For nursing staff, scheduling can be difficult and a headache. Supervisors have to carve out time to try to align many moving parts, and nurses themselves often have to try to plan much further ahead than is often feasible in order to request time off or a different shift.
That’s why technology such as NurseGrid, a free, mobile-scheduling app founded by nurses, has found rapid success. The NurseGrid team says that putting scheduling into the hands of nurses themselves and doing so in a fashion that’s nimble and highly responsive, helps boost both staff engagement as well as improve overall job satisfaction, two areas that are crucial in today’s highly competitive nurse-retention landscape.
“We knew we had to focus on the end users first to create that sort of engagement that we felt nurses deserved inside of hospital departments and in healthcare facilities across the country,’ says Zack Smith, RN, BSN, Strategic Advisor and Founding Member of NurseGrid.
“Instead of starting at the top and focusing on the needs of executives, we wanted to focus on the needs of the bedside nurses that were providing care. So we created the NurseGrid mobile app. The idea was that if we can get enough people using this NurseGrid mobile app, we can continue to iterate on it and get it to be absolutely perfect. As nurses grew to really love the technology, they would then advocate to their hospitals and to their management that they wanted to use this NurseGrid app more officially on their department. In order to do that, we had to connect this to a department tool.”
Since its inception in 2013, the NurseGrid mobile app has taken off very quickly and now has more than 1.5 million downloads. Its user-friendly interface appealed to nurses, Smith says, who then took it to their managers and asked if it could be used on their unit, or in their department, more widely. That led to NurseGrid Manager, which also is seeing rapid national acceptance because it ties into the need to meet nurses where they are and engage them as partners in scheduling.
“When I ask, ‘Are you thinking about, or have you developed, a clinical engagement strategy, and how does that strategy incorporate scheduling and staffing?,’ a lot of what I'm hearing as far as focus goes is lowering turnover, recruitment strategies, and involving technology to increase operational efficiencies,” notes Annalise Thomas, Clinical Solution Executive for NurseGrid.
“We know there's a ton of communication that's happening while nurses are at home on their days off with their family and friends,” adds Smith. “Too often for nurses, it feels like their managers and their staffing coordinator are always calling and texting them, which gets into the personal space of their time and their phone. By providing the professional platform that allows a hospital or healthcare facility to contact their staff, NurseGrid provides a delineation between work and personal life for the nurse. This provides a little bit of calm, because they know they don't have to dig through all their personal text messages to find one from work.”
NurseGrid provides a platform that allows nurses to easily access those communications and communicate back to the hospital, allowing scheduling to occur at a more convenient time, whether during a shift or not, and also creating a professional place for a manager, supervisor or a staffing coordinator to communicate with their staff.
To learn more about NurseGrid and how the platform works for improved nurse scheduling for everyone involved, click here.
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