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26th Annual National Collegiate EMS Conference

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Macro-Optimized Scheduling Solutions to Shift Placement

To maintain a thriving organization, EMS leadership need to balance properly filling each scheduled shift and placing EMTs in shifts that best match their availability. With approximately 50 EMTs, 20 of whom are cleared to lead calls, the University of Pennsylvania Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), covers a minimum of 18 shifts per week and responds to approximately 350 calls annually. Each week, MERT providers are asked to submit digital availability forms. The forms are then aggregated in a process that often takes hours. While commercial solutions available, a no-cost solution customized to our agency’s needs was sought and developed. The result is a 3-sheet Excel spreadsheet algorithm that interprets the availability form and optimizes the number of covered shifts based off member responses. Additional options are available on the front-end to force the solver to make shifts have two crews, designate them as an athletics event, and/or allow members to call review. This model has reduced scheduling time from hours to minutes, while ensuring the broadest possible coverage.


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