Reducing Medical Rostering Clashes by 99%


St. Vincent’s University hospital (SVUH) is one of Ireland’s major academic teaching hospitals with 12 surgical and 15 medical specialties. The hospital sees over 50,000 ED attendances and  20,000 inpatients per year.


Specialty doctors on call at the same time

When doctors are on emergency medical call, they are generally unavailable to deliver daily patient care within their specialty. When multiple doctors in the same specialty are on call at the same time, this is more problematic as teams are depleted and patient care is impacted. Same specialty night shift allocations are particularly problematic, as doctors will be unavailable during days for a full week.

The SVUH Medical call roster consists of 11 shifts over a 6-month period, with over 100 doctors. Avoiding the allocation of same specialty doctors is an impossible manual human task, when also trying to achieve other roster objectives e.g. even distribution of shifts between doctors, appropriate breaks between allocations.


    roster optimisation logic to minimise clashes and increases time to care

    MedModus’ rostering system uses an advanced mathematical optimisation model to eliminate, or at least minimise, same specialty clashes. This is in parallel with the achievement of all other rostering objectives and adherence to specific roster rules to deliver optimal outcomes. The overall objective is ensuring sufficient cover for teams to provide patient care.


    The left view below illustrates shift clash examples, and on the right, the quantity of each clash type found in the manually produced roster. For example, an Endocrinology (ENDO) Registrar (senior grade) and Intern (foundation level) being together on a week of nights was 1 of 99 “red” clashes found in the original roster. MedModus’ solution reduced such instances and other clash types to 0 or negligible levels – a 99% improvement avoiding depleted teams and increasing doctor time to care.


    MedModus has saved us so much time. The support from their team of healthcare rostering analysts and the quality of the work they do, is great. The quick turnaround time of their optimised rosters is important to us while we manage new intakes of doctors.

    St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Senior HR Executive

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