Shift work can have its challenges. Between family and life commitments and fluctuating work schedules, finding an even work life balance can sometimes be tricky. Saskatoon Health Region is hoping to alleviate some of that pressure with the new Smart Call Shift notification system. Smart Call is a smarter way to offer shifts to employees through automated phone, text, email and online messaging.

Smart Call Infographic

Smart Call Infographic

This new system is not only important for efficiency,” says Kweku Johnson, Manager Staff Scheduling, “it’s also an important tool for helping employees create a better work life balance. Scheduling has been noted as a high area of stress for health care providers and this system provides employees with more autonomy and control over the notifications they receive and the shifts they choose.” Employees no longer have to wait by the phone for shift offers; they are able to manage their time to suit their lifestyle and establish a better balance between life and work.

In May 2012, a team of employees, managers, patient representatives, and unions came together to design a new scheduling system. The team developed a five year plan to create an efficient, consistent and transparent scheduling system that would provide the right care at the right time, and would be seamless to the patients, residents and clients served by the Region.

“The team really looked at our processes and figured out the best ways to reduce errors and create less waste with how the Region schedules its staff,” explains Johnson. “We carried those principles forward in building Smart Call.”

The Smart Call Shift notification system, designed with the help of lean tools, is the newest module on the province’s first online Regional Health Authority Scheduling System developed by Saskatoon Health Region with collaboration from NC Consulting, a local technology firm.

The system was introduced in June to Luther Special Care Home, Parkridge Centre, Sherbrooke Community Centre Care Home, Central Haven Special Care Home, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon City Hospital, Central Laundry, Porteous Lodge, Stensrud Lodge, Saskatoon Convalescent Home, Cudworth Health Centre, Lakeview Pioneer Lodge, Humboldt District Health Complex, Lanigan Integrated Hospital, Quill Plains Centennial Lodge, Wakaw Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital.

To learn more about staff scheduling and the new Smart Call Notification System, watch our videos.

We asked….What do you find works well with the Smart Call System?

You said…

  • Staff can choose the methods of communication for their convenience.
  • Love how we just get calls for the shifts we want!
  • Being able to set and reset your preferences as needs change.
  • I like how I can select shifts and get notified by text if I’m approved for my shifts all on my phone.
  • The new system is nice and convenient. Being able to answer through text makes it easy for someone like me who is a student.
  • If I’m not close to a computer I still have access to shifts.
  • It filters out the shifts I am not able to accept or do not want.
  • Can apply for the shift and get a confirmation text in minutes.
  • Flexibility in how you receive the information.
  • It gets my attention and is effective at communicating last minute shifts.