Availability-based rostering

February 23, 2018news

We recently had an enquiry from a potential customer that caused us to re-commission automated rostering functions that we had turned off because they were not being used. We think these functions could drive incredible efficiency when generating rosters.

Many users already use self-rostering, which is simple and efficient. You can create and communicate a complete annual roster across hundreds of doctors in 15 minutes. But some hospitals don't like the 'first-pick-best-shift' approach, and prefer more control (e.g. direct certain shifts to more suitable doctors) or greater equity (e.g. ensure a fair allocation of good and bad shifts).

Availability-based rostering solves this. The steps to fill a 12-month roster are simple:

  1. Set up a rostering window just like self-rostering.
  2. If desired, set the maximum number of shifts that can be selected by each doctor, and set doctor priorities (e.g. based on seniority)
  3. Users log in and select their shifts. Unlike self-rostering, users can pick shifts already picked by others. No racing for the best shifts. Because users can see how many other people have already selected a shift, it can encourage better distribution. (See the first screenshot).
  4. Once the selection window closes, a draft roster is automatically generated:
    • for each day, the people who picked that shift are listed in order of priority (see the second screenshot)
    • the pick recommended by HosPortal's software is highlighted, based on doctor priority and roster rules (e.g. no consecutive shifts). Where multiple people have the same priority, the shift is filled randomly.
    • an administrator can change the draft selections, fill days where there are no nominations, and can lock in selections that will not change on further iterations.
    • a single click will generate other shift options for all the unconfirmed days, any number of times.
    • Statistics are provided along the way to assess the quality of the roster
  5. Once the roster is finalised and published, HosPortal looks after the task of communicating the confirmed roster to the relevant people, just like self-rostering.

A complete roster in 15 minutes of an administrator's time, and happier users whose preferences are incorporated before the roster is generated...who would not love it? Click the link below if you want to know more.

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