Health Rota

A health rota or roster is a timetable that governs who works when in a healthcare environment. In its basic form, it will form a calendar that highlights the shift patterns of all the healthcare professionals within a business.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: April 5, 2022
  • 5 Minutes
healthcare rota by Papershift

Setting up a rota that works for employees, your business, and customer needs is an arduous task. But when the business area you work in is the health sector, the task is even more tricky. The medical sector juggles thousands of patients and staff every day. Making sure staff cover is sufficient and you have the right skills at the right time is never easy. But getting a health rota right is crucial when you are dealing with the wellbeing and health of patients.

There are many tried and trusted applications and methods that can help. From old-fashioned timecard systems to new software-based platforms. In this article, we will discuss the need for a good health rota system as well as the factors required to make it work.

What Is a Health Rota or Roster?

Simply put, a health rota or roster is a timetable that governs who works when in a healthcare environment. In its basic form, it will form a calendar that highlights the shift patterns of all the healthcare professionals within a business. More complicated rotas may highlight the skills of each individual and help to timetable by ensuring a variety of needs are met.

The rota will also highlight which employees are required to work on weekends or public holidays. It is this latter requirement that makes the task of creating a health roster so difficult for any business – after all, who wants their staff working these days?

Employees vs Customers

When it comes to creating a health rota, you need two things: your employees and your customers. When you are working in the healthcare sector, it is vital that you create a rota with both parties in mind. If staff members aren’t happy to work weekends or nights, then they will leave – which means recruitment costs plus training time for new staff. Equally, if your patients don’t like coming into the hospital on weekends or evenings, they won’t come. This means less business and money lost from the rota’s creation.

The best health rosters will meet both staff and customer needs – but this is easier said than done as their requirements are often very different. It takes a lot of time to create a roster that works for each group, plus it takes a lot of trust. Only when you have this will your rota work efficiently and effectively for all involved – which is crucial in the health sector, where time (and with it, people) are often at a premium.

The Health Rota Process

Trying to figure out how to create an effective healthcare roster can be tricky. There are some basic steps you can take to improve your chances of success, however.

Firstly, don’t try and work out the rota on your own – there might be people in your business that have experience with creating rosters for other industries so ask them for help! It’s also worth considering whether any new employees will need training before they can work on the rota.

Secondly, keep it simple – don’t try and get too complicated with your rosters or you’ll find yourself spending more time trying to organize them than actually working! Instead, just create a calendar that tells staff who is doing what at which times. It might take some adjustment but once everyone has got used to it you can perfect it.

Finally, some healthcare employers will try to use software or apps that help them organize their rotas – these can be effective but they’re even better if your employees are using them too! If everyone is familiar with the method of creating and modifying rosters, they’ll work effectively every time.

How Crucial Is a Rota System in The Medical Industry?

Rotas are important to all businesses. But when a company has its customers well being and health in its hands, ensuring the right staff work at the right time is vital.

For example, if you have a patient who needs a specific doctor on call at a specific time, the rota will need to reflect this. There’s no point scheduling an orthopedic nurse if you require a pharmacist after all.

What Are the Types of Rotas Preferred by Medical Teams?

Because of the complex nature of medical rotas, most organizations employ software solutions for their needs. This type of rota has many advantages, including:

  • Quick and easy to create a rota. A health rota software solution can reduce the time to produce a rota by many hours every month.
  • No more rota conflicts. Written or manual rotas can lead to errors. Things like scheduling the wrong employee for a shift can be common. Rota software prevents this by automatically checking for clashes, incorrect scheduling, and other errors.
  • Ensuring you have the right staff at the right time. In medical teams, the right staff members must be available when you need them the most. Rota software will help with this by highlighting the skills of each employee.
  • Better management of schedules. Good rota software will ensure that medical teams maintain the right staffing levels at all times. No more under or over-staffing. And no more missing key skills at key times.
  • Everyone is on the same page. Rota software is generally accessed centrally by all stakeholders. This means every member of a medical team can see what they should be doing at any given time.

What Factors Are Crucial in Deciding on Which Type of Health Rota to Use?

Which health rota system you use will depend on a variety of factors. If you are a small business with only a few clients, then a paper or Excel system may suffice. If you are a large concern that juggles dozens of staff and patients, then a software solution may be more appropriate. The key factor in deciding which health rota system to implement should always be the patients.

Choose Papershift’s Rota Software for Medical Practices and Healthcare industry to make rota planning simple. Signup for a free demo.

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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)