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Ergonomic work scheduling in healthcare
Ergonomy in shift planning consists of numerous factors such as time of the day, circadian rhythm, shift lengths, number of consecutive shifts, time for adequate recovery between shifts, weekly rest period, work-life balance etc. Paying attention to all these details while also considering all the other requirements makes traditional roster planning easily a daunting – or an altogether impossible task to complete successfully.
Regular shift work with frequent night shifts brings many challenges to well-being at work. Many studies show that continuous shift work has negative effects on both the physical and psychological capacity of the employees.
Additionally, long standing shift work predisposes employees to certain symptoms and medical conditions.
A study by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that good shift planning promotes caretakers’ recovery and well-being at work. The study was conducted at six different wards, including both acute and chronic care units.
The results indicate that increasing recovery time between evening and morning shifts significantly improves caretakers’ sleep, alertness, and ability to cope at work, regardless of their age. In addition, healthy shift planning can reduce the physical strain experienced by the nurses even when the workload stays the same.
Ergonomic shift planning aims to improve resilience of the employees and enable adequate rest and recovery between their shifts. While rest and recovery are important by themselves, it is also important to make sure that rest periods are not too fragmented.
It is evident that the way shifts are organized is vital for the employees’ well-being. Add personal preferences and the equation gets even more complicated.
Vuorox is an AI based roster planner that enables automatic roster planning without sacrificing good shift ergonomy.
Vuorox combines the best parts of self-rostering and ergonomic shift planning
Vuorox pays always attention to the details of ergonomic shift planning such as fast clockwise rotation of the shifts, streak lengths, unfragmented off days, weekly rest periods, minimization of evening to morning transitions etc.
Additionally Vuorox is able to take into account each employees’ own wishes and preferences. This results in unprecedented quality and equality. Best of all, this is possible in minutes, without any manual work.
Vuorox helps you to cope!