Copy of Thank You Instagram Post

Thank you to our customers!

It’s been a huge week here at Core Schedule we have so much to update you all on. Next week we will be publishing our next Newsletter, so stay tuned. But for now, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to our customers. In the last couple of weeks, we have had several enquiries come through from people that has heard about us either on social media, health forums or word of mouth. Hearing this gives us all the warm fuzzies, and while it’s too early to say what it will lead to, it’s certainly made us reflect on a couple of things.
First, great products win. Product design and customer experience are hands down the best tools in the marketing toolkit. No amount of advertising hype will overcome a crappy experience. Core Schedule is a great product and is the most adaptable to suit our client’s needs.
Second, we’re in a long game and patience is our secret weapon. Core Schedule’s sales cycle is long and complex. We try busting down doors but in the end, our customers will make decisions on their own time and probably rely on their peers before they contact us.

If you have ended up on our website or social pages because one of our customers told you to check us out, then WELCOME. If you are already a Core Schedule customer we wan to say it again, THANK YOU!

To find out more or book in a demo, just click on the button above. Also check out our social pages to stay up to date.

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
DHB Vacc Clinic Blog post IMAGE

Core Schedule – New Zealand’s (not-so) secret weapon supporting DHB COVID Vaccination Clinics

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

How Safe is My Core Schedule Roster?

Is your Core Schedule roster safe?


With the ongoing compromise of 5 major New Zealand hospitals entire IT systems, clients are asking if it could happen to their online rosters. The short answer is no. 




Core Schedule maintains multiple layers of duplication and backups both online and offline to insure your data is always safe.




Get in touch if you wish to know more!



NextCare Health Conference 2021

As it happens… Core Schedule live from NextCare Health Conference 2021 in Brisbane

We made it!

Celebrating just how lucky we are to be out n about and able to mingle and meet fellow healthcare enthusiasts at NextCare’s Conference in Brisbane, Australia. Really great to see so many of your faces so far, with special thanks to Metro North HHS for bringing this all together.

Make sure you swing by and say hello if you haven’t already – We have good old NZ Whittaker’s chocolates for you all! AND…. An absolutely amazing prize giveaway courtesy of our very good friends at Moreton Bay Region Industry + Tourism, Brisbane Whale Watching and Visit Moreton Bay Region.

Jump on over to our NextCare Health Conference 2021 page for all the details.



How automated software solutions can build effective business strategy at General Practice & Enterprise levels within the Medical sector?

By Chris Lewis- Business Development – Archer Gowland Redshaw

For our latest special interest episode of the Building Your Business podcast, Chris Lewis & Valda Glynn highlight the Healthcare sector, hosting special guests from Core Schedule – Healthcare Rostering Solutions.

Featuring speakers Dr. Stephen Pool (CEO/Founder) and Jasmin Kelly (General Manager), across the episode each discuss a number of operational management issues relevant within the Medical sector, and how software automation can build effective business strategy at General Practice and Enterprise levels.

Alongside this, collectively discusses is the focus on the allocation of people and staff resources within clinics, and how a specialist rostering platform can help Principal Practitioners, Specialists, and Management teams streamline internal processes and business procedures.

Listen to the high-value discussion for the Medical profession via below:

Also available via your preferred podcast streaming platform: Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts

For More Information

For more information on this matter or anything else covered throughout our “Building Your Business” series, please contact the Archer Gowland Redshaw office on (07) 3002 2699 | (07) 3221 4004.

To learn more about Core Schedule or to book a demo please Contact Us.

Punakaiki Fund

Chris’s Ramblings: Core Schedule’s medical adventure

Every quarter Punakaiki Fund principal Chris Humphreys does a deep dive into the backstory of one of their founders. Last quarter, it was our very own Founder and CEO, Stephen Pools turn. The following article was published to the Punakaiki Fund website late last year:

Let me introduce to you Stephen C. Pool: entrepreneur, Alaskan Malamute owner and the founder of Core Schedule. But that’s not all, Dr Pool is also an Emergency Medicine Specialist. You know – the guy that patches you up when you have an accident, or in my case, when your oldest son accidentally guillotines the end of your youngest sons finger in a door (I won’t go into the gory detail, but we did need a helicopter ride to the hospital).

It’s not a job that I could ever do – I have a thing about needles. Apparently, you also need some type of qualification and apparently a finance degree just won’t cut it.

But let me take you back to the start of the Core Schedule story. To do that we need to go back to late nineties New York, a place of crime, grime, and bulletproof glass in taxis. It was in this setting that a fresh-faced Stephen had just come out of New York University and started his emergency medicine residency at Bellevue Hospital.

Sleep is Optional 

We’ve all seen the TV shows – residency is gruelling work. Long shifts, 100+ hour weeks and being at the bottom of the pecking order are all part of the job. Most people in that situation would usually just put their head down, focus on the job at hand and get on with it. But not Stephen. With an interest in computers and programming that can be traced back to his childhood in Mobile, Alabama, Stephen continued to tinker and learn new programming languages, and was continuously on the lookout for ways to apply his knowledge. In the end, he decided that it would be a good idea to set up an internet start-up partway through his residency.

It sounds like sleep was obviously an optional nice-to-have for Stephen back then! Medical Web Solutions specialised in developing websites for GP offices. Back then the World Wide Web was still in its infancy, so there was plenty of opportunity to grow and Stephen made the most of it. It started with basic websites for friends and colleagues who were willing to pay for it, and then got more sophisticated and attracted new customers. The company’s software got better too, and Stephen started looking to building in billing functionality, where he saw a lot of potential. The business was growing really well, even to the point where Stephen was having advanced discussed with US venture capital funds about raising money to expand the business. Then it happened.

Bubbles Always Burst

For those of you that are old enough, you will remember the terms like “dot-com bubble” and “tech wreck” that were in common usage at the turn of the millennium. They refer to a period when there was a lot of speculation in internet-related businesses and those companies’ valuations were sky-high. In 2000, those valuations crashed and sent those businesses out of business. For Stephen it meant a double whammy of no venture capital funding and sales drying up. Medical Web Solutions was dead in the water. That hurt. Stephen had been funding the business up to that point out of his own pocket and found himself in a serious hole. Stephen took stock and decided that it was time to refocus purely on medicine. He completed his residency and then worked in a number of hospitals around New York.

Things We Love to Hate

It was at one of these earlier jobs that the painfulness of hospital rostering was made clear to Stephen. He wanted to take leave and when he asked how to go about it, he was handed a transparency (that’s a clear plastic piece of paper used for overhead projectors, for those born more recently than Lance) that had a bunch of red lines on it and then another form which had some sort of calendar on it, along with a two-page list of instructions. It worked by holding the calendar up to a window and moving the transparency across it in a certain way until you find a spot on the calendar that lines up with a certain line on the transparency. This represented the days when you could actually take leave. So Stephen took it home and it took him and his husband 30 minutes to figure out how it was supposed to work. Not much later at work there was a discussion about their leave system and Stephen mentioned that the current system was really embarrassing. Their response was “well, if you think you can do better, have at it…”

Oh… It’s On!

That single comment made eleven years ago was a red rag to a bull. The system was about to be computerised and Stephen had the right programming skills and the medical experience to do the job. This overhaul started as an online system to request leave, which was followed (after requests) with work scheduling outputs so staff could see more easily when they were rostered on to work. Over the next two years, Stephen built the first iteration of what would become the Core Schedule software. Stephen treated this as a hobby project in the early days. Initially the software was only used in his department, but pretty soon the doctors that were using it at his hospital would ask Stephen about building a system for other hospitals where they also worked.

With organic demand increasing, the amount of time that Core Schedule required became too much for Stephen to manage alone, so he engaged a developer from a firm in India to do a lot of the basic programming and software updating. By this point Core Schedule was being used by single departments across a dozen hospitals.

A Year of Big Decisions

2013 was a pivotal year for Stephen. He had just married long-time partner Neil and they were deciding where to go for their honeymoon when they saw an ad the weekend after the wedding for a South Island action adventure/white-water rafting tour. It was an easy decision to come to New Zealand for a holiday and when they arrived they fell in love with the country. They had no thoughts of living here at that point, thinking that it wouldn’t be possible. After the honeymoon, Stephen went back to work in New York and was raving to a colleague about like how much he loved New Zealand, how much fun they had and how great the people were. His colleague responded that it is actually really easy for American doctors to go and practice in New Zealand. Stephen’s immediate response was that he was too old to re-sit his medical exams again, but his colleague said that wasn’t an issue. New Zealand would recognise his American certification as being equivalent to the New Zealand certification, and all he would need to do is pay the fees and jump through a lot of administrative hoops.

That was news to Stephen, and he later found out that of all the other countries in the world, only New Zealand and Australia has this recognition arrangement for American doctors in place. He looked into it and found there were a lot jobs available in emergency rooms in New Zealand, with many of them for six month terms. So a plan was hatched to come to New Zealand – a sort of a six month working vacation. A position in Wellington became available and once the decision was made to take it up, they had 32 days to sell all of their stuff in New York and make the move.

Stephen didn’t really know what he was getting himself into with the New Zealand health system. He wasn’t expecting it to be as modern as the US system, but he what he actually found was actually on a par. He was shocked by his first day working in the Wellington Emergency Department. He recalls that apart from the accents, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Wellington Hospital and any other ER in the US – the skills and the training were probably better and we have all the equipment you would expect to see in a US emergency room. The set up was also very similar in terms of how it was equipped and how it was operated – right down to the staff rostering system.

The only things that were different was the lack belligerent patients on PCP, the heroin overdoses and the people threatening to shoot you, which was a daily occurrence in New York.

It’s All Good

The six months in Wellington was a great experience. So good in fact, that Stephen and his partner pondered why they ever would go back to the US. Sure, the pay was about 50% lower in New Zealand, and the cost of living was about the same, but Stephen had long paid off his student debt in the States, so didn’t need to earn a whole lot. And Stephen was ready for a change. The constant stress, lower staffing levels and the sicker patients in the US weren’t worth thinking about (not to mentioned that he would be up to his eye-balls in COVID-19 patients if he had stayed). So as you do, they bought a house, got dogs and went through the immigration process. This raised a question of what to do with Core Schedule.

By that point, the ER department at Wellington Hospital was their only non-American customer (Stephen was in charge of the roster there and said if he couldn’t use Core Schedule, he wouldn’t do the rostering). Up to then, Stephen had never marketed Core Schedule, so they decided that they should go to a medical conference as a vendor to do so. So Stephen and his husband went to Australasian Emergency Medicine Doctors conference, got a table, and handed out flyers that they had made up the night before.

All In

In that single conference, they doubled the size of the business overnight and started thinking, wow, we actually might be on to something here. They went to that same conference the following year and the exact same thing happened. It was at this stage that Stephen realised that Core Schedule was now too big and running too fast to operate as a hobby business anymore. Eight years in, Stephen knew that he needed to decide what to do with the business. It wasn’t going to work to put a manager in the business, so it was either sell it or fully commit himself.

Realising that he was having more fun doing Core Schedule than clinical medicine, it was time to go into pure start-up mode. Their first New Zealand hire was software developer Richard, who Stephen’s husband had first met in a bar. When they worked out that Richard had php programming experience, he was invited in for an interview. Richard wasn’t sure what he was turning up for – he thought maybe some casual or contracting work. Immediately after the interview he was offered a permanent full-time job on the spot and has been with Core Schedule ever since.

The Build Up

At this stage Stephen was spending most of his time on sales. The next two hires for the business where Vaughan, a business development manager, and Nicole, a finance manager. They found Vaughan through a friend of a friend. And they knew a partner of a doctor that Stephen worked with that had a finance background – that was Nicole. The company had that team for the next year as the business continued to grow. Soon after, they hired a fulltime support person and another software developer. At that stage, there were seven people in total, all working out of Stephen’s home, which kept the costs down. That arrangement lasted for a year before they bit the bullet and moved into their current office. That was two years ago, a time when the company was generating around $200,000 in annual revenues. Since then revenues have more than doubled and in June Core Schedule took its first round of external funding, lead by Punakaiki Fund, along with investment from K1W1 and the Aspire NZ Seed Fund (part of the Government’s NZ Growth Capital Partners). In these COVID times, the company has a unique opportunity to help manage health workers through these stressful times. While selling the Core Schedule software has become harder in the short-term (because of travel restrictions), the future is looking bright for this ex-US start-up.


ACEM Winter Symposium July 2021

The team here at Core Schedule are looking forward to the opportunity to start travelling again and seeing our clients face to face. We are planning to attend a number of conferences this year. The ACEM Winter Symposium is a fixture on our annual conference calendar. Core Schedule was developed by an Emergency Physician, also a FACEM and originally designed specifically for emergency departments. So we really enjoy this conference and catching up with new people and familiar faces.

A hybrid symposium
ACEM and the Local Organising Committee will be offering a hybrid Symposium model, which will consist of a face-to-face Symposium in Cairns coupled with an online program so that both in-person and remote delegates can attend. Both options will provide delegates with keynote and invited speakers, oral presentations, workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities as well as a physical and virtual exhibition.