1. Introduction

The efficient functioning of health networks relies on hard-working and productive staff, and nurses form an integral part of that team. The work of doctors is often praised, but people may fail to acknowledge the contribution of nurses in delivering quality patient care. Nurses work through different shifts to provide care and tend to the patients. This was clearer during the COVID-19 pandemic globally, where nurses went above and beyond to ensure patient well-being. Therefore, nurses mustn’t get overworked to maintain their efficiency. That is why nurse scheduling is more important than people are probably aware of. Scheduling nurse shifts helps to strategize caring for chronic and elderly patients. For instance, patients’ risk of falling may be lowered if nurses’ scheduling is managed well. Nurse scheduling can prevent errors in planning nurse shifts for over 12 hours.

Nurse scheduling software

A hospital employee scheduling system can be cumbersome and time-consuming for a nursing manager. Nursing managers may struggle to balance the healthcare staff scheduling system, ensuring to meet the clinical needs and provide the nursing staff with an equitable schedule. Nurse scheduling changes due to time off, shifts, leaves, or floor training, making it difficult to manage the hospital schedule. Lack of management in nurse schedules can gravely impact the efficacy with which the staff work, thereby hampering the overall productivity of the healthcare organization.

Medical staff scheduling systems enable healthcare personnel to create and manage nurse schedules conveniently. Nurse scheduling software allows nurses to find a feasible schedule, optimize it, and achieve a hospital’s healthcare goals. Nurse scheduling software enables the creation of an organized workspace for nurses, automates nurse staffing schedule management, and prevents staff from being overworked. Physician scheduling simplifies changing shifts and keeping track of nurse schedules, and it ensures that patients are looked after well by strategizing digital physician scheduling. In the absence of doctor scheduling software, it would become difficult for nursing managers to maintain the efficient functioning of a healthcare institution. Hospitals can integrate doctor-patient appointment systems to improve practice management and staff performance efficiency.

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2.Common Nurse Scheduling Problems

We have highlighted the healthcare industry’s challenges in nurse staffing with facts, data, and information. The comprehensive list will educate the readers about the issues faced in staffing.

Nurse scheduling can pose many problems that make the process seem more complex. It is beneficial to learn about these issues beforehand so that schedulers and managers can prepare strategies to resolve them. Some of these include:

  • Requirement of 24/7 medical coverage when facing a chronic staff shortage 
  • Separate scheduling is needed for part-time and full-time nursing staff 
  • Schedulers struggle to balance work and rest time for nurses 
  • Rapidly transforming the healthcare industry  
Common nurse scheduling problems

Over half of the nurses spend a minimum of two hours every week working on their hospital shift scheduling. 8% of employees spend four hours on building shift schedules, and 9% invest five hours on the same. Some staff members believe that they may only work up to 12 hours a week on developing schedules. These figures indicate that nurse scheduling is time-consuming, where nurse managers and nurses spend several hours building and modifying schedules.

Let’s take a look at these issues. 

I. Conflicts in nurse scheduling

Conflicts in nurse scheduling

This is one of the common issues in healthcare staff scheduling solutions. Factors such as location, emergency, long shifts, etc., can contribute to double-scheduling or understaffing. Nurses require a flexible and reliable scheduling system for each shift to prevent conflicts in scheduling. The system should simplify viewing nurse schedules, receive confirmation of shifts, and change shifts as and when needed.

II. Overworked Nurses

Overworked Nurses

When hospitals run short of nursing staff, it could mean that the same staff is working for over 12 hrs. This can over-exhaust nurses and affect their retention and quality of care delivery. As per recent findings, nurses may feel burnout and become dissatisfied with their work. This problem may be difficult to solve until the new nursing staff is recruited and the scheduling procedure is managed. To make better decisions, managers and schedulers can track the staffing demand to identify trends and patterns, such as analyzing busy work periods and the rising demand. 

III. Level of acuity

Level of acuity

Patients display different acuity levels, whereas high-acuity patients need a more skilled workforce to handle their complex health conditions. Such nurses are required to provide specialized care and respond to sudden situations. To fulfill this requirement, schedulers and managers must look for nurses having the necessary qualifications and skills. Managers can easily accomplish this goal by developing a system to track patient acuity levels and the qualifications/skills requirements for each patient with critical health conditions. It must be accessible and user-friendly to allow managers to refer to them when preparing nurse scheduling. 

IV. Unexpected changes

Unexpected changes

Nurse managers maintain Excel sheets where data is manually entered. These sheets contain information about nurse schedules. Modifying the planned schedules in the event of sudden changes can be complex and cumbersome. Additionally, the process may result in errors.

V. Access to nurse schedules

 Access to nurse schedules

Medical staff may often struggle with real-time and remote access to their schedules. As a result, nurses may need to contact managers to discuss shifts or changes. They may also need to go to the workplace on a day off to learn the schedule.

VI. Lack of medical staffing

Lack of medical staffing

Maintaining staff ratios is a daily struggle for managers because the staff shortage can make it challenging to deliver quality care to patients. There may always not be enough nurses, physicians, and other providers available to fill the shifts. Lack of staffing can cause medication errors, reduce patient satisfaction, and staff burnout.  

VII. Accountability and Visibility of schedules

Accountability and Visibility of schedules

While managing nurse schedules, nurses may not be able to fully control staff availability. This may risk overlapping shifts and unintended attendance because nurses may remain unaware of last-minute changes.

VIII. Time-off requests are missed

Time-off requests are missed

Since nurses are in great demand, asking for leaves or time off can seem impossible. If the nursing staff requests time off to managers by writing them on sticky notes or communicating at the last minute, the requests can be missed or forgotten.

IX. Errors due to manual operations

 Errors due to manual operations

When nurse scheduling software is not utilized, manual work on spreadsheets is prone to errors. Spreadsheets can also reduce the accuracy of nurse scheduling and produce incorrect data, cancellation errors, low productivity, lost time, and missed shifts. 

3.Solving nurse scheduling problems with digitization

This section enlists and explains the challenges faced in nurse scheduling and how digital healthcare can be utilized to address and minimize these concerns.

The demand for nursing staff schedulers increases, which calls for better workload distribution to avoid staff burnout. Lack of planning or digitization can create several errors and hinder the much-needed effective planning for quality care delivery. So, what can healthcare businesses do to manage staffing problems?

I. Deliver better care

 Deliver better care

Healthcare institutions can integrate digital models for monitoring operational efficiency and customer experience. Healthcare providers can address staffing problems and deliver quality care with digital health tools that incorporate healthcare automation and electronic health records. Patients can experience improved care delivery when the nurse scheduling is managed properly. Advanced digital health technologies enable patients to receive real-time care from anywhere. 

Healthcare networks can use cloud computing to plan nurse scheduling and strategize their schedules. Digital health can support enhanced planning of the optimal size of nursing teams. Cloud computing in healthcare can benefit residential care, where nursing staff demand can be managed cost-effectively. In this way, patients in home care or nursing homes can receive access to hospital staff without long waiting times. Digital health and mhealth can enable to maintenance of staff demand with modeling and scheduling software. If patients get real-time access to care services, it increases the scope of patient engagement & Satisfaction and, therefore, the healthcare organization’s success.

II. Address the shortage of nursing staff

 Address shortage of nursing staff

A shortage of nursing staff has always existed in the healthcare industry. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges data, the estimated shortage of physicians in the U.S. could reach between 37,800 and 124,000 by 2034. With more and more diseases coming up, the demand for nursing staff is only escalating. Answering calls or queries from patients may seem cumbersome and overwhelming. Shortage of staff is a crucial concern in the healthcare industry. Digital health solutions offer scalability through virtual healthcare  automation. As a result, the burden on nursing staff is greatly reduced, and they can then perform their tasks efficiently. Nurse scheduling software can integrate with electronic medical records, making it easier for the staff to manage patient documents. It also speeds up data sharing and remote patient monitoring while maintaining HIPAA compliance and data security. 

Telehealth and mHealth apps make it easier for nurses to tend to more patients and keep tabs on their health. Nurses can also monitor vitals through remote patient monitoring devices and report to doctors in case of health risks or emergencies. For instance, in cases where patients contacted covid-19, nurses could monitor their conditions remotely with telemedicine. In this way, hospitals can also hire nurses located in different regions to support patients virtually. Healthcare technology offers various platforms for patients to interact with nursing staff and providers. Patients can access therapeutic services from the comfort of their homes with the help of smart devices. This reduces the burden on nursing staff to constantly be on their toes to tend to patients. Additionally, it also empowers patients to seek the information required when needed. 

III. Improve nurse scheduling

Improve nurse scheduling

Healthcare organizations can enhance nurse scheduling and staffing processes by integrating technological solutions. Advanced scheduling for staff can help managers and nurses to address patient needs in real time. Healthcare innovations, such as predictive analytics that utilize data mining, modeling, and algorithms, can automate planning, scheduling, staffing, and reporting. Nurse scheduling software for hospitals promotes better staffing management, and it can improve staff satisfaction which also improves their work performance.

IV. Real-time updates

Real-time updates

Digital technology enables healthcare institutions to optimize resources and staff scheduling processes. It promotes efficient operation and care delivery to patients in real time. Nursing managers can strategize and plan staff schedules without worrying about overstaffing or staff burnout. Integration of technology enables managers to maintain workforce efficiency cost-management, improve staff experience, and deliver optimal patient care. Virtual health platforms allow quick response and effective management of unplanned absences or sudden changes in shifts. Managers and staff can receive real-time updates of changes in schedules and respond to them quickly and easily. Technology in healthcare can notify about scheduling and staffing problems so that managers can resolve them at the earliest.

V. Replace manual operations

 Replace manual operations

Manual tracking of nurse schedules is a common problem in healthcare staffing. A paper-based system can be limiting, time-consuming, and susceptible to errors. Following regulatory requirements with nursing demands manually can complicate the process. One of the key advantages of healthcare technology is automation. An automated nurse scheduling system can reduce the pressure of manually handling the processes. It offers flexibility and simplifies detecting potential problems before they become a part of the schedule. Digitized nurse scheduling provides a unified view of staff scheduling and, at the same time, helps nurses and healthcare providers to track and manage their schedules. Such a centralized system of doctor appointments eliminates complications and human variables linked to a traditional, manual system by replacing it with an automated one. 

4. Choose Your Nurse Scheduling Method

Nurse scheduling methods primarily include pen and paper, spreadsheets, and staff scheduling software. Pen-and-paper systems are manual, cost-effective, and prone to errors. They are time-consuming to create and costly in the long run. Most importantly, they are prone to errors and lead to long-term financial strain. Therefore, it is clear that pen-and-paper systems are not the appropriate scheduling method for your practice. Alternatively, spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets offer advanced tools over pen-and-paper systems. However, they are challenging to automate due to manual data input, leading to costly human errors, and are time-consuming to create.

Nurse shift scheduling software is the perfect modern solution to nurse scheduling problems in the healthcare industry. It saves time by creating schedules based on nurse availability, allowing nurses to enter their preferred future availability without needing to email or call the scheduling manager. This allows the scheduling manager to easily view every nurse’s preferred shifts and create a schedule accordingly.

Staff scheduling solutions software also solves schedule accessibility issues, enabling nurses to view their schedules anytime on their mobile device or computer. Moreover, the software allows nurses to swap shifts with each other. The nurses can request a shift change in the software, and the manager can choose to approve or deny it. If approved, other nurses will receive notifications about the swap. 

The software improves communication by providing a single location for scheduling managers to broadcast announcements, send schedule updates, and receive requests from nurses. Additionally, it allows setting fatigue management rules to prevent scheduling overtime or back-to-back shifts. Staff scheduling software puts nurses first and provides them with the tools they need to succeed and take care of their patients.

5. Key features of medical staff scheduling

We have got you covered if you are looking to build a healthcare staff scheduling software and are unsure what will make it stand out. This section covers a list of features that will give your nurse scheduling software a competitive edge.

Physician scheduling software can simplify staff management and make things convenient for healthcare administrators. It ensures that each shift is staffed properly to meet patient needs and enhance communication with them. Health administrators may struggle to find ways to address patient demands while ensuring the satisfaction of the staff. These features will help boost your medical staff scheduling and help you deliver better care without causing staff burnout.

I. Staffing calculations

Staffing calculations

Staff scheduling software for healthcare can impact nurse satisfaction and the quality of patient care. Healthcare administrators can utilize nurse scheduling with integrated staffing calculations to help nurse managers perform their duties successfully. They must select a doctor-patient appointment system that supports calculations of shift requirements, patient acuity, and/or nurse census counts. 

II. Accurate reporting

Accurate reporting

An efficient doctor appointment website must allow healthcare administrators to regularly arrange time off and schedule reports. These reports enable them to identify nursing staff with specific skills, certifications, and training. They can use the information to strategically schedule a virtual doctor appointment and employ skilled nurses. Healthcare institutions can incorporate decentralized scheduling in nursing to promote analysis of staff scheduled by shift, position, location, or skill. Reporting and analysis can enable nursing managers to effectively manage staff scheduling and maintain high standards of care delivery.

III. Self-scheduling


Healthcare institutions need to look for physician appointment scheduling that has self-scheduling. This feature enables managers and administrators to share responsibility with the nursing staff. With the work being divided, the burden on managers is reduced. The nurses are also less frustrated, and managers can experience more staff retention. Nurse scheduling software with self-scheduling can close the gap between nurses, managers, and administrators due to its flexibility and control. It enables nurses to opt for extra shifts, request time-offs, and swap shifts. Self-scheduling also allows managers to develop shifts using templates that can be replicated for shifts in the future.  

IV. Rotations


It can be challenging for healthcare managers to re-enter shifts and rotations when a new schedule is built. This feature in a nursing home staff scheduling software enables them to copy the schedules and rotations, thereby saving time. A doctor scheduling app offering shift rotations allows scheduling multiple staff members simultaneously and simplifies the scheduling process.

V. Tracking


A labor and delivery nurse schedule system must enable tracking of staff skills, training, and certifications to maintain the level and quality of nursing. This would help nursing managers place staff as per their qualifications and skills. The tracking feature also helps managers view nurse information and simplify HIPAA compliance

VI. Instant Communication

Instant Communication

An appointment software for doctors that fosters real-time instant communication between nurses and administrators can simplify the management of schedule changes. It enables administrators to message and notify nurses when additional staff is needed. Managers and administrators can directly send messages to individuals or groups of nurses to communicate changes in or the need for more staff. They can track who viewed the message and who is available to fill the shifts without causing confusion or wasting time.

VII. Mobile Accessibility

 Mobile Accessibility

Traditional nurse scheduling allows nurses to view schedules only at work or when they check emails. Nurses may not even be aware of changes in shifts due to a lack of accessibility. Online scheduling in nursing management provides 24/7 access to real-time updates on schedules. Nurse scheduling available on mobile apps enables quick access to schedules from any mobile device. They also enable staff members to submit schedule requests remotely. 

6. Market Overview of Nurse Scheduling

Here, we have provided the market trends in nurse scheduling and how you can use them. Market trend analysis can go a long way, and this section tells you why.

Nurse scheduling forms an integral part of the healthcare industry, contributing to its growth and expansion. At the same time, it is also a major concern in the healthcare industry. As discussed previously in this article, doctor appointment scheduling can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Learning about market trends is crucial for healthcare businesses to understand the potential nurse scheduling holds for growth and expansion. This would prevent healthcare leaders from hesitating before investing in nurse scheduling software. It is important to understand market trends so that you are informed of what to expect and whether or not there are any risks. Following trends in nurse scheduling will give you an upper hand, where you will know what’s coming well beforehand. 

Estimated nurse scheduling

The nurse scheduling software estimated at USD 267.83 million in 2018 may reach USD 789.56 million by 2027. The estimated growth rate between 2018 to 2027 is a CAGR of 13%.  

Global Nurse Scheduling

Recent findings indicate that the global nurse scheduling software market size will reach USD 536.9 million in 2028, growing at 11.2%. The nurse scheduling market is expected to expand substantially post-pandemic. This growth can be attributed to the increasing integration of patient-focused care and the efficiency of nursing staff and healthcare providers. However, it can be hindered due to cyber threats or a lack of skilled IT technicians. 

Now that you know the estimated growth in terms of market overview in 2023, it is time to research and find your potential competitors. This will help you stay ahead and plan strategies in staff scheduling to your advantage. You can also conduct secondary research to find alternative ways to expand your healthcare business. You need to track the performance of your nursing staff and analyze how it will perform in alignment with the estimated trends. 

7. Benefits of Nurse Scheduling

We have enlisted and explained the various advantages offered nurse scheduling software. Learning about these can help you understand why you need to integrate them into your healthcare business.

Nurse scheduling can become frustrating and cumbersome for healthcare managers and nurses. The challenges can be addressed, and the entire process can be simplified by incorporating nurse scheduling software. Here are the different ways in which hospital staff scheduling software will benefit healthcare organizations: 

I. Reduced absenteeism

 Reduced absenteeism

Nurse scheduling software allows the healthcare staff to contribute to the scheduling process, motivating them to stick to it. They have more control over their shifts and become more dedicated to their shifts. Moreover, the hospital staff scheduling software enables nurses to swap shifts and communicate easily through apps. 

II. Improved time management

Improved time management

Online doctor appointments and nurse holiday rotation schedules can be time-consuming for managers, especially when they do all that work manually. A nurse scheduling software automates the process and simplifies healthcare data management. Managers can also share responsibilities with the staff, thereby ensuring better productivity. 

III. Lowered Costs

Lowered Costs

Hospital staff scheduling software helps to reduce nurse turnover and absenteeism due to better data management and planning. Therefore, it reduces the costs involved in nurse recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and training. The nurse management system can save time by replacing manual operations and focusing more on improving performance efficiency and schedule management. A nurse scheduling software also alerts managers when a nurse is about to reach the hour threshold, thus preventing overtime payments. 

IV. Boosts nurse morale

Boosts nurse morale

Hospital scheduling software can improve the morale of the nursing staff by simplifying applications and approval of time-offs and sick leaves. The nursing staff can access their schedules remotely using any smart device connected to the internet. It makes it easier for nurses to swap shifts and pick up open shifts to fill in, thereby empowering them.

V. Manage staff shortage

 Manage staff shortage

Nurse scheduling software organizes the scheduling system and enables managers to plan better. Nurses have more flexibility to choose shifts and offer services remotely. As a result, hospitals can avoid staff shortages and deliver quality care consistently. 

VI. Simplifies shift rotation

 Simplifies shift rotation

The nursing sector in healthcare consists of various shifts, and sometimes sudden requirements may arise. The hospital scheduling system offers emergency medicine scheduling, which simplifies ensuring that all are covered, and it makes it easier to shift rotation and arrange staff for emergency shifts. 

VII. Better patient experience

Better patient experience

Hospital staff scheduling systems can motivate nurses to work efficiently and deliver care remotely. This improves patient satisfaction and gives patients a better care experience. Patients can communicate with providers using apps and access healthcare services in real-time. 

VIII. Improved performance efficiency

Improved performance efficiency

Hospital scheduling software systems offer flexibility to nurses to participate in the scheduling and apply for time-offs easily. Nurses can feel empowered and motivated to perform better. As a result, nurse managers can achieve better staff performance efficiency. 

8. Types of  Nurse Schedule Management Software

Types of Nurse Schedule Management Software

I. 12-hour shift 

A 12-hour shift schedule, also known as a 3-on-3-off schedule, is a standard nursing schedule for 24/7 patient service. This schedule allows a full team to work, with one team working from 6 AM until 6 PM and another team working from 6 PM until 6 AM. This schedule offers benefits like work-life balance and is easy to manage. However, it can lead to extended shifts and may be problematic for those with children or weekend commitments. 

II. 4-on-4-off 12-hour schedule

A 4-on-4-off 12-hour schedule is a shift pattern where nurses work consecutive days on 12-hour shifts, with four days off in a row after each shift. This schedule offers nurses a chance to reset after four days at work but can also hinder work-life balance due to the regular changes in work days.

III. Four 10-hour shifts per week

Four 10-hour shifts per week offer flexibility and can be consecutive or spread apart over the week. This schedule provides more manageable days and multiple days off for nurses, promoting a healthy work-life balance. However, it’s not easy to rotate between shift teams, and it often requires an extra day of work compared to three-on-three-off schedules.

IV. Five eight-hour shifts per week

The traditional five-day, eight-hour shifts per week schedule is commonly used in private healthcare practices, offering predictable work without night shifts. It benefits nurses and their families provides team predictability and offers stability. However, it may reduce the work-life balance for nurses working five days per week.

V. PRN shifts 

PRN shifts allow nurses to work as needed without a fixed schedule, often used by hospitals or healthcare groups with multiple locations. They provide flexibility and income for those unable to work full-time and help HR teams address staffing shortages. However, they can be unpredictable, hard to plan, and unavailable at times.

9. Trends in nurse scheduling software

In this section, we have discussed the trends in nursing as expected in 2023. We have considered various factors that can become more applicable in nursing this year and perhaps, the years to come.

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and the nursing sector is not barred from this growth. Digital health and technology are being applied in nursing and prove beneficial. Let’s take a look at what will be trending in 2023 in the nursing industry: 

I. Telehealth


Telehealth offers easy health access to patients and makes it convenient for healthcare providers, including nurses, to provide care services to them. This works especially well in the case of geriatric and chronic care cases. Patients do not need to travel personally to doctor’s clinics and can communicate with providers through applications.  

Telehealth provides flexibility to nurses, and they can be there for patients from anywhere. Nurses can guide patients and monitor their vitals remotely with the help of remote patient monitoring equipment. Virtual care services like telehealth have simplified the connectivity between patients and nurses. Providers can also receive payments online and do not have to worry about reimbursements for care services.  

II. Increasing demand for nurses

Increasing demand for nurses

With the number of infectious diseases and health ailments on the rise, it is no surprise that demand for nurses will also increase in 2023. There will be more openings to manage the nursing shortage and improve the functioning of health systems. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 194,500 openings for registered nurses are estimated each year. The reason can be attributed to the need to replace staff who transfer to different occupations or retire. 

III. More at-home care

More at-home care

Forbes stated that the healthcare providers industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States. At-home care has become cost-effective and convenient with technology, and remote patient monitoring and other healthcare innovations improve the efficiency of home healthcare services. Nurses can offer help to home care patients due to the flexibility offered by technology.  

IV. The well-being of healthcare workers will be at the forefront

The well-being of healthcare workers will be at the forefront

Due to the increasing workload, nurses and healthcare workers have faced burnout and fatigue. They provide care and emotional support to patients, which may drain them. Healthcare leaders are beginning to realize the consequences of a hectic nursing work schedule and staff being overworked. This would result in an increased focus on physical and mental well-being. Nurses will receive the necessary support and resources to stay fit and healthy.

V. Online nurse training

Online nurse training

With virtual healthcare trending, nurse training programs will also become available online. This would allow more nurses to receive training in various locations, including remote areas. More trained nurses mean it would be easier to fulfill the growing demand for healthcare professionals.

10. Shift Bidding in Nurse Scheduling Software

A shift bid system allows nurses to self-schedule their shifts by submitting the lowest hourly rate they can accept for each shift. This employee-centric approach allows workers to bid for available shifts based on their preferences and availability, in contrast to the traditional approach, where employers assign shift duties to the workers. With the facility of shift bidding, nurses can view vacant shifts on a hospital’s website and make an offer to work one of the vacant shifts within a posted range. The lowest bidder with the appropriate skills wins the bid and works the shift.

11. Integration with HR and Payroll Systems

An integrated HR, payroll, and scheduling system is crucial for business growth. Non-integrated systems can lead to manual data entry, duplicated work, and errors and also switching between software is inefficient and tedious. An integrated software combines HR, payroll, and staff scheduling systems into one package, allowing for quick and easy access to correct information. This allows healthcare staff members additional time to focus on other business matters.

There is a massive rise in marketing strategies by major players in the HR and Payroll space to convince businesses to use all-in-one systems. The major advantages of using such systems include convenience and accessibility.

12.The impacts of digital scheduling on nurse performance

This section discussed the positive impacts of nurse scheduling software and technology on nurse performance efficiency. It explains how technology has enabled nurses to deliver value-based care effectively.

The healthcare industry has witnessed a digital transformation in recent years, and the nursing sector in healthcare is no exception. For several years, nurses and hospital staff have struggled with tedious manual work, such as charting, billing records, and planning nurse shift management. However, thanks to technological advancement, these processes can now be well-managed without compromising data security or compliance with regulations. Digitized nurse scheduling has enabled nurses to improve care delivery and help hospitals achieve high patient health outcomes. These new tools help nurses perform better without burnout or stress exhaustion. Advanced healthcare information technology and applications have enhanced the quality of life for patients and healthcare staff. Nurses are more satisfied in their jobs and, therefore, motivated to deliver better care. 

Let’s look at how digital nurse scheduling helps nurses deliver high-quality care. 

I. Electronic health records

Electronic health records

The healthcare industry handles large volumes of data daily, and managing or exchanging them can be meticulous. EHR have simplified the process of data access and data exchange. They are digital versions of patients’ medical records management, including health check-ups, doctor’s notes, lab reports, test results, etc. EHRs help nurses get more clarity on patient medical history, for instance, and enable them to share accurate data in real-time with doctors and patients. In this way, nurses can improve the quality of patient care with the use of EHRs.

II. Telecommunication


Telehealth apps and virtual care mobile applications like nursing schedule apps have made it easier for patients to choose medical specialists, schedule appointments, and communicate with providers. Patients can avoid waiting for long durations to interact with doctors or hospital staff. They can use mobile applications or patient portals to post their questions, which the nurses can answer instantly in real-time. Nurses and healthcare staff can reach out to patients from any location through smart applications and keep tabs on their health. They can also receive notifications or alerts in case of health risks of deterioration.

III. Minimum human error

Minimum human error

Previously, nurses would handle several tasks manually and mostly work on Excel sheets to manage schedules. This would increase the scope for errors, especially when nurses would be fatigued or stressed. Advanced healthcare technologies have replaced manual operations with automation and mobile applications. Nurses can now perform daily tasks with minimum or no errors through digital technology. For example, consider automated IV pumps. These can estimate the medication dose given to the patients, and the process helps nurses change drip amounts and dosage quickly.

IV. Patient-centric care delivery

 Patient-centric care delivery

Self-scheduling empowers nurses to be involved in their scheduling and pick up shifts as they become available. This enables nurses to focus more on providing value-based care to patients. Nurses can quickly access data and share them while maintaining data quality. They can leverage technology in scheduling by requesting time-offs, getting them approved quickly, and preventing burnout. This allows nurses and hospital staff to streamline workflow and improve care efficiency. Digitized nurse scheduling offers more scope for nurses to deliver patient-centered care by fostering better communication and addressing patient needs in real-time. 

13. How to Choose the right vendor for nurse scheduling

This section will guide you through identifying and selecting the perfect vendor for your healthcare institution. It consists of tips and questions to help you make the right decision.

Since nurse scheduling software offers several benefits, many vendors can choose from it. However, you do not want to invest time, talents, and resources into software that does not address your needs. It is best to know what to look for while choosing a vendor or your nurse scheduling software.  

A. Things to consider while selecting a nurse scheduling software

Have you decided to buy a nurse scheduling system? Great! But before you splurge money, check these: 

I. Do your research

Do your research

There are several vendors out there offering you staffing and scheduling in nursing. You need to check their reviews, compare their systems and services, and prepare a comprehensive list to choose from. It is important to shortlist vendors with good reviews and ratings and perhaps good customer support. 

II. Figure out your budget

Figure out your budget

Before buying a nurse scheduling software, estimate your budget and the probable total cost of the system. You need to also calculate the upfront and installation costs and keep some spare in case of additional charges.  

III. Ensure that the timing is right to buy a new nurse scheduling software

 Ensure that the timing is right to buy a new nurse scheduling software

Selecting the perfect doctor appointment booking software may be time-consuming, so be prepared to invest the time it takes. Check whether you have the time and resources required to purchase the software. If not, plan your resources and then look for a vendor. 

IV. Communicate with the staff

 Communicate with the staff

If you have decided to incorporate a nurse scheduling software that everyone is new to, you must communicate the changes to your team. It will make the process of adapting to the technology much easier. They should feel motivated and encouraged to use it. If you sense any resistance or fear from them, talk to them and help them through the transition. 

V. Opt for scalability

Opt for scalability

When choosing a nurse scheduling software, make sure it is interoperable and scalable, offering you flexibility. In this way, your purchase will be cost-effective and bring you the results you are seeking. 

Once you have all this figured out, it is time to prepare a list of questions you will ask the vendor. 

B. Questions to ask the potential vendors

Before discussing with a sales rep or customer service specialist, you need to ask a few questions to give you definitive answers. This must be done before you sign any contracts, and these questions will take you a step closer to choosing the right vendor. 

Questions to ask the potential vendors

I. Can this hospital scheduling software be customized to suit your needs?

Can this hospital scheduling software be customized to suit your needs?

While purchasing a nurse scheduling system, you need to ensure that it will work well for your organization. The scheduling needs vary depending upon the organization and its size, and depending upon these; the strategies used will also differ. If the needs vary with healthcare facilities, the price cannot be the same. So, verify the costs and make sure you are getting software as per your facility and it is rightly priced. 

II. How much will the nurse scheduling software cost? Is it worth the money?

How much will the nurse scheduling software cost? Is it worth the money?

Many vendors charge additional charges beyond the initial amount at the purchase, and it is crucial to ask about the exact final cost and verify if it is worth it. Research and find out if the vendor received good reviews previously and if his system works. A nurse scheduling system will require ongoing maintenance and technical support for which initial training would be required. Make sure to clarify with the vendor that you are looking for these extras and enquire if there are any hidden charges.

III. How difficult will it be to learn using the nurse scheduling system?

How difficult will it be to learn using the nurse scheduling system?

Some nurse scheduling systems require training to help you configure the software and its functioning. You should check with the vendor the duration of the training and whether it will be enough to help your staff be proficient in its usage. Verify whether you will receive support or additional training if required.

IV. Is it easily accessible by nursing staff?

Is it easily accessible by nursing staff?

Find out if your nursing staff can access the scheduling app from any smart mobile device. It would enable nurses to manage their schedules simply by using a mobile app. They should be able to conveniently choose shifts, view their schedules, and receive notifications or alerts on their mobile app. Ensure that the program is compatible with different systems and Android and iOS devices. Check with the vendor whether the system will provide nurses real-time access to information about their schedules throughout the day.

V. Will the software simplify nurse schedules successfully?

 Will the software simplify nurse schedules successfully?

Nurse scheduling managers struggle to assign and maintain nurse schedules, which can be quite overwhelming. Investing in a hospital staff scheduling system is to make their job easier. You need to check whether the system provides automation as it is supposed to and if it is interoperable. Automated scheduling software will make daily scheduling convenient for nurse managers and prevent staff from being overburdened. 

VI. Add features that will give you an extra edge.

Add features that will give you an extra edge. 

Interoperability: Nurse scheduling software systems can help you integrate with various hospitals and care facilities 

User-friendly portal: Enables easy access to data for home care patients and families. 

Mobile-friendly: If your nurse scheduling software is user-friendly, it can allow rapid accessing of electronic health records from anywhere, and patients can contact providers in real-time. 

KPI dashboard: a key performance indicator dashboard that measures the successful implementation of hospital scheduling software. 

14.Medical staff scheduling- Best Practices

Here, we have provided tips to use nurse scheduling software properly. You can learn ways to achieve health goals with nurse scheduling software.

Nurse scheduling software, including home health nurse schedule software, can simplify the lives of healthcare managers and staff. It can make the process of scheduling easier without creating confusion. However, nurse managers must be familiar with the best practices to make the most of the best physician software. These will ensure that you are using the hospital scheduling app correctly to reap its benefits.  

Here are some best practices for utilizing long-term care scheduling software: 

I. Define your rules

Define your rules

You can use a physician scheduling app to provide reminders to the staff and ensure they are being productive. A physician office scheduling software can remind nurses of uniform requirements or bring specific equipment to work. You can create rules defining the timeline for the duration for which the nurses can work and the number of shifts they can work in a week or month.  

2. Integrate self-scheduling

Integrate self-scheduling

If you allow nurses to schedule their duties, they would be more motivated to work and, at the same time, feel less exhausted. Empowering nurses can go a long way, so it is important to consider self-scheduling. Integrating self-scheduling does not mean you cannot cross-check if the minimum hours are met. However self-scheduling in the nurse scheduling system can improve the efficiency of healthcare organizations. It allows nurses to view open shifts and choose new ones to fill in. You can also view and receive updates on nurse availabilities with physician scheduling apps. 

III. Consider the different levels of care

Consider the different levels of care

If nurse duty roster software is not set up properly, it can lead to complications. Nurse schedule app must incorporate the different levels of care in a healthcare institution. You must have staff members who can handle emergencies at all times. You need to use nurse scheduling software to plan and strategize the allotment of shift timings such that there is staff available on every shift to handle challenging cases.

IV. Train the nurses

Train the nurses

A good physician scheduling system will have limits if the staff does not know how to work with it. You need to plan training programs for the hospital staff to help them get acquainted with the software to effectively manage the hospital work schedule. On-job training can also prove beneficial where the nurses can apply what they learn without losing track of it.

V. Manage the scheduling software

 Manage the scheduling software

You must regularly manage your nurse scheduling software to prevent or diagnose issues. Regularly keeping track of the functioning of the software can help you ensure that it functions properly. Additionally, if any issues arise, you will know early on. 

VI. Manage financial resources

 Manage financial resources

It is important to plan and utilize your resources wisely and ensure you do not have unaccounted expenditure when investing in the nurse scheduling software. Opt for a solution that will be cost-effective and, at the same time, resolve your concerns. One of how you can use doctor appointment scheduling software is to mitigate expenses by avoiding unwanted overtime. 

VII. Prepare a schedule in advance

Prepare a schedule in advance

When using healthcare scheduling software, create nurse schedules in advance to avoid conflicts or over-scheduling. It is easy to assume that the schedule you created is perfect, but it may require several edits if not prepared beforehand and discussed with the team. This gives you scope to consider your nurses’ availabilities and shift preferences. At the same time, you can strategize the schedule to fulfill the care requirements. If you start developing nurse schedules early on, they will be better organized and require fewer edits.

15.Nurse scheduling case study

We have provided an example of how nurse scheduling software can transform healthcare practice.

A hospital in New York had a large patient volume, especially during the summer months. The increased number of patients called for more staff and the need to schedule them properly. Nurse managers in the hospital would manually prepare the schedules for each nursing unit.  

Challenges faced 

  • Tedious manual scheduling 
  • Over-scheduling conflicts 
  • Overtime pays 
  • Burn out among the nurses 
  • Time and resources spent in finding replacements 


The hospital integrated a nurse scheduling app for managing time, labor, and costs. The team received training in the use of the software. Different parameters were defined, and nurses were involved in the scheduling process. Nursing self-scheduling was also encouraged to improve the performance efficiency of the staff. The scheduling process was performed with healthcare automation which saved time and resources.


  • The nurses at the hospital found the self-scheduling software user-friendly and empowering. They were less overloaded at work and were able to look after the patients well.  
  • The hospital saved thousands of dollars every year and found a 90% reduction in the time invested in nurse scheduling. 
  • Time was also saved in reducing unnecessary overtime labor costs.
  • There was an improvement in nurse retention. 


The diseases around the world are increasing, and with that, the need for more healthcare staff is also on the rise. Nurse shortage is a major problem in the healthcare industry, which means the same hospital staff may work extended hours. This can hamper the overall performance efficiency of your healthcare organization.  

Nurse managers and administrators utilizing manual operations to create and organize nurse schedules may spend a lot of time and energy, and the process is also subjected to errors. Nurse scheduling software programs can simplify the development of schedules and change shifts with ease. The hospital scheduling software for nurses nursing is accessible from different systems and applications. Nurses can view their schedules, pick up shifts, and easily request time-offs with the help of healthcare scheduling. Online nurse scheduling software can improve the efficacy of staff functioning. It can address the common problem of nurse shortage by providing telecommunication and enabling nurses to provide care remotely.

OSP understands the need for and the requirements of a successful nurse scheduling software. We can build a hospital staff scheduling system to match your facility and streamline your work. Our custom-designed advanced shift nurse schedule software can enable nurse managers to strategically schedule nurses without causing over-exhaustion. Team OSP has skilled and experienced software engineers who can help you achieve high patient outcomes

OSP is a trusted healthcare software development company that delivers bespoke solutions as per your business needs. Connect with us to hire the best talents in the industry to build enterprise-grade software.


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