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New scheduling system to help with overtime issue in Winnipeg hospitals

WATCH: Manitoba hospitals will soon be using new scheduling systems, IT that is already being used in Vancouver and Saskatoon.

The Manitoba government is spending $8 million on new hospital scheduling systems.

The new software will look at trends and the number of scheduled patients, then help assign staff accordingly.

READ MORE: Mandatory OT at St. Boniface Hospital at ‘crisis level’: nurses union

This technology is already being used in other cities like Vancouver and Saskatoon. The province says it has been proven to reduce overtime by making sure the correct number of staff are scheduled.

“People want certainty over what they’re doing they want to know in advance how they will be asked to work. They want that sense of work-life balance and they still want opportunity, in many cases, to pick up additional shifts if they want. These investments will help us do all these things,” said Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen.

“We’ve heard from nurses concerned about overtime hours,” Friesen said. “We are responding; we are making investments.”

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Right now, there are eight separate scheduling systems used across the Winnipeg health region. Once this system is ready to be rolled out, it will be implemented in three phases, starting with the Health Sciences Centre.

The Manitoba Nurses Union, meanwhile, had this to say as a response:

“We’re pleased to see steps being taken to address the excessive levels of overtime nurses have been facing. However, it’s important to note that changes to the scheduling system will not address the primary cause of overtime, which is driven by vacancies and inadequate staffing levels. Overtime has increased dramatically at most Winnipeg hospitals since Phase I was implemented in October 2017. We need to see a plan on retaining and recruiting more nurses.

“This new technology won’t address the nursing shortage.”

The WRHA doesn’t have an exact time when the new system will be in place, but say they’re trying to get it rolled out over the next few months.

WATCH: Staffing set to change as WRHA continues health overhaul (Sept. 12, 2018)

Staffing set to change as WRHA continues health overhaul
Staffing set to change as WRHA continues health overhaul