Healthcare organizations using NC Smart Call find themselves with an abundance of Scheduling resources at their disposal. One partner previous to using NC Smart Call required 16 Scheduling Staff to fill the 300 unplanned absences that would occur within their organizations each day.  After NC Smart Call was implemented, 4 Scheduling Staff were able to manage the workload of filling the 300 unplanned absences each day. NC Smart Call has freed up the time of 12 Scheduling Staff.  Here are a few examples of the meaningful work they are now able to focus on since using NC Smart Call.  

Strategically filling shifts with the right people

This sounds simple, and it is, but it does not make it any less important.  When faced with constant pressure to find people to fill shifts, there are times where the only factor comes down to ‘are they willing?’.  Anyone is better than no one, right?  Not always so.

In times of high stress, short deadlines and upholding patient care, the decision is made to put any warm body who can work in the staffing holes. This has been known to cause issues, as the skill sets and abilities of any warm body may not meet the requirement of daily work. With the freeing up of resources by NC Smart Call, the ability to do a thorough staffing review for departments becomes available. Proper skill assessment to ensure there is a spreading around of advanced training through the department can be completed. You may need to train up more triage nurses on the ER, or train more hazardous material handlers in Housekeeping, to keep up with staffing demands.

With more time available to review the type of employees interested in picking up a shift, Scheduling Staff can review each applicant to make sure there is a good match and the right people are doing the right work.

Fill shifts further in advance.

With today, tomorrow and the weekend needs managed, it is time to look to the future. Filling staffing needs well into the future reduces  the complexity of filling staffing in the current work week. Plan to fill the vacation left by an employee, or fill the three week education leave as soon as these needs become known.  NC Smart Call gives breathing room in the present, to make sure you can breathe easy in the future.  

Working closely with the units  

Learn what the specific scheduling trends, patterns and characteristics in your unit and begin to anticipate the effects they have on scheduling requirements and begin to proactively work to fulfill them.   

Understanding of Organizational events.  

Have an important surgery coming up?  Time to monitor staffing levels to ensure the right people are in the right position.  

Take the time to learn more about upcoming organizational events and the effects they will have on staffing requirements.  Work to proactively meet these needs before they show up on you doorstep.

Making sure the people get and take time off

Vacation payouts can become a huge liability if not properly managed throughout the year.  The challenge is that you need time to manage, monitor and ensure each member of the unit is getting and taking time off.  With NC Smart Call you get time to do this.  Additionally, you can work closely with employees to find vacation time that works for both them and the unit.


When it comes to automatically notifying employees of available shifts NC Smart Call has has been doing it for years.  Designed and developed in partnership with Canadian Healthcare Providers,  NC Smart Call  is the insider’s solution to automating call outs in Canadian Healthcare.

Find your Savings:  ncsmartcall.com/#estimate

Suggested Reading:

Before reading this article check out the informative article:  ‘Automating the Call Out Process  

Using data and programming logic, NC Smart Call automates and facilitates the process of finding the right employee to cover a shift when a member of the team calls in sick. Based on a configurable rules engine (skill-set, seniority, status availability, etc.) eligible employees are automatically identified and contacted of available shifts with zero intervention.  This reduces  administrative costs, staff overtime, while ensuring continuity of care.

How does NC Smart Call do this?  

NC Smart Call expands the functionality of your existing scheduling and HR systems. Based on  the data in these systems, the rules engine in NC Smart Call determines which employees meet the available shift criteria. Eligible employees receive an automated email, text or call containing the available shift details. Responses are optimally organized to find the best employee to fill the shift.

Best of all, each step of the communication process is automated: selecting shifts, building call out lists and triggering notifications are all automated.  Employee responses are organized for Scheduling Staff to easily identify the employee best suited to fill the shift.  

What are the outcomes?  

The hospitals we work with found staff schedulers fill 7 times more shifts using the NC Smart Call solution. This is in addition to reducing grievances, overtime and providing a transparent process for employees and management.  


When it comes to automatically notifying employees of available shifts NC Smart Call has has been doing it for years.  Designed and developed in partnership with Canadian Healthcare Providers,  NC Smart Call  is the insider’s solution to automating call outs in Canadian Healthcare.  

Find your Savings:  ncsmartcall.com/#estimate

Suggested Reading:

What do you do when a member of your team calls in sick?  Pull up the shift details, create the call list and start dialling numbers hoping to find an employee willing to work?   

This current scheduling practice of manually communicating available shifts to employees is both inefficient and resource intensive. Manually calling employees on a one-to-one basis is not sustainable and not an efficient use of resources.  Finding tools to help with this process is difficult as scheduling employees in Canadian healthcare is challenging and meeting process requirements requires an in depth understanding of healthcare operations.   

A lot of time goes into manually calling employees to fill available shifts.  Most of this time is spent on non value added tasks such as creating call lists, dialling phone numbers, listening to ringtones and leaving messages.  These tasks take time away from the meaningful work your scheduling or frontline staff could be doing; such as strategically filling shifts with the best suited employees or delivering care to patients.

Healthcare organizations who have automated the entire call out process gain:

  • The ability to fill 7 times more available shifts with existing resources
  • An 80% reduction of scheduling related grievances
  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Greater call out capacity
  • Operational efficiencies of $123.20 per FTE scheduled

By automating the process for notifying employees of available shifts, healthcare organizations  have the unique opportunity to gain operational savings while expanding services to stakeholders.


When it comes to automatically notifying employees of available shifts NC Smart Call has has been doing it for years.  Designed and developed in partnership with Canadian Healthcare Providers,  NC Smart Call  is the insider’s solution to automating call outs in Canadian Healthcare.  

Find your Savings:  ncsmartcall.com/#estimate

Suggested Reading:   

According to StatsCan, the industry with the highest rate of employee absenteeism is Healthcare.  With Healthcare employees being essential to patient care, these absences need to be filled as quickly as possible.  Most Healthcare organization fill these absences the same way: manually calling employees one at a time to see if they want to work.  This is a very time consuming process that is prone to errors and not scalable.    

On average it takes 24-28 minutes of effort to find a replacement for an available immediate needs shift when manually calling employees one-to-one.  Scheduling Staff can fill an estimated 20 immediate need shifts per day by manually calling employees.  

Automating call outs greatly reduces the amount of effort required to fill available shifts.  Time is no longer spent dialling phone numbers, listening to ringtones or leaving messages.  Automating the call out process of offering shifts enables Scheduling Staff to fill available shifts with approx 8-10 minutes of effort.  This translates to 40-60 available shifts filled per day.  

This is good, most people would stop here and consider it a job well done, but the efficiency experts, Lean consultants, Kaizen fellows and the managers tasked with doing even more for less, would say there is more work to do. These folks would analyse how the remaining 8-10 minutes of effort it takes to fill a shift are being spent  to see if there are more efficiencies to be had.

They would be glad they did.  

50% of the 8-10 minutes it takes to fill a shift are spent on non value added activities.  These manual tasks include selecting which shifts needs to be filled, identifying and selecting the employees that should be notified for the shift and then sending that list off to be auto called.

Scheduling Staff and frontline staff do not need to do this, as NC Smart Call will do this for you.    

NC Smart Call automates the entire process of creating, sending and completing automated call outs and the results are tremendous.  Scheduling staff using NC Smart Call take  only 4 minutes to fill an available shift.  Each day Scheduling Staff are able to fill 120 immediate needs available shifts by using NC Smart Call.  

The operational efficiencies created by NC Smart Call provide tremendous savings for healthcare organizations.  Find out how much your organization will save by using NC Smart Call here: ncsmartcall.com/#estimate


When it comes to automatically notifying employees of available shifts NC Smart Call has has been doing it for years.  Designed and developed in partnership with Canadian Healthcare Providers,  NC Smart Call  is the insider’s solution to automating call outs in Canadian Healthcare.  

Suggested Reading: