12 Top EMS Scheduling Features

In today’s fast-paced world, technology and automation have gone from a luxury to a commodity for most organizations. EMS agencies are also understanding the need to automate processes such as scheduling and time and attendance. With many different platforms for EMS online scheduling to choose from, it’s hard to know which solution serves as the best fit for your agency. Here are 12 features that will maximize the ROI and overall experience for any size EMS organization.

Responsive Webpage Mobility

The EMS industry is made up of field workers “on the go” most of the day. When your workers need to know the information in the field, they rely on their smartphone or tablet. Attempting to use an unresponsive or incompatible web page on a mobile device can lead to annoyance and frustration resulting in critical information not being received. Ensuring that the online scheduling system provides mobile-optimized access for both users, as well as managers, is a must.

Automatic Notification Messaging

Being able to automatically notify employees of schedules, changes, and open shifts are one of the most common uses for an EMS scheduling software. Whenever shifts or changes are published for viewing, the software should be able to automatically push out notifications to employees. Optimized scheduling systems are also able to send alerts and messages of new company policies and mandates that can be enforced by requiring an employee to acknowledge the message before being allowed to use the system again.

Automatic Employee Shift Trading

Along with notification messaging, automated shift trading is another essential feature to look for when choosing an EMS scheduling tool. Shift trading is one of the most time-saving features in an automated scheduling tool because it allows organizations to set-up automated workflows in which co-workers can communicate their needs of being relieved or picking up a shift between each other. Rather than the previous manual approval process, organizations can now simply receive an alert to approve a new shift trade.

Qualifies Shift Jobs/Roles

Your online scheduling platform should also be able to differentiate jobs or roles such as EMT or Paramedic based on the current certifications and licenses that each employee holds. By creating a schedule based on qualified workers on a shift, you are ensuring that an ambulance is staffed correctly and can provide the highest level of service to the public. Some shifts or vehicles may require different staff qualifications or more than the standard number of staff. Because of this, choosing a scheduling software that gives you the ability to assign multiple job or role qualifications to a user is essential to an EMS environment.

Draft/Unpublished Schedule Building

While any decent EMS scheduling software will allow your employees to view current or live shift calendars, it is also important to remember that managers and supervisors will need a tool that allows them to build and pre-assign shifts privately. This allows upper management to be proactive in planning, while also giving them the freedom to make any last-minute changes before the entire workforce can view it. When building future shifts, the scheduling platform should give managers the ability to create templates from previous weeks to work from. This will greatly reduce the amount of time working on a schedule, especially for agencies who have a large crew of full-time permanent workers on shifts.

An optimized EMS Scheduling Software will also ensure that all changes to shifts or schedules including when the change was made and who made it are logged. This is critical when it comes to any scheduling discrepancy that needs to be investigated.

Reporting

In order to best manage your schedule and agency, you need to be able to easily pull reports on specific data that is important to you in real-time.  An EMS scheduling tool should provide agencies with the insights needed to increase productivity and reduce costs. Some common reports to analyze include scheduling, timekeeping, and payroll report.

Self Service

A satisfied employee is a more productive employee and in today’s technologically advanced world, there’s no reason for employees not to have current and accurate information right at their fingertips. An EMS scheduling software should be able to give all employees access to critical information such as schedules, messages, open shifts, and certification info. An advanced scheduling software will also have a place for employees to swap, giveaway and pick up shifts.

Multiple User Login Access Levels

Because most EMS agencies are open and responding to calls 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, it is important that every manager and supervisor responsible for scheduling has access to the EMS scheduling platform. Access levels allow all responsible personnel to gain access to the software, while still being managed through permission-based settings. Each user should be able to create a unique login that allows them to see just the information pertinent to them based on the specific cost centers, stations, or employees they manage.

Overtime Tracking

A scheduling system should allow agencies to set rules and thresholds for a maximum number of hours an employee should be scheduled for and warn managers when employees are set into overtime hours. In addition, all EMS scheduling software should have a safety feature built in that allows agencies to set a minimum number of hours between shifts that an employee can be scheduled for, ensuring that employees have enough time off between shifts to rest and recharge.

Payroll System Integration

The final key feature to look for in an EMS scheduling software is integration with your current payroll system. The scheduling system should give your agency the option to either integrate with your current payroll database through an API or export a data file template that has the codes need to import into your payroll system. This one feature alone can greatly decrease the amount of time needed to make manual entries or adjustments and will help to identify anomalies or irregularities from the schedule.

Certification tracking

Certification Tracking is a newer feature that has been brought into many EMS scheduling systems based on the need to ensure that employee documentation is up to date and valid every time they are on a shift. This feature should allow organizations to store records of all employees’ certification records, and send notifications to both the employee and manager of when a certification is about to expire.  An optimized EMS scheduling software will give agencies the ability to upload, store, and approve new certifications through the system.

Dynamic Dashboards

As mentioned before, the EMS industry is constantly moving and in a fast-paced environment, nothing is more important than having the right data at your fingertips. The scheduling system’s dashboard should display all the most relevant information (such as schedule changes, time off requests, and open shifts) for that day in a way that is easy and quick to use. It should also give the flexibility needed to manage your agency most efficiently.

 

ePro Scheduler Plus is Everything Needed for Emergency Scheduling

eCore Software Inc. has over 15 years of proven success with our ePro Scheduler software. Our product has everything an EMS operation needs from automated employee scheduling to sick call-out management and schedule change notification.

If you are in the EMS industry and need a scheduling software that works for you, give us a call today to find out how to request a free demo.