Infor’s CloudSuite WFM has a neglected tool for nurse scheduling called Staffing Center.
Scheduling nurses across a hospital is complicated—there’s a lot of moving data to keep track of and it has to be done quickly with a lot of coordination. Currently, Infor WFM Staffing Center is isolated and isolating.
Healthcare workers are a highly motivated group, driven by a strong moral compass. A Staffing Center that reflects and optimizes the processes and goals of nurse scheduling will promote a healthier work environment, improve patient care, and boost overall satisfaction.
My responsibilities included product research, market research, user research, stakeholder interviews, information architecture, wireframing, and iterating. The team consisted of a product lead, an engineer, and myself.
Talking To Nurses
We interviewed users from our lead adopter program and learned that there are two types of users: charge nurses and central schedulers. Charge nurses maintain one unit, while central schedulers are the hub of communication across all units.
While they were all motivated by altruism—doing the right thing felt like a calling, the purpose of healthcare doesn’t always match the reality of healthcare. Hospitals are often unpredictable, and scheduling needs to respond quickly.
What Staffing Center lacks is a holistic approach to scheduling. The outcome is confused schedulers, stressed nurses, and poorer patient care.
Central Scheduler Priorities
Central schedulers would benefit the most from a redesign, so they became our primary user.
A central scheduler
- Is responsible for overseeing all the units at a hospital
- Has higher-level knowledge of which units need nurses, and especially which nurses are available from the float pool
- Coordinates with charge nurses to ensure each unit gets what it needs
- Fulfills administrative duties, and often has had experience as a nurse
We got a sneak peek at how they were operating (not using Infor WFM):
Even though they used two monitors, they still supplemented their needs with paper notes, lists, and charts. Clearly, they needed access to a lot of information, and a better tool to help them keep track of all that data.
This is the original Staffing Center:
Information is disconnected and most is hidden in dropdown menus or modals, requiring an ansurd amount of clicking and scanning with minimal to no guidance as to what is important. It is isolated and isolating.
To narrow our scope, we focused on the primary activity of central schedulers: to float nurses. We created a journey map for a more urgent scenario:
There is a combative patient, and the charge nurse has requested that the central scheduler create a new shift and float a nurse into the unit.
For floating, central schedulers use information provided from charge nurses and algorithms. On top of that, they need to account for both the current shift and the next shift. In order to do that they need data on:
- which units need nurses
- which skills are needed
- which nurses are qualified
With that in mind, we created a framework for our redesign.
We gathered requirements for floating and started wireframing and iterating, continually getting feedback from our lead adopters. Once we solidified the float flow, we fleshed out the flows for other actions involved in nurse scheduling, until we had a complete system.
Develop a mobile companion for Staffing Center. Charge nurses are active nurses, so they move around a lot, yet they need to stay in communication with central schedulers. Responsive web would not be ideal for them since their duties and behaviors are different, so an integrated mobile companion would provide huge value for healthcare and Infor.