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Challenge
The Operating Room of the University of Vermont Medical Center, the largest health provider in the state of Vermont, was struggling with scheduling. Up to 80 hours a month were being spent building their staff schedule and managing requests for things like vacation and CME. In addition, the University of Vermont Medical Center has union rules that must be accommodated into their schedule.

Solution
OpenTempo’s staff scheduling solution accommodated their various work patterns, shift requirements and union rules, while automating request processing. This enabled University of Vermont Medical Center’s Operating Room to reduce their schedule build time from 80 hours per month to only 8 hours.

Results

  • Minutes spent processing requests: Reduced from 20 to 2
  • FTEs required to support scheduling: Reduced from 1.5 to 0.25
  • Nurses scheduled automatically: 160

OpenTempo Reduces Schedule Build Time from 80 to 8 Hours/Month

The Operating Room of the University of Vermont Medical Center, the largest health provider in the state of Vermont, was struggling with scheduling their staff. Using a time-intensive, paper-based system, 1.5 FTE’s were required to build each schedule – and the results were frequently unsatisfactory.

Requests were equally challenging – each one had to be researched manually to validate vacation credits, clinical availability, and role conflicts.

With a staff of 160, they were processing 50 requests a week, with each request taking 20 minutes to research and approve. That represented nearly 17 hours of lost productivity per week.

The University of Vermont Medical Center’s goals were to build their schedule faster and to reduce the time they spent processing requests. Accuracy, however, was just as important a priority as speed. The schedules had to integrate the numerous requirements of their facility and clinical specialties, as well as adapt to the regulations of their nursing union.
Fletcher Allen 80 to 8

Defining the Criteria

OpenTempo met with the University of Vermont Medical Center and created a definitive list of all the staff and clinical scheduling needs of their facility.

To ensure that each schedule they built was meeting these criteria, a series of scheduling work patterns and automations were implemented. These would run in the background, verifying the accuracy and fairness of every schedule built. In addition, nursing union policies were coded into the system to guarantee contract compliance in all schedules.

OpenTempo has massively reduced our turnaround time on processing requests, and we no longer have to worry about being staffed appropriately for the day.
– Brooke Stahle, RN, Director of Perioperative Services
University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, Vermont

Easier Request Processing

OpenTempo also implemented an online request calendar that automatically checked vacation credits and specialty roles, seamlessly steering people to choose days that were likely to be approved. This allowed clinicians to get an immediate “yes” or “no” on their requests without the administrator having to do any research.

The result was fast turnaround time on all requests, which proved invaluable to both clinicians and administrators. Clinicians liked being able to see at-a-glance what requests were likely to be approved, and the administrator appreciated how much less time was spent reviewing and approving requests.

Fast and Accurate Scheduling

OpenTempo provided University of Vermont Medical Center’s Operating Room with the fast and precise scheduling system they wanted – and the results were striking.

The Operating Room at the University of Vermont Medical Center was able to reduce the time it took to build a schedule from 80 hours per month to only 8 hours. That freed up significant administrative time to focus on the more important clinical work of their department.

As a result, being staffed inappropriately for the day is no longer a concern, and staff confidence in their scheduling and request system is at an all-time high.