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Since using Deputy, Mercy Urgent Care has reduced turnover by 50% and cut their scheduling admin by 75% per month

North Carolina, United States
healthcare industry Healthcare

At a glance

  • 50% reduction in turnover
  • 75% less time spent on scheduling admin per month
  • Higher staff attendance

The Story

Since 1985, Mercy Urgent Care has provided compassionate and quality care for its patients for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. To date, the medical practice has served more than one million patients in Western North Carolina. Their doctors, nurses, and support staff provide more than 70,000 service visits each year. 

The practice currently has eight urgent care centers with almost 100 employees – with staff ranging from licensed professionals, clinical team members, medical assistants, front desk, and technicians. Some of their rural clinics are non-profit, so each facility has different hours of operations and staffing models. Some clinics range from 6-12 hour days or split shifts. 

With staff in various roles working around the clock across multiple locations, Mercy Urgent Care needed an efficient way to manage scheduling, and time and attendance. Their Human Resource Director, Barbara Chambers, and the scheduling team’s top priorities were to drive better scheduling consistency, reduce administrative time, and improve employee turnover. They also wanted to provide flexible scheduling to support staff with a healthier work-life balance.

The Challenge

With their former system, Barbara and her team were spending a few hours per week just on managing schedule changes.

“It would take three hours just to get everything straightened out and figured out,” says Barbara. She shares that scheduling became “a nightmare” for her team to supervise in scenarios when staff clocked into the wrong centre, forgot to clock in, or switched shifts. 

Supervisors then turned to spreadsheets to manage employee scheduling. After manually creating the schedules, they would then share them in drives, email them to staff, send text messages, and hang them on the wall. “It was a lot of places and a really cumbersome process,” says Barbara. Even then, staff misunderstood what hours they were working and which location they were covering. 

“Sometimes the supervisors would forget to put what edition the scheduling was,” Barbara says, “and staff were not showing up because they were following the older edition and didn’t know there was a new edition that came out.” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictable surges, scheduling became even more complex for the practice. There were higher turnovers, pressure, and burnout. “You want to take care of people, but there’s just so much, and when you have these surges, the schedule component of it was just terrible,” Barbara says.

Eventually, the cumulative amount of stress led to one of their supervisors turning over. Barbara shares, “It was definitely painful to the point where they were like, ‘I’m just not going to deal with it’. It was a lot to manage and follow through with everything – when somebody called out or needed something changed.”

“It would take three hours per week just to get everything [with scheduling] straightened out and figured out.”

The Solution

After several years, it was time for Mercy Urgent Care’s team to make a change. One of the most important criteria they looked for in a new system was one that was easy for staff and providers across departments to use. 

Barbara shares that “Deputy is very user-friendly and the providers are very comfortable using it.” She adds that supervisors say it’s so much easier and requires so much less administrative time and maintenance.

Their clinics also wanted to reduce the stress of filling empty shifts. Barbara explains, “It took a lot of time and was the number one stressor.” Instead of making a number of phone calls and sending multiple text messages, Deputy has made it easier for Mercy Urgent Care’s providers to reach staff when there are open shifts. 

“With Deputy, you can just put it out there. You can send out one blast, then know who’s available and what to expect.”

Mercy Urgent Care also wanted functionalities that increased schedule visibility and real-time scheduling to minimise overhead and distribute schedules quickly across departments. 

“All the departments can see the schedules now,” Barbara explains, “including who's at this location, or this location. Sometimes we'll be going on rounds, and I'll need to reach somebody, and it's broken down really nicely.”

Attendance rates have also improved since Mercy Urgent Care switched to Deputy. Before, staff were showing up in the wrong working locations because they misread their Excel sheet, which naturally caused a great deal of stress. “Now they're not ending up 20 miles at a different clinic and you don’t have that panicked phone call in the morning, like, ‘where are you?’ That's gone,” Barbara explains.

Saving time was another benefit the practice valued. “Once we got Deputy, it took a lot less time to do the schedule, to share the schedule, and then for people to swap. And it's always in real-time and they have access to it.” Deputy’s mobile functionalities have been instrumental in communicating with teams. 

“People have their phones on them all the time. So, you know, being able to look at it on their phone or to get an alert like, ‘Hey, you know, we need this or need that shift covered’ has been a real game-changer for us.”

Since using Deputy, Mercy Urgent Care has additionally been able to cut turnover in half. In the quarter before they used Deputy, the turnover rate was 12%. In the following quarter, their turnover rate was 6%. Barbara says, “it has reduced the turnover because people can look a month in advance and the schedule is very clear. I estimate that’s going to improve even more going forward.”

“Being able to look at it on their phone or to get an alert like, ‘Hey, you know, we need this or need that shift covered’ has been a real game-changer for us.”

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