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Visual Rota and how to use it in different locations.
Every organisations employing staff use staff schedules. Some look extremely simple, such as an office where all staff work Monday to Friday, 9a.m. to 5p.m. Others, such as hospitals, have to provide staff 24 hours per day 365 days of the year and have different specialists and grades of staff during all times. Visual Rota was created for the most demanding situations imaginable. Solving the manning problems in Hospitals and Nursing Homes which have legal requirements to fulfil makes the manning problems in an office seem trivial. However, looking at the volumes of books about office management and time management, compared to the occasional article about hospital management, one would conclude it's the other way round.
The picture below shows how a typical small private hospital unit can arrange Visual Rota on their computer to show several staff schedules at a time. The hospital in the picture has 3 floors and an operating theatre. Each floor is run autonomously but staff can be shared. Different staff numbers are required each day because the work load varies throughout the week. Basically, operations are scheduled during the week so that patients can be home for the weekend, (and likewise for the staff). Where the length of stay is predictable, then the patients are allocated to different floors, which are staffed accordingly. If possible, all patients staying over the weekend are all on the same floor. Whilst patients are admitted throughout the week days, Monday has less staff because the patients are healthy, walking about and having tests, x-rays, etc. Tuesday is the busiest day.
This pattern of patients and staffing is a resultant of experience and operations research. With time and experience of using the data produced by Visual Rota, it will be possible to optimise staffing levels and budgets.
The picture is called vrpic.gif (56kb) to download the picture, click on it. Then, select a folder to put it in or create a new one called rota. To view the picture, use your browser File/Open command, select GIF files. The easiest way to see the picture is to print it off first.
The layout of the picture should be familar to everyone doing scheduling, the staff names are down the left hand side, the day and dates are along the top, and the shifts are in the middle. They use letters such as LD as abbreviated shift names, but you can also use other abbreviations such as 8\5, 9>4, or words like 'late'. Everyone eventually zeroes in on single letters for most shifts and a double letter for emphasis. Under the days and dates lines, we have the number of staff on duty lines, labelled Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Nights and Aux, and these numbers are calculated every time you enter someones shift, so that you are aware of how many staff you have available all the time. This calculation saves you a lot of effort and a lot of time. Next line down we have the number of hours everyone will be working or has worked that day. If you want to know more about everyones hours, you need to see the video which has a section on hours. Basically, everyones shift is automatically converted into hours worked. Then totals are variously summed to give you data in many ways. You can see how many hours each person has worked during the scheduling period, the hours of each zone of staff, the total hours worked each day. This task is usually performed manually, if at all..