Geisinger, a regional healthcare provider based in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, services 3 million patients at 12 hospitals and 268 clinic sites and employs over 28,000 people. As COVID-19 numbers increased across the U.S. in mid-March 2020, Geisinger administrators designed a plan to care for patients during a potential surge. They set up testing sites and eight temporary pandemic tents to assess and treat people with mild COVID-19 symptoms. With many of its urgent care clinics and surgical units closed, Geisinger redeployed nurses, physician assistants, and other support staff to work in alternative assignments, including the pandemic tents. As cases increased and the number of staff members assigned to the tents grew from 50 to 550 over a few weeks, Geisinger administrators realized that using spreadsheets to schedule the unique tent requirements with the right staff with the right skills at the right locations over multiple shifts was extremely difficult.
Geisinger needed a solution that could:
- Streamline scheduling appropriately skilled clinicians — and support staff — for all shifts across all eight tent locations
- Deliver real-time visibility into a single source of truth about redeployed staff — locations, schedules, and other workforce information
- Provide a mobile solution to enable clinicians and support staff to remotely check their schedules and swap shifts
"Between the visibility, mobile flexibility, and workforce management integration that EZCall has to offer, our employees, their redeployment managers, and their primary managers had a source of truth about where employees were and at what time. That was important as we were trying to figure out how to redeploy staff at this volume."
Geisinger uses the Kronos Workforce Central® suite across its facilities and, on the recommendation of its Workforce Management and Achieving Excellence Teams, expanded use of its UKG EZCall™ scheduling solution during the pandemic from 60 departments to also include testing sites and treatment tents, to optimize redeploying clinical and support staff to these service areas.
- Create equitable schedules across multiple locations
- Ensure staff with the right skills are at the right locations at the right times
- Provide staff with visibility into the latest schedules and call assignments through the easy-to-use mobile application
Within a few weeks, UKG EZCall consultants had the solution operational at the COVID-19 testing sites and treatment tents and solution training materials in use. Some of the redeployed staff, including PACU and urgent care clinic employees, already had been using UKG EZCall, and others quickly appreciated its stability, flexibility, and ease of use in creating schedules based on clinicians' skill sets and treatment tent needs. UKG EZCall's mobile app lets employees see their schedules from anywhere and easily swap shifts with like-skilled staff, giving them some control during this challenging time. The solution's integration with Workforce Central ensures correct job coding, so employees are paid correctly, and streamlines reporting on employee hours. With the UKG EZCall user base now expanded, other departments have witnessed the benefits and are signing on to use the solution. If a second coronavirus surge occurs, 500-plus staff members who were deployed during the first wave — and their skills information — are already in the UKG EZCall database, streamlining a quick redeployment of these employees if needed.