire organization works together to help restore that individual to health. Doctors and nurses may be the most recognizable people on the healthcare team, but patient care also involves techs, unit secretaries, nurse managers and many other folks.

When these staff people work cohesively as a team, you can expect to deliver higher quality patient care. In particular, studies correlate high levels of nursing teamwork with reduced patient care errors, better outcomes and improved job satisfaction. But why limit your teamwork efforts to just the nurses? By using scheduling software to manage all of your shift-based workers, you can enhance three key features that contribute to better teamwork: communication, employee engagement and adequate staffing.

Communication as a team-building tool

Departments like mother-baby and pediatrics traditionally score well on nursing teamwork surveys. Perhaps not coincidentally these units require a high degree of communication between team members to deliver exceptional patient care. Today’s healthcare communications technology includes wearable devices for instant connectivity between hospital staff people, but you should not overlook your scheduling software’s communication component as a way to facilitate teamwork, too.

ShiftWizard offers several ways to enhance communication through one-click SMS messaging, email and even automated phone calls. These components can represent crucial communication lines in the event of a mass-casualty event or natural disaster, when you need to notify staff about who should report – and when. But don’t overlook the opportunity to use this communications feature to send out notifications about the annual picnic, departmental potluck or to crown your team member of the month. Using ShiftWizard’s communication function in these ways builds the team ethos in your unit and across the organization.

Engaged staff members make great team players

Nurse engagement is a well-known way to improve retention rates and job satisfaction. And engaged nurses make great team players because they feel invested in their job and workplace.

Offering self-scheduling – not only to nurses, but to any shift-based worker in your facility – represents a great way to promote engagement. Electronic self-scheduling empowers staff people to choose work hours that enhance their lifestyle and flex with the ever-changing demands of their home life. And ShiftWizard’s shift swap feature makes it easy to trade shifts with someone else if an unexpected personal issue crops up. Fostering staff engagement in this way promotes collaboration and teamwork that can extend into the patient care realm, as well.

Adequate nurse staffing correlates to increased teamwork

You might worry that self-scheduling may lead to inadequate staffing, and that would be a problem because at least one study correlated higher levels of nurse staffing with increased teamwork. But the truth is you can actually enhance your staffing levels with ShiftWizard to ensure every department has all the personnel it needs at all times.

Using ShiftWizard’s enterprise view, administrators can easily compare any department’s staffing grid to actual staff assignments to determine where your organization is over- or under-staffed. In this view, you can reallocate nurses and other staff from one department to another, or choose shifts to be incentivized to boost staffing in a particular area.

“Some organizations offer enhanced scheduling transparency by allowing nurses to view available shifts in all the departments they’re qualified to work in,” said Shane Parker, RN, co-founder and Chief Nursing Officer of Shift Wizard. “This promotes adequate staffing levels and better teamwork through self-directed floating, in which nurses proactively pick up shifts that otherwise might be filled by expensive agency nurses or nurses on overtime.”

Teamwork for better outcomes, reduced costs and happier employees

Improving teamwork within departments and enterprise-wide offers significant benefits to everyone, starting with patients. Deploying ShiftWizard represents a cost-effective way to enhance communication, engage staff members and ensure adequate staffing – all surefire ways to boost teamwork in your organization.

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.