Covid Blog


Everyone is tired of hearing the ‘c’ word. To save any uncomfortable confusion I’ll spell it out – COVID-19. It has pushed many aspects of healthcare to the brink including its people. However, this pandemic (the overused ‘p’ word) has exposed many underlying problems that healthcare workers had been complaining about for years.

So, let’s turn the thought of COVID-19 on its head. The pandemic is happening whether we like it or not, so let’s try and see how we can take advantage of an otherwise bad scenario.

Interestingly, history has shown that through crises comes innovation. For example, the cholera outbreak that killed tens of thousands of people in England during the early/mid-19th century, brought about global changes to urban sanitation and drinking water. During the time of the outbreak, many believed that the disease was spread through foul air known as ‘miasma’. However, after much research and detective work, Dr. John Snow discovered that it actually stemmed from a local water source in London. Once the source was shut off, the infections dropped. Although this did not cure cholera worldwide, it led to innovations in waste disposal, sewerage treatment, quality drinking water, along with design for urban areas.

We live in a time like no other, with the opportunities for growth and innovation before us, so let’s break down one issue in healthcare and discover a clever way to solve it.

If I mention the word ‘Rostering & Allocation System’, are you excited – or – do your eyes roll back in your head with boredom. Most I’m sure, would choose the boredom option as few want to do admin. However, if we delve into the real impacts of good or bad rostering, we can see the immense effects upon everyone and why it deserves our utmost attention.

Doctors, nurses, administration staff, specialists, patients, visitors, family members & friends – every single one of those people are impacted by the way a roster is made, what happens when it is updated or what happens when sudden changes arise. For instance, if a doctor spends many hours each week rostering and allocating staff, fixing mistakes and making changes – then that is time taken away from their actual job of helping people. Shorter time in practice, means less time for patients, care discussions with other staff and so on. It is easy to see how a somewhat simple process has a huge knock-on effect, leading to overwork, burnout, less time for family – you get the point.

COVID-19 has removed the covers of this once innocuous issue, revealing old tired systems, struggling to work with the nuances of the modern world. Clunky rostering systems are inflexible and slow and they don’t need to be. It’s time to put the power and efficiency back into your rostering and allocation system, leaving you to do what actually matters.

Hospital departments and other healthcare facilities are discovering a clever solution through Core Schedule’s Rostering and Allocation software. It is fit for purpose to the healthcare industry, helps mitigate risk, gives real-time updates and is pretty good looking if we must say so ourselves. Staff who are using it are raving. Yes, people are now excited about Rostering and Allocation.

Speak to us if you’d like to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing innovative solutions to your issues.

News Release NZ Lakes_Web

Safer More Efficient Jr. Doctor Rosters for Lakes District

Wellington, New Zealand

The Lakes District Health Board have selected Core Schedule to supply a specialised rostering and allocation module for the upcoming 2022 cycle of Registered Medical Officers (RMO). The module will support their RMO unit, with the ability to improve tracking of their junior doctors across rotations throughout different departments and hospitals on Core Schedule.

“Run allocations can take several days of time to set up and assign. Core Allocation provides the tools to effortlessly manage the process in a fraction of that time. Core Schedule then processes that information so that admins can easily see transition roster periods and ensure that RMOs remain continuously compliant from one roster to the next. Core Schedule has given them the tools they need to empower their teams to focus on the work they should be doing, not what they have to be doing.”    –       Dr Stephen C. Pool, (CEO and Founder at Core Schedule). 

Knowing the relevant details from the last placement and roster, for new RMO’s coming into a new department, will allow for better management and support, especially during the first few weeks in a new placement. This improves safe working conditions, un-rostered and unpaid overtime, which is an insidious problem for many District Health Board’s. The Core Allocation module works with Core Schedule to ensure that the team is setting junior doctors up to succeed with a compliant roster, thus avoiding burnout and ensuring both patient and doctor safety.

The Core Allocation module allows District Health Board’s to solicit requests, make optimal assignments, then create, publish and manage rosters concurrently with information and communications being updated in real time. Doctors can subscribe to their own roster via any ical device so they always know where they are supposed to be. The ease it takes to manage shift and leave changes through Core Schedule and empower the RMO’s to initiate leave cover, is a considerable cost saving with the new software, which has been specifically designed to work with the additional complexities of managing junior doctors.

Core Schedule also works seamlessly with other integral programmes and departments like payroll. Safety Scan, a risk mitigation feature, ensures safe working conditions and MECA compliance when changes happen so that all rosters remain compliant and all of the team are supported to ensure patient safety.

Core Schedule are proudly celebrating this exciting milestone, the Wellington team continue their mission to keep New Zealand patients and clinicians safe.

Square Peg Round Hole


Core Schedule -
Leading the COVID vaccine clinic effort, through its modified rostering solution.


–  Wellington, NZ:

Core Schedule today announced the launch of their Vaccine Clinic Rostering Module at District Health Boards in Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay.

Proudly celebrating this exciting milestone, the Core Schedule team continue their mission to keep New Zealand safe during the COVID pandemic.

“The initial response has been fantastic. The fact that these clinics can actually include both DHB and non-DHB staff in Core Schedule, has given them the flexibility they need to be able to adapt in these ever-changing environments.”

Dr Stephen C. Pool, (CEO and Founder | Core Schedule). Tweet
  • For more about Core Schedule’s Vaccine Clinic Rostering Module, click HERE
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Doctor checking injured piggy bank

The Secret Hole in Your Hospital Budget

Wouldn’t it be lovely if budgets were endless and the long wish list submitted every year was met with a resounding “yes” from the Hospital Board. We all know this couldn’t be further from the reality, but we can dream right. The raw hard truth is hospital budgets are fixed and each department is set for a fight each year to secure their fair share of a fixed pool of funds. So, with this being the reality, surely, we wouldn’t want any precious funds to silently slip away. We’d do something if there was a hole chewing up funds that could be better spent elsewhere.

What is that hole, where is it? Why would everyone be so careless to not notice?

Hour by hour, shift by shift, money is being overspent. The doctor who turns up clearly overworked, is put on paid break and another called to fill the spot. The roster unintentionally had an overlap with two nurses on for the same shift. A last-minute change had doctors working overtime. So, money drips away through an invisible gap without notice.

Like any budget creep, it is slow and steady, but once realised the all-too-common scenario plays out, the heads above decide to cut hours and change schedules, making an instant relief to their monetary woes. They celebrate their success in keeping to the budget, but further down the chain those on the action level are racked with stress knowing that these changes have a roll-on affect pushing staff to their limits and reducing patient care. A research study on the prevalence of burnout on Healthcare professionals by HIMSS found that “Respondents of the qualitative survey came up with a list of factors contributing to the buildup of stress, work overload and sometime burnout. Most of them are the result of decisions taken on an organisational level and others reflect decisions on a governmental level.”

The Hospital Board can blame the front-line and the front-line can blame the Board, but the blame game only causes more divide and no further to a solution. This plays out over and over, and everyone seems oblivious to the real problem. The secret hole where the budget money is seeping is through inadequate rostering and allocation.

That old clunky excel spreadsheet or inflexible rostering system you are relying on isn’t doing you any favours. Managers often spend well over 4 hours a fortnight on roster build activities without the ability to even cost out a roster. Most are based on predetermined activity levels, which cannot factor in the multifaceted nature of a real-life roster. Version control problems, lead to confusion and errors. It’s a challenging yet mundane task where human error is rife and the risks and consequences to not only the budget but more importantly the health and safety of staff and patients is, critical.

We get it. Successful healthcare means putting the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time and we can help in ways you’ve only dreamed of. Core Schedule is made from the ground up by people who understand healthcare. With Core Schedule, your schedules are tailored for every area and every team, in one cohesive system. It easily manages complex rules and requests, so everything is clear, fair and accessible. It’s so smart it will make everyone smile (even your CEO).

Remember that dream wish-list for your budget, let’s help you get one step closer.

  • Learn More – watch webinar ‘Budget and Risk Management in Healthcare Rostering’, click HERE