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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Automatically Offer and Fill Shifts for Rotational Overtime/Sign-Ups

Aladtec now has a robust solution for rotational overtime/sign-ups or any other process requiring shifts to be offered to members one at a time. Offering shifts based on seniority, hours worked, last overtime accepted or offered, or other criteria can be satisfied using staggered Coverage Alerts. Unlimited sets of rules can be configured for staggered Coverage Alerts, accommodating unique rules for various groups of members.

To start using staggered Coverage Alerts, go to Setup -> Coverage Alerts to create Notification Profiles which match the rules for offering shifts, see image below for an example. Each Notification Profile allows customizing:

  • Wait Time - a wait time can be selected to give recipients enough time to respond to shift notifications; if a member does not respond to the shift notification within the wait time, the member’s turn will be automatically forfeited and the next member will be notified.
  • Sort Criteria - recipients can be sorted in the correct order to get offered shifts, using criteria such as: date hired, total hours worked for specific Time Types and date ranges, availability (if enabled in Work Groups), last accepted or offered coverage alert, or other fields from the Member Database.
  • Approval Rules - either follow Work Group rules for approving a sign up in response to a staggered Coverage Alert, or override the Work Group rules by automatically approving sign ups unless a Work Limit rule is violated. If a Work Limit rule is violated and requires administrative approval, the Coverage Alert process will stall until the administrator has approved or denied the sign up.



After Notification Profiles are set up, sending a staggered Coverage Alert is very similar to sending a simultaneous Coverage Alert. Simply select the blue envelope to send a Coverage Alert, then, as shown below, select open shifts for a specific date range, the recipients, and a staggered Notification Profile along with a Time Type.



Prior to sending a staggered Coverage Alert, the order members will be offered shifts can be previewed. Shifts will be offered in Schedules/Positions order, one at a time, and the order of recipients is based on the sort rules in the Notification Profile. If a recipient declines an offered shift, or does not sign up within the set wait time, the unsent recipients are automatically re-sorted based on changes to the sort criteria values, such as total hours worked, and the next recipient is notified. Below is an example of the Coverage Alert Preview.



To keep track of current Coverage Alerts, the history can be viewed from the Coverage Alert page by clicking on the green clock, see below. From the history, details can be viewed and the Coverage Alert can be canceled. The details for the staggered Coverage Alert include the recipient order, when the notification was sent to the recipient, the last action taken, and the current status such as sent, accepted, or declined.



For additional information on Coverage Alerts, watch this video.


For questions or additional help with Coverage Alerts, please contact the Support Team at support@aladtec.com or 888.749.5550. As always, thank you for using Aladtec!

~ Your Aladtec Team

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

New 'Shared Filter' function wins applause from customers in East Peoria, Danville, Lincolnshire



A few months ago, Aladtec released a new "Shared Filter" feature that eliminates the need for multiple members to create the same filter, and be confident members are all looking at the same information.

Top Level Administrators can easily share filter views for example, to determining overtime hours in reports or the hourly editor, be certain everyone sees the same set of open shifts in a schedule view, or in reviewing submitted forms, such as timesheets and maintenance requests.
"We used this for our new work order form for the reports," said Keith Halfman, project manager with Lincolnshire-Riverwoods (IL) Fire Protection District. The department is staffed by 44 FT firefighter-paramedics, who respond from three stations covering parts of five villages and unincorporated areas of Lake County, 30 miles north of Chicago.

Asst. Chief Ryan Beck East Peoria Fire Dept.
Asst. Chief Ryan Beck
East Peoria Fire Dept.
Elsewhere in Illinois, Asst. Chief and EMS Coordinator Ryan Beck with East Peoria Fire Dept., acknowledges that Aladtec's filter tool can be daunting to the occasional user.

"Even if they're comfortable enough to get in and tick around in there, they could miss one simple box, and it would throw off the view, and then they're not looking at what they think they're looking at," said Beck. "One of our big frustrations when we started (with Aladtec) was that we had to teach each person how to set up, how to edit through to get just what they wanted to see."

"For just the everyday user, one of the things that was important was knowing the time-off (He labels it "Saved filter: EPFD Time Off View) when they're going to request vacation time for the year. It all happens in a short amount of time, like six or eight weeks -- and so everyone wants to look ahead and see who has posted time-off already on those days. And so now to have that schedule view set up, they can click on that, bounce ahead to the days they're hoping to have off, they can determine quickly -- Is someone already off on that day?

"The other thing that it does for us is that by contract, we can only allow two people off on a vacation or Kelly Day combination.  So for our Duty Chiefs, who are approving the time off, it helps them to be able to bounce ahead quickly in just that view and get rid of everything else and see who's already off on that day. 'Can I approve this time off or not?'"

The "sharing" function hasn't compromised confidentiality.

"People know at any time who's off and who's not. And they can look at the daily schedule to see who is here, so therefore, they can also look to see who's off, so even if they weren't looking at this filter, they could go back and have more information in the view, but they'd still have access to the information, so there's no issue of breaching any confidentiality," said Beck.
Members love the transparency.

"That's what they like the most about it. Not only can they look at it on a computer, but they can go to their phone app and see who's working when. That's been one of the most popular parts of the program to everybody else. At first, they were a little hesitant about doing scheduling and seeing all that online rather than the paper calendar they were used to, but we've been using it now -- we're in our second year of using the program, now people love it."

"We use a payroll program that's so old that it doesn't integrate with Aladtec. So (Aladtec Support) set up a spreadsheet that we're able to run a report out of Aladtec and paste it into the spreadsheet to run all of our overtime payroll. Now, we have a shared filter so that we ensure that every single time, we're using the exact same filter and getting the exact same information from the system that we need.

"We were thrilled to get it it's been great for us, because when someone says 'I can't see that,' I can either point them to the shared filter or I can make a filter that shows them what they need."

Melissa Dabbs, the system administrator for Danville (VA) Lifesaving Crew, immediately used the new feature to share her custom versions of DLC's Time Clock and Scheduled Time Reports for supervisors and payroll.

"Few users fully understand how to set the MANY filter options to obtain specific, useful results, and sometimes it takes several tries to get the right combination.  Now, I build a custom report, and instead of trying to duplicate the report for multiple users at various sites,  I make a phone call," Dabbs wrote. "I'm very glad this feature was added! It will improve our consistency, and allow us to write documentation on view/export/report procedures."

Danville Life Saving and First Aid Crew handle 911 ambulance transport for the city of Danville, Virginia, as well as non-emergency convalescent transport.  About 140 paid staff and volunteers operate the non-profit service. Danville is a city of about 45,000, located along the southern border of Virginia, some 70 miles south of Lynchburg.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Coming to a city near you!

Lincoln (IL) Police Dept. Chief Paul Adams, left, and Deputy Chief Matt Vlahovich show off the 2019 'Aladtec World Tour' t-shirt during the Midwest Security & Police Conference held in August at Tinley Park.










Autumn is a popular season for professional huddles. Aladtec sales and support staff are attending 22 conferences during the last quarter, fielding existing customers’ questions and introducing ourselves to new ones. If you’re planning to attend any of the following meetings, please stop by our booth and take home an Aladtec '2019 World Tour' t-shirt.

LeadingAge - Oct. 3, Green Bay
MN Organization of Leaders in Nursing - Oct. 3, Duluth
Georgia EMS - Oct. 6-8, Savannah
MN DON - Oct. 9-10, Cross Lake MN
Firehouse Expo - Oct. 10-12, Nashville
Illinois Fire Chiefs Assoc. - Oct. 14-14, Peoria
AHCA/NCAL - Oct. 14-15, Orlando
South Carolina APCO-NENA - Oct. 16-18, Myrtle Beach
EMS World - Oct. 16-18, New Orleans
Minn. Fire Chiefs - Oct. 17-18, Duluth
Tri-State Emergency Responder - Oct. 18-19, Dubuque
Int. Assoc. of Chiefs of Police - Oct. 26-29, Chicago
LeadingAge - Oct. 27-30, San Diego
Illinois Public Safety Telecommunications - Nov. 3-6, Springfield
Air Medical Transport Conf. - Nov. 4-6, Atlanta
American Ambulance Assoc. - Nov 4-6, Nashville
Iowa EMS Assoc. - Nov. 7-9, Des Moines
EMS Assoc. of Colorado - Nov. 8-9, Keystone
Wisconsin EMS Assoc. - Nov. 14-16, Wisconsin Dells
Care Providers of Mn. - Nov. 18-20, Prior Lake
Texas EMS Assoc. - Nov. 24-25, Fort Worth
Minn. Sheriff's Conf. - Dec. 10-11, Alexandria

Year-end looms; refamiliarize with Repeats & Rotations via a free webinar


Our Support team continues to host monthly member webinars which focus on one facet of the Aladtec system. In case you don't receive the e-mailed invitation 7-10 days in advance, please send a message to Support@aladtec.com, and we'll send a link.

The schedule and topics for upcoming webinars include:
Oct. 10 - Repeats, Rotations & Block Times
Nov. 14 - Aladtec on the go (Mobile)
Dec. 12 - Rotational Overtime

If you missed an earlier session or wish to review any portion of a given topic, access the recorded versions anytime beneath the Help tab in your Aladtec system. Past sessions have focused on the Member Database, Messaging options, Time Clock management, and explanations on how to integrate the latest system developments.

"Find Coverage" gets a new name


The old "Find Coverage" term has been sunsetted. The new tag for alerting members to an open shift is "Coverage Alert" throughout Aladtec. The functionality has also been enhanced so going forward, the page includes a history of alerts sent for each shift.

emsCharts integration saves time, boost accuracy


Agencies that use the popular emsCharts software for patient reporting can save time and keystrokes by adding a new Aladtec integration, released July 30.
The bridge enables emsCharts to receive schedule information from Aladtec frequently, ensuring that staffing data from yesterday, today, and tomorrow is in sync with emsCharts’ crew information.

“The integration is not so much a time-saver as it is a tool to prevent errors,” wrote Andy Lovell, Gloucester EMS’ Chief, and EMS Coordinator for County of Gloucester, Clayton NJ.

“As a crew member, if I don’t remember to update my unit, station, and partner upon login and subsequently then create a chart within emsCharts, it will be created with my unit/station/partner from my prior shift.

“The integration automatically updates this for me, based upon the current schedule. This potential error elimination saves time in that the crew member, supervisor, or administrator does not need to correct chart errors as they do not occur,” said Lovell.

Gloucester County Emergency Medical Service has used Aladtec for its scheduling since 2007 and uses emsCharts for its pre-hospital information management. Gloucester was New Jersey's first county-based EMS. Its 200-plus members made 26,197 responses from its 15 stations last year.

For more info or pricing, write to us at integrations@aladtec.com

Aladtec named to Inc. 5000 for fifth year


Loyalty shown by Aladtec customers and a willingness by many to share word-of-mouth referrals to neighboring agencies helped Aladtec earn a fifth year on Inc. magazine's "5000" list -- a ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.

Inc. magazine released its 38th annual Inc. 5000 list in mid-August. Aladtec, Inc. moved 169 spots, shifting from No. 3099 last year to No. 3268 this year.

Aladtec recorded 128 percent growth over the last three years.

"It’s an honor to achieve the Inc 5000 list for the fifth year in a row,” said Aladtec’s founder and president David Feyereisen. “We try to provide public safety and healthcare organizations with a world-class workforce management solution at a price any department can afford. Our staff is dedicated to that goal. We owe our continued growth to their hard work and the strong word-of-mouth endorsements of our amazing customers.”