A buyer’s guide to dynamic scheduling and staffing


What is dynamic scheduling and staffing?

AVIA Marketplace defines dynamic staffing and scheduling as the ability to leverage a marketplace supply workforce (including full-time, part-time, per diem, contracted, gig, and alumni labor) with adaptive and staff-centric digital scheduling and staffing tools. Dynamic scheduling and staffing capabilities allow organizations to accurately predict and fill staffing needs through real demand forecast accuracy, which results in greater labor efficiency, reduced costs, and improved employee satisfaction. 

Key capabilities within a marketplace staffing environment include: 

  • Near real-time views of shift availability and staffing shortfalls
  • On-demand per diem shifts
  • “Passports” for staff to move between multiple care sites
  • Flexible payment tools, such as immediate shift payment and early pay
  • Assignment matching to support retention
  • Ability to leverage internally built and externally partnered new pool types, such as short shift, graduate, or geographical market

“The problem is that ensuring the right staff are in the right place at the right time is a time-consuming process by itself, and paper-based tools or spreadsheets lead to repetitive work and lack of flexibility. Poor staffing procedures don’t just impact the bottom line, they can also affect employee satisfaction and the patient experience.”

The case for dynamic scheduling and staffing

Traditional paper-based scheduling is a labor-intensive and management-driven process that reflects a static and isolated view of staffing needs, usually at the unit or department level and with limited or no visibility across the facility or enterprise. Inaccuracies are common, and with a workforce segmented into department-based assets, health systems are less able to fill staffing needs internally and fall back on costly third-party staffing instead.

In an agile workforce environment, dynamic scheduling and staffing tools redistribute the administrative burden across the workforce, unlock the workforce as a system resource asset (rather than a group of departmental assets), and create measurable value for the health system as a whole. Organizations are better equipped to staff from within their controlled resource base, minimize their overtime spend, and reduce their reliance on outside agencies to cover unfilled shifts. 


The business case for actionMeasurable results1
Direct financial impact
With an agile workforce, health systems can decrease their reliance on agency staff and reduce the number of overtime hours.
• 75% of open shift hours filled more than two weeks ahead of the shift
• 50-75% reduction in open shift and bonus shift incentives
Productivity impact
Dynamic scheduling and staffing solutions automate previously manual processes and deliver significant time savings.
• Schedule creation: 13.4 hours to 6.6 hours
• Post-scheduling tasks: 40.4 hours to 4.4 hours
• Post-schedule timecard: 25.4 hours to 7 hours
Indirect impact
Employee-driven staffing and feedback-rich solutions improve overall staff satisfaction.
• RN staffing satisfaction increased from the 18th to 81st percentile
• 65% decrease in last-minute work requests
• 63% decrease in core staff floating

The leading digital staffing solutions with prescriptive analytics can inform future staffing needs months in advance with up to 97 percent accuracy.2 On average, hospitals that leverage predictive staffing solutions see labor cost savings of 4 to 7 percent. But with as many as 90 percent of hospital leaders unaware of how technology can streamline the staffing process, those cost savings often remain on the table.3

What leading dynamic staffing and scheduling solutions offer

Demand prediction 

Leading solutions utilize current and historical data to predict patient demand and generate appropriate staffing configurations. 

Flexible schedule generation

Solutions should automatically create schedules to match predicted demand, include tools for managers to assist with schedule creation and generation, and create multiple schedule types based on “what if” scenarios. 

Staff self-service

Scheduling interfaces should be available across a variety of access points (including web or mobile) and allow staff to request additional shifts, swap shifts, request time off, and self-schedule where appropriate. For targeted roles across multiple sites, solutions should generate candidate criteria. 

Expanded staffing and supply options

Flexible staffing models should provide employees with the option to flex locations, shifts, and between bedside and virtual. Leading solutions also offer the ability to build network pools (such as ambulatory or geographic) to utilize as the primary backup for unfilled shifts, along with additional short shift pools to capture part-time resources. 

Productivity tracking and analytics 

Tracking capabilities should include key metrics related to productivity, labor cost, satisfaction, and patient outcomes. 

Organizing for dynamic scheduling and staffing success

Capabilities that health systems should have in place before transitioning to dynamic staffing and scheduling:  

  • Obtain buy-in from administrative and clinical leadership to ensure that the workforce is willing to adjust and adapt to new staffing models and future structural changes. 
  • Redesign policies and processes to accommodate future scheduling and staffing tools and priorities. 
  • Engage with human resources leadership to review appropriate wage and benefit packages and ensure compliance with local and state labor regulations. 
  • Coordinate with IT for appropriate operational guidance, integration with existing hardware and software infrastructure, and dissemination of appropriate information. 
  • Solicit “customer” research from staff end users and use role-specific feedback to refine and optimize processes.

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