Developing Medical Staff Scheduling Software from Scratch

Scheduling is an integral function for any healthcare establishment. Managing tons of spreadsheets, calendars, and timetables while keeping up with constantly shifting schedules adds another layer of complexity to employee scheduling and causes headaches.

The challenges are numerous, but there’s a way to face them! With medical staff scheduling software. Unlike old-school spreadsheets, scheduling software builds schedules automatically and provides a seamless experience.


Hospital staff scheduling software is a big decision. Should you create a custom solution or choose a ready-made scheduling app? What benefits does this kind of technology bring to your business? And what features are important? In this guide, we answer these questions and many more. Read on!

Common challenges with healthcare staff scheduling

Before we go deep into custom development versus off-the-shelf solutions debate, let’s find out what staff scheduling issues health services managers regularly encounter.

Errors, errors, and more errors

Spreadsheets are not only vulnerable to human errors, they also demonstrate the lowest scheduling accuracy and can lead to cancellation mistakes, wrong data, missed shifts, lost time, and poor productivity.

Unexpected changes

It’s quite a challenge for employees to make changes to their work schedules. Every time they want to make any changes, they need to call a manager and then the manager makes these changes manually. It isn’t fast and often results in errors.

Time off requests go overlooked or forgotten

Using emails or sticky notes for time off requests is a recipe for those requests being forgotten or overlooked, let alone the burden of managing time off and leave requests themselves.

Lack of visibility and no accountability

With spreadsheets, you can’t have a 360-degree view of what’s going on and complete visibility into your employee availability. Therefore, there’s a high chance you’ll run into unplanned absences and time violations due to last-minute schedule changes.

Being short-staffed or understaffed

You know how difficult it is to keep staffing ratios safe. Usually, there aren’t enough physicians, nurses, and other healthcare specialists to fill shifts. Imbalances in the healthcare workforce often result in negative outcomes such as patient dissatisfaction, medication errors, and staff burnout.

No anytime, anywhere schedule access

Spreadsheets don’t provide 24/7 schedule access and can’t quickly adapt to sudden shift changes. Often, employees have to call a manager whenever they need to learn the schedule, pick up a shift, or communicate changes.


There’s a solution to all these problems ― employee scheduling software. It offers great features for creating accurate and optimized schedules. In addition to this, hospital scheduling software allows you to:

  • Be informed of staffing needs and make better decisions
  • Give employees remote schedule access
  • Save labor hours
  • Avoid employee scheduling mistakes
  • Quickly adapt to unexpected shift changes
  • Manage vacation effectively
  • Simplify employee time tracking and payroll
  • Increase employee satisfaction

Best medical staff scheduling software vs custom systems

Some establishments need platform design to fit their brand, require features to meet specific business needs, or want a product to scale together with their business. If this is you, we suggest considering custom healthcare staff scheduling software development. By doing so, you’ll make a smart long-term investment and:

  • Build a secure scheduling platform from the beginning
  • Meet your specific needs and requirements
  • Create a system than can handle a heavy load
  • Integrate with tools you’re already using to help you clinic work more efficiently

Additionally, you’ll be able to add additional functionality and make changes when required. In simple words, you can do anything you want with your software as you own it.

However, custom development isn’t for everyone. Some clinics have limited budgets, are just too small, and are okay with functionality that exists in a ready-made solution. Is this you? Then you’d better choose a third-party scheduling provider.

Below are three popular healthcare staff scheduling systems: Shift Admin, QGenda, and OnShift. The comparison is based on the feature pack, integrations, pricing, success stories, and supported platforms.


Functionality of a healthcare staff scheduling app

Whether you decide to create a scheduling app from scratch or use a ready-made solution, there’s a couple of modules/features you should consider.

Employee management

To build schedules and manage shifts across departments and locations (if you own multiple), you should have access to all schedule-related data including employee database, employee availability, and a list of locations.

Schedule and shift management

With a schedule management module, you’ll be able to automatically build schedules, set notifications for schedule changes, requests, and cancellations, and see schedule updates in real time.

In addition to this, make sure your employees can access schedules in real time, pick up open shifts, check in and out, and swap and trade shifts. As for managers, they should be able to contact staff to fill openings.

To make things easier, you can enable your employee shift scheduling software to automatically assign tasks based on employees’ positions, qualifications, and availability.

Time management

This module will help you ensure accuracy in attendance records and working time so you can improve your payroll management. This is why it’s essential to add some time tracking features in a scheduling platform like:

  • Time sheets
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Time off request management
  • Leave and vacation tracking

Payroll tracking

Keeping the payroll administration usually takes a lot of time and energy. By moving your payroll to the digital space and integrating it with your employee scheduling system, you’ll take the hassle out of payroll. Consider including features such as payroll export and paid time off (PTO) tracking.

Apart from the features mentioned above, you may want to add the following:

  • Third-party integrations
  • Mobile app
  • Alerts
  • Messaging
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Resource forecasting

Smart staff scheduling is the key to your clinic’s success

Do you still spend hours building work schedules? You don’t have to anymore! Employee scheduling software can help you manage your clinic more efficiently by maintaining schedules, assigning staff to shifts, and tracking your employees’ time.

If you’ve decided to go with custom scheduling software development, we’d be happy to help. Message us for a free consultation.



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SteelKiwi Inc.

SteelKiwi Inc.


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