We use ShiftPlanning to manage the scheduling for Clinical Trials Research Assistants working for the Multidisciplinary Acute Care Research Organization (MACRO) at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2002, the Department of Critical Care Medicine (CCM) began a Clinical Trials Program (CTP) to coordinate all trials within the Department. The CTP streamlined screening and enrollment of ICU patients and employed three clinical research coordinators (CRC) for five studies.
From 2002 – 2007, the CTP expanded and due to overlapping patient populations, increasingly coordinated with a similar program in the Department of Surgery. In 2008, the two Departments decided to join forces under a single entity called MACRO (Multidisciplinary Acute Care Research Organization) to maximize collaboration, productivity, and efficiency. In 2009, the Department of Emergency Medicine also joined.
Together, the three Departments jointly run MACRO as an internal clinical research o
rganization with a focus on acute care research. A key service MACRO offers investigators is 24/7 screening and enrollment which is achieved through through undergraduate students at the University of Pittsburgh employed as Clinical Trials Research Assistants (CTRA). In calendar year 2009, this level of service enabled enrollment of 129 patients in trials and over 800 patients in observational trials.
We have 14 employees and it’s challenging to offer 24 hour coverage while accommodating the busy and often irregular schedules of undergraduate students. Many of the CTRA’s have complex availability that makes filling the schedule or giving consistent shifts near impossible.
Each CTRA would email their availability to the CTRA designated to coordinate scheduling. She would then have to wade through all of this information and would make a schedule using Google Calendar. The complexity of many people’s work schedules made it such that there were often many schedule conflicts that had to be resolved after the schedule was published.
I would absolutely recommend ShiftPlanning! It has vastly simplified getting each CTRA’s availability and viewing it in a simple format that allows for each employee having being put on shifts that are compatible with their individual schedule. Shift swaps and changes are also vastly simplified and using the work scheduler interface for them has cut down on the number of mass emails being sent out when people need to swap shifts.
There are dramatically fewer scheduling issues. Peter Adams – University of Pittsburgh – Department of Critical Care Medicine
The ShiftPlanning team is accessible: they have always been ready to help with questions or concerns and having 24/7 support is a great feature. The scheduling process is more streamlined and simple than ever before.
We make occasional usage of the Message Wall and the Ping feature for last minute or very important information.
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