I have been trying to find what do fellow nurses use to plan the route to take to cover all patients that minimizes travel time. Do you use google maps or something similar? Does it help you figure out patient ordering based on traffic etc? Also is adding all the addresses in google map a pain?
I probably won't be of much help considering I live in such a small community, but I use apple maps. It maps the shortest distance, it gives me options whether I want to take a toll road or not, and it will alert me of any road construction/delays I might run into.
I did home health in a large city. Because of traffic I would start with the patient who lived the farthest away afrom me and worked my way back home. I would try to make it so that I didn't have to do much back tracking. For those patients whose homes I hadn't been to before I would map my day out the night before, even make my calls to set up my visit time the night before. Most times I could finagle with my patients a little bit saying hey I am going to be in the area at such and such time, is it ok to stop by at X time. Most of the time I got a good response. If not I would ask to come a half hour later than I had wanted to and it was ok. I used that half hour of time to grab a snack, find a place to go to the restroom, eat my lunch or catch up on my carthing. I was a case manager so I always had A TON of charting to do. I did have to back track at times for various reasons but I found mapping my day out the night before was very helpful. Things can change pretty quickly if an admit came my way. This would make it easier for me to change my schedule. It took me almost a year to get a good routine while working in home health. And I was a very green nurse, with around a year of experience, most of it was in ALF.
I used to struggle with this too. I'm horrible at orientating and it took me a while to figure it out but now I just use Badger Maps
. It saves me a so much time and headache from having to map out my whole road every day. I have all my patients and main routes saved in the app and then I can just add stops if I have new patients that I need to visit that day.
Thanks brigitte and KellT. Do you guys also shift schedules during the week? If there is a possibility then it might be better to schedule appointments which are closer on the same day? I know this gets complex but somehow when I am pasing through a patient's house whom I am suppose to visit next day, I hope I could have the flexibility to better plan my weekly schedule based on locations.
Most agencies allow the nurse to handle the schedule as they see fit, just as long as all necessary visits are completed when due. Very few agencies micromanage your schedule from the office, usually with no thought in mind as to what works best. That is the kind of agency probably best avoided if possible.
Thanks. Caliotter what do you use for planning your week/day?
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