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VSS PRO Scheduling Software Helps to Comply with Staffing Regulations at Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC

“With VSS PRO scheduling software, we can spend more time with our residents, and ensure the high quality standards of our facility.” 

Sara Hamilton, Director of Nursing at Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC

Customer Profile

Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC, located in Mt. Zion, Illinois, is a 75-bed nursing home, providing long-term care to its residents. It is owned by Heritage Enterprises, which manages 34 facilities and has a long tradition of delivering quality nursing home care in central and northern Illinois. Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC has received a 2007 Quality Award from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). It was a special recognition for Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC, as they were the only facility in the state of Illinois to receive the honor. 


Long-term care facilities must be in compliance with federal and state staffing laws and regulations for nursing facilities. Prior to 2004, Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC was using time consuming and cumbersome pencil-and-paper scheduling. This manual method of scheduling was ineffective, especially in the area of monitoring staffing levels and providing data for mandated staffing audits. Sara Hamilton, the Director of Nursing at Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC, knew that she needed a scheduling solution capable of providing immediate staffing information, allowing her to respond instantly to ad-hoc schedule changes, due to sickness, or other unplanned circumstances. Hamilton also believed that using a market-proven scheduling tool would be key to an efficient operation. “In our field you cannot risk being under-scheduled,” says Hamilton. “I needed an easy-to-use, fast yet reliable scheduling software that would give me an instant view of my staffing levels and that would help me to manage schedule changes,” she adds.


Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC chose Visual Staff Scheduler PRO (VSS PRO) for its ease of use and reporting capabilities. VSS PRO proved it could meet the scheduling needs of long-term care facilities, like Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC. With VSS PRO scheduling software, Hamilton can easily see if the nursing staffing levels meet the regulatory minimums. “VSS PRO provides all necessary staffing information that is easily accessible, ” says Hamilton. “VSS PRO gives me an up-to-date list of available staff, so I can quickly re-assign shifts if needed,” she adds. According to Hamilton, VSS PRO scheduling software is so easy to use, that training lead staff on how to use the software is a matter of hours, not days. “When I asked my staff to start utilizing VSS PRO for scheduling shifts, they were a little apprehensive, but now my lead CNA, Becky Bailey is thrilled, because what used to take 2-3 days, now can be done five times faster,” says Hamilton.


Having access to historical scheduling data and instantly viewing key staffing indicators, allows Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC to stay compliant with staffing regulations. “When the auditor needs to know precisely how many nurses our facility have had working at any particular time, I can simply retrieve this information from VSS PRO scheduling system, instead of scrambling to find it in the pile of hand-written schedules,” points Hamilton. As all the requests for time-off, trainings, or visitations, are being entered to VSS PRO scheduling program, Hamilton knows exactly if she can accommodate them. “With VSS PRO, I don’t run a risk of overlooking certain requests, or putting facility in an under-staffed situation,” points out Hamilton. VSS PRO scheduling software saves Hamilton the time needed to create reoccurring schedules, as it automatically copies schedule rotations, and places them in future dates. VSS PRO also improved internal communication. Preliminary staff schedules are posted in advance, allowing staff to review the proposed schedule and request any schedule changes. After making necessary adjustments, the final schedule is being distributed with no added effort. VSS PRO also assists Heritage Manor of Mt. Zion LLC with their staff evaluation efforts. “The software allows us to provide quickly and effortlessly a call-off report for each of the staff member. The report makes it easy to visualize specific patterns, so we can discipline or award employees accordingly,” says Hamilton.

“VSS PRO has proved to be the most effective management tool I have,” says Hamilton. “With so little time, and so much to do at a LTC facility, you just cannot afford spending your valuable time to work on the schedule. With VSS PRO scheduling software, we can spend more time with our residents, and ensure the high quality standards of our facility. I most definitely recommend VSS PRO to other nursing homes, and long-term care facilities,” Hamilton concluded.