Healthcare Staff Scheduling: A Vital Component to Patient Care


The 2024 e-Health Tradeshow and Conference featured a showcase that shed light on the impact of staffing shortages in healthcare and the potential of digital scheduling tools to mitigate these challenges. Hosted by LGI and featuring Anne Baldwin, the Director of Change Management & Adoption at Canada Health Infoway, the session titled "Healthcare staff scheduling isn't just important - it's vital to patient care" discussed how healthcare-specific staff scheduling solution can help address collective agreement compliance, last-minute schedule changes, and critical workflow management. 

Anne Baldwin

Meet Anne Baldwin

Anne Baldwin brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia and a Master's in Nursing from the University of Calgary, Baldwin's extensive career spans clinical practice, administration, and digital health. Her work with clinicians across Canada, particularly in the realm of change management, positions her as a highly relevant voice on the subject.

Shortages: A Persistent Challenge 

Anne Baldwin began by highlighting that staffing shortages in healthcare predate COVID-19. She recounted her early experiences, where new graduates like herself could secure any job due to the high demand for nurses. Yet, this flexibility for new nurses came at a cost: quality patient care was often compromised due to insufficient staffing.

One story from Baldwin's career illustrated the consequences of these shortages. She described a time when, due to staffing deficits, the nursing team was authorized to cancel surgeries. "It was pandemonium," she recalled. "I have never been screamed at more by surgeons in one short period of time. It emphasized to me the importance of adequate staffing for delivering quality patient care". 

The Impact of COVID-19

Then, the pandemic intensified these challenges. Since this global health crisis, recruitment efforts have been somewhat successful, but retention remains a critical issue.

Baldwin referenced a report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), which noted a significant increase in overtime and sick leave among healthcare professionals in 2021 compared to previous years. Inpatient units saw a 17% increase in sick time and a 50% increase in overtime​​. This situation led to higher attrition rates, with many professionals leaving the industry related to worsening work conditions, increased psychological burden, and burnout.

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Next Step: Adopting Healthcare-Specific Scheduling Solutions

Despite these challenges, Baldwin remains optimistic about the potential of digital solutions to lighten some of these pressures. "Digital tools can enable us to have a better staffing system and environment that people can work in and give that quality patient care that we're all looking for," she stated​​.

The success of scheduling tools hinges on collaboration and continuous improvement. "It's about pushing the technology to its maximum capabilities and ensuring that everyone is working up to their scope," she explained. She emphasized the importance of utilizing healthcare-specific scheduling solutions because they are designed with a deep understanding of the intricacies of clinical workflows, collective agreements, and the dynamics of healthcare environments, including last-minute schedule changes. 

LGI’s Contribution to Staff Scheduling in Healthcare  

In conclusion, effective staff scheduling is not just a logistical necessity - it is a cornerstone of quality patient care.

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LGI is at the forefront of this vital scheduling transformation. Our specialized focus ensures that healthcare professionals are supported and empowered with field-proven scheduling solutions that can handle complex scenarios such as shift rotations, staffing ratios, and compliance with collective bargaining agreements seamlessly.  

Moreover, our decades of expertise in healthcare means that we can provide more relevant support, address sector-specific issues effectively, and continuously enhance the tool based on real-world feedback.

For a concrete example of our contribution to staff scheduling in Canada, learn more about LGI Scheduling by visiting the official webpage, downloading our latest eBook, or requesting a demo.  


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