COVID Cases in Australia

Optimised Health Care Rostering as a Managed Service

Coronavirus cases in Australia
The Coronavirus Status in Australia as of March 16 2020

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the most important aspect of our health care systems has been put to the test – people. It has resulted in longer work hours for all, with leave blocked out for the next foreseeable future and put an enormous strain on an already strained system – both emotionally and financially.

When things are difficult like this, the best we can do is to leverage the best tools possible to get ahead of these situations. And it is not just N95 masks and ventilators that hospitals need to function properly. Even more important than this are good rosters.

The Importance of Good Health Care Rosters

As helpful as ventilators and N95 masks are, without great people around to use them, they are no use. However, having great people is only half the story. The other half is giving them the right amount of work to do so they don’t burn out or work too long hours. It has been shown that poorly rostered staff who:

  • Work at least 12 hours per day are associated with a 37% increased hazard rate and
  • Work at least 60 hours per week are associated with a 23% increased hazard rate

When it comes to Coronavirus, the numbers become even more frightening as the effects are worse than simply longer hours. A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows just how bad it can get.

The survey-based study examines the mental health outcomes of 1,257 health care workers attending to COVID-19 patients in 34 hospitals in China. The results put the negative effects of overworking in perspective. Significant numbers of people reported experiencing symptoms of depression (50 percent), anxiety (45 percent), insomnia (34 percent), and psychological distress (71.5 percent).

These statistics are threatening the health of not only our medical staff but also patients and so it is essential that we start developing better rosters immediately to reduce the overworking and also the mental burden.

However, there is a final issue just as important as the above which can also end up costing lives but is much easier to solve. The issue is simply about who does the rostering.

Biarri’s rostering tools are trusted by the following health care providers

Every Person Counts – Rostering Medical Staff

Although it may seem strange, in a typical emergency department it is often one of the consultants themselves who writes the rosters for the other consultants. In the time of a pandemic, we need every skilled person working and not having them spends days writing rosters for their colleagues.

In Biarri’s rostering work across many health departments, we have calculated that rostering an emergency department consumes around 20 days of clinician time per annum for each roster. In many emergency departments alone they can have four or five rosters covering:

  • interns,
  • residents,
  • registrars,
  • fellows and
  • consultants.

All these rosters add up to a lot of wasted days and in the times of COVID-19, by using optimised and automated rosters, we could save dozens of lives and provide more essential care to people who need it.

Optimised Health Care Rosters as a Managed Service

Based on the above benefits and the imperative of having all qualified doctors best utilising their skills, Biarri is offering its automated and optimised roster creation tools as a managed service. Out of demand from numerous hospitals and the need to provide the service quickly without any IT work whatsoever, Biarri is now offering hospitals access to its automated, dynamic and optimised roster generators for the next 6 months as a managed service. During April 2020, instead of acquiring a new tool and having to learn how to use it, Biarri will carry out this work on the behalf of the hospitals.

If this is of interest, please send an email to and we’ll get back to you immediately as to how we can help manage the creation of optimised and compliant rosters.

The Benefits of Optimised Rosters

The benefits of automated and optimised rosters are many, and we have detailed them elsewhere, but the most important features and benefits of Biarri’s optimised, dynamic rosters are:

  • Customisable to capture working rules and payroll requirements.
  • Make rosters more evenly distributed from a fatigue perspective (reduce burnout)
  • Rosters account for staff requests (RDO’s leave, availability times & specific shift requests).
  • Creates equitable rosters with required training and appropriate mixture of shift types.
  • Ensures the right mix of skills is on the floor always
  • Can generate preferred shift patterns with night shift blocks & weekend, day off grouping.
  • Minimum break rules based on type and time of shifts.
  • Demand driven shift generation rostering only those staff required.
  • In a health care setting, it typically takes 2 senior doctors up to 3 days to create a 10 week roster. With an automated and optimised rostering system, it can be done in under 30 minutes.

So reach out to us now to get your team focusing on what they were trained to do and not struggling to produce sub-optimal rosters leading to possible staff burn out, depression and anxiety issues.

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