Software vs actual real live people
December 15, 2018bestpractice
We have previously written about how hard it is to fully automate the process of generating and maintaining rosters. We recently had an illustrative example.
One of our private hospital customers had an issue - for various reasons - where some shifts became unfilled over the Christmas and New Year period. As anyone involved in medical rostering in Australia can tell you, it is extremely difficult to fill those shifts. For those of you reading from overseas, think Thanksgiving weekend in the US, or Midsummer in Scandinavia.
HosPortal has a number of ways to quickly, fairly and automatically fill shifts that come up like this. Our algorithms, logics and analytics for this sort of task are as good as any artificial intelligence could be. But the hospital administration was not in favour of doing so: there are so many other issues and perceptions to juggle, a long history of how these things are addressed at this hospital, and any approach had the potential to be seen by the doctor staffed this way that they have been shanghaied.
So the hospital administrators decided to use the traditional approaches: seek volunteers, do the phone-around and have the gentle corridor conversations, offer to trade off other obligations and shifts that can be given up for taking up these unattractive holiday shifts. All informed by HosPortal's metrics regarding who had done how much activity, and who had not met their full shift obligation.
In the end, no one was exactly happy (including the hospital administrators who were probably itching to just hit the auto-fill button), but it was a fair and accepted outcome.