Bespoke automation of medical workforce rostering using Google’s free cloud applications

Peter Benjamin Michael Thomas


Background: Providing safe and consistent care requires optimal deployment of medical staff. Ensuring this happens is a significant administrative burden due to complex working patterns.

Objective: To describe a pilot feasibility study of the automation of medical duty rostering in a busy tertiary Ophthalmology department.

Methods: A cloud based web application was created using Google’s free cloud services. Users access the system via a website which hosts live rosters, and use electronic forms to submit requests which are automatically handled by Google App Scripts.

Results: Over a 2-year period (8/2014-6/2016), the system processed 563 leave requests and 300 on call swaps automatically. 3,300 emails and 1,000 forms were automatically generated. User satisfaction was 100% (n=24).

Discussion: Many time consuming aspects of roster management were automated with significant time savings to all parties, allowing increased clinical time for doctors involved in administration. Planning for safe staffing levels was supported. 


Time Management; Practice Management, Medical; Personnel Administration, Hospital

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