Month: May 2018

Weighting scheduling rules. A good or bad idea?

Building a workable schedule can be a challenge. You can save time and energy by having a solution that auto-generates a schedule by analyzing your providers’ rules and availability, but will you be happy with the results? Will your providers be happy? The answer will lie in your scheduling solution’s algorithm and how it processes those final hard-to-fill shifts.
In the world of automated scheduling, vendors fall into two distinct categories. Some weight the rules and break them, where necessary, to guarantee a full schedule, while others exhaust all scheduling possibilities, present to the scheduler any remaining open shifts, and then the scheduler decides on how best to address the few open shifts. So, which philosophy is right for you?
Consider these questions:

Who really knows your providers?
Do you want a program that controls all decisions?
Who best understands the dynamics of your schedule and the shifts?
Is your environment predictable, or is every day unique and complex?

In reality, a program that weights rules is “breaking rules” based on a predetermined set of priorities. If your environment and providers are dynamic, how can you accurately and effectively pre-set, or weight, the rules? Rule weighting and rule-breaking often lead to providers going into incompatible shifts or a schedule that just doesn’t flow correctly. In many cases, the scheduler will be forced to rewrite the schedule in order to make it workable.
Rule weighting “empowers” the program to make the critical decisions based on those fixed priorities; however, many schedulers complain, “…my people and shifts are dynamic. No one understands my providers and each situation better than I do, so let me make those critical decisions.” If this sounds like you, rule weighting and a promise of a “full” schedule is NOT for you.
Many schedulers believe their knowledge and experience is best utilized when the algorithm is allowed to maximize the schedule and allows the scheduler to make final decisions regarding which rules can be broken and which provider goes into any remaining open shifts. Many feel it’s a blend of technology and the scheduler’s knowledge which will lead to real time-savings, and ultimately, the best possible schedule.
So yes, building a workable schedule can be a challenge, but with the appropriate solution, it’s a far from impossible one.
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QGenda Celebrates Nurses

National Nurses Week is an annual celebration, in alignment with Florence Nightingale’s birthday, to honor nurses throughout America. This year’s theme focuses on three guiding principles that reflect some of nursing’s most admirable qualities: Inspire, Innovate, Influence. Our country’s nurses serve to inspire those around them, innovate new techniques in their field, and influence positivity for themselves and those around them.
At QGenda, we celebrate the nurses we serve and honor their work efforts every day. We strive to simplify one facet of a nurse’s busy lifestyle by automating their scheduling, allowing medical providers to centralize their scheduling responsibilities and gain flexibility in managing their own schedules. Whether it be requesting time off, trading shifts, or messaging other providers with ease, QGenda assists with keeping an organized schedule for all users.
QGenda is able to seamlessly manage nurse schedules for many medical specialties: CRNA out-order equalization, continuity of care for Critical Care groups, or even self-scheduling for smaller practices, among others. Each of these represents commonplace techniques in QGenda that allow greater flexibility and enhanced functionality for nurse scheduling.
Nurses play an integral role in each medical practice, and while National Nurses Week may occur once a year, we at QGenda strive to support their inspiration, innovation, and influence every single day.
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