Guide for creating the best working schedules for your aged care team and clients

Scheduling tasks and activities in aged care looks easy, but it takes a lot of time to plan, prepare and execute effectively for the client and efficiently for the organisation.

With resources often stretched to meet the needs of the clients, having an efficient scheduling processes is critical for creating a positive working environment and improving staff productivity at aged care facilities and for home care organisations. Often, scheduling tends to be tedious, with last-minute changes of tasks, staff shifts, and managing client schedules being a daily occurrence.

Here we have created a guide to help you improve your aged care scheduling.

Efficient Scheduling To Help Improve Productivity 

Your aged care organisation tends to be busy with several shifts, which is why it’s essential to have an efficient scheduling practice for all your staff members, to create a stress-free environment and to help them improve their productivity. With often limited resources, care organisations need to ensure that their schedule is optimised for both the care workers and their clients.

Here are the steps you can take when creating the staffing schedule (it can be a weekly or monthly thing for your teams!) and optimise your organisation’s working shifts to establish a positive working environment for everyone.

Understand your aged care staffing needs

With the continuous demand for aged care workers in Australia, it is important to assess your organization’s need for staff and if you are utilising all your present teams and their services. This will help you manage your care rosters and address necessary areas that need improvement (i.e. under-qualified or overworked staff).

CareVision’s Care Management Software with Smart Scheduling features, for instance, help you organise your aged care workers by location, roles, skills and qualifications. This will provide you with a list of specific staff members or teams that needs to be scheduled for shifts and changes in client service bookings. This is why it’s important to have an updated list of staff members to track their shifts and available schedules in real-time.

With CareVision, your clients and your staff members can also have access to the scheduling tool. Forget emailing and calling to organise services, as all parties involved will have access to their mobile, tablet and desktop schedule.

Our care scheduling tool is mobile and intelligent, meaning case managers can adjust and change schedules while on the move, and all parties involved will be notified with the live changes.

Auto-scheduling and recommended Carers for each booking makes it easy to build a schedule. Carers are recommended based on skills and qualifications, prior work history with a client, client ratings of their services, location and availability on the day and time in question.

Travel Time is automatically calculated while you plan, and updated in line with the schedule, ensuring effective time management. Its easy to see when not enough travel time is allocated, and avoid staff being late due to unrealisitc travel time expectations.

Similarly, when staff have work spread out and too large or too many gaps between bookings, they become disengaged, increasing staff turnover. Optimise your staff time to deliver them more working hours in the day. Studies say that 70% of carers in Australia, want +10 hours more work in a week than they are currently getting.

Get to know your staff 

It is also essential to document your team members’ availability and preferences regarding the time of their shifts, hours that they can work or cover in a week. Be sure to store this information digitally, in a place which is reachable by both you and your staff members, as this will increase transparency and send notifications if changes or errors are made.

It would be best to consider several personal aspects of your team members’ lifestyle whether they have a family or are open to working full-time or part-time only. In building a schedule, your team should be available to communicate with their suggestions and preferences to avoid any last-minute changes or services delays.

With CareVision, you and your team can communicate and plan schedules digitally, so there is always a record.

Keep Teams Transparent

There’s no doubt that your organisation is handling and scheduling several teams every day; that’s why it’s important to have team activities accessible for everyone. This will let your staff members know which carer is servicing clients and which carers have unassigned shifts. Besides schedule updates, you can also access client case notes, team member check-ins, and an overview of each member’s tasks.

READ MORE: Essential Tools for Lifestyle Managers

Use a scheduling template

When building a schedule, you need to consider various factors – individual and team schedules and their preferences, client schedules, and previous service schedules, care requirements and more, which involves a lot of time and effort for everyone. When you have finally come up with a schedule that works for your staff and your organisation, use it as a template for your future schedules. Of course, there will be changes along the way (i.e. when a staff member takes a leave or a new staff member comes in), but having a template will help you save time organising team shifts and promote consistency in managing your staff.

Let your staff manage their schedules 

Encourage proper time management by letting your staff manage their schedules, arranging bookings, and updating their available shifts. By using a scheduling app, like CareVision’s mobile application, carers and contractors can receive job requests and work schedules on their mobile devices. They can also view tasks lists, requirements, and other details regarding the scheduled service.

This will also lessen administrative work for your managers and get them to focus on improving team and client experiences. With a mobile application, aged care workers can access client profiles, comments and reviews to guide them in delivering the best care service.

READ MORE: Care Mobility Applications for Aged Care, Home Care and Retirement

Using of Auto-Scheduling

Last-minute changes in schedules are often inevitable! And it might be costly for your organisation if not handled properly. This can also result in delays in services for your residents if not communicated within the team.

By using a scheduling app, you can easily catch up with tasks requests and sudden changes of shifts and booking, so you can easily recommend carers qualified to deliver services for your clients based on their skills, previous work history with client, location and availability.

Review your organisation’s schedule regularly

Using CareVision’s Smart Scheduling, you will no longer have to worry about scheduling team members daily. By streamlining scheduling processes, you can save time and focus on delivering quality services and promoting a positive working environment in your organisation.

You may encounter many factors in scheduling along the way, so it’s essential to check your processes from time to time and see if there are areas that need changes (what is your teams’ response to the schedule? Is there an increase in productivity? Are bookings allocated to the suitable carers?).

Scheduling is a vital part of aged care, and it’s important to find the perfect scheduling tool for your organisation that will help you and your staff manage schedules and tasks.

Check out how CareVision’s Care Management and Smart Scheduling software can help you with your schedules. Book a free demo or contact us at 1300 324 070 today.