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Profile of a Superstar Scheduler: Jeff Kelley of Lanfair Center

Maintaining the senior care staff scheduleIt’s time for our second installment of Profile of a Superstar Scheduler, where we catch up with an OnShift Scheduler of the Year to hear their story and learn scheduling best practices. We recently sat down with Jeff Kelley of Lanfair Center, an Altercare of Ohio, Inc. community, to learn more about his day-to-day and his secrets to success.A CMS Five-Star community and winner of the AHCA Silver Award for "Achievement in Quality," Lanfair Center is located in Lancaster, Ohio and offers rehab, post-acute skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and recently opened a transitional care unit.

Jeff’s role at Lanfair Center as an HR generalist involves quite a few responsibilities in the realm of recruiting, hiring and retaining employees.  But that’s not all…Jeff is also in charge of maintaining the staff schedule, which we all know can be a full-time task in and of itself.

Despite his full plate, Jeff’s coworkers nominated Jeff for OnShift’s Scheduler of the Year competition based on his ability to handle it all.

He was also applauded for his big heart and the scheduling flexibility he provides employees while always ensuring Lanfair is staffed to provide high quality care.  His efforts have also helped Lanfair maintain a high employee retention rate.

Jeff’s Career Path & Why He Chose Lanfair

A retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Jeff got his start at Lanfair as a driver and receptionist and eventually transitioned to his current HR generalist role. He credits success in this position to his 28-year military career, and his commitment to the organization, he says, stems from the excellent care he saw both his parents receive.

“You better have a compassionate side in any healthcare role, but I think what’s my nerve ending is that my parents were both in this facility, so I saw the goodness of the care, the goodness of the staff and the company distinguished itself as being good and compassionate.”

How Jeff uses OnShift to be successful

Jeff’s colleagues cite his ability to control overtime, hit staffing numbers and build relationships with employees as the primary reasons for his nomination. Here are a few ways that he uses OnShift to be successful in those areas…

Getting new hires on board

Jeff gets new employees up and running with OnShift’s scheduling software during orientation and has seen an increase in mobile adoption as a result.

“It’s a best practice. Right when we sit down at orientation, we download the app and we get the schedule up for them to see so they can play around with it,” he said. “The mobile app is invaluable. In today’s world, probably the most important feature is having that app availability.”

Filling call-offs fast

Rather than calling from a list of potential replacements, Jeff uses OnShift to quickly and easily send out shift request messages to all STNAs and nurses, getting the word out there on the fly.

“The very moment we are aware of a shift need, out goes a shift request message stating the date, time and often the location of the opening.  We will often follow up with text messages to employees as well so we hit them with multiple forms of communication.”

Proactively scheduling

Managing the schedule for 65 STNAs is no easy feat, but Jeff understands the importance of being proactive when scheduling in senior care.

“That’s maybe the Air Force background of being in charge of things and being organized,” he explained. “You can’t just let things go to chance. If you’re going to be predictive in your performance and outcomes, you have to manage them.”

Thanks to Jeff’s analytical approach to scheduling, Lanfair enjoys one of the lowest overtime rates of Altercare’s 20 facilities.   

OnShift also helps him expertly manage employee PTO and open shifts in the staff schedule.

“We can look to see open shifts in the future, and not just urgent shifts created because of the immediate need,” he continued “I know if I have a shift next month to fill for a week because of somebody’s vacation.”

Holding bi-weekly staffing meetings

Jeff instituted labor management meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays to go over key data points and take a close look at the schedule for the upcoming week to ensure full coverage.

“I print next week’s schedule so we’re looking at it a full week in advance and we go right down shift by shift. Where are our shortages for today?  What’s happening tonight?  Do we still need to fill something for tonight’s shift?  Or did somebody call off unexpectedly?  I can look and see 100% the shifts are covered and we have no problems,” he said.

Jeff explained that OnShift is a key player in these meetings: “We couldn’t be in that predictive mode or that proactive state without a tool.  It helps us drive the outcomes, people on shifts, continuity of care, those sorts of things.”

Who Jeff would like to thank for the award

Jeff’s refuses to take all the credit and attributes his success to a true team effort and understanding the importance of diligent, metrics-driven scheduling in senior care.

“It’s very much a team approach. So, it’s kind of like this award and recognition really belongs with half a dozen people, I’m just one of the little guys rowing in the boat like everybody else. But this scheduling piece is our lifeline, it’s our bloodstream. It has to work. Without people on shifts and without a tool, you’re in trouble.”

Dear schedulers new to OnShift

What words of advice would Jeff give to those schedulers learning the OnShift ropes?

“You have to learn it, embrace it and spread the wealth,” he said. “And then things will fall into place.”

From all of us at OnShift, thank you for your service and congratulations on being named an OnShift Scheduler of the Year!

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