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NASCAR and Staff Scheduling Systems

June 2, 2008
by kate
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Health IT relates to pretty much every facet of life. That may sound like a bold statement, but lately, it seems health IT initiatives, legislation and products are creeping into the mainstream news more and more often, whether it’s a presidential debate, a New York Times article, or a NASCAR race. Yup, that’s right, a NASCAR race.

This past weekend, I visited some friends near Dover, Del., home of the International Speedway known on the racing circuit as “the Monster Mile.” I don’t normally follow auto racing — I’m much more of a football fan, my team being the Super Bowl champion New York Giants (sorry, I had to get that plug in there) — but there is something about the Dover track that has piqued my interest.

The “Mile” hosts two NASCAR events each year. The first was the Best Buy 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, which was won yesterday by Kyle Busch. When it hosts the second event in September, health IT could likely play a significant role in the event.

When I spoke to Rose Williams, IT analyst at Dover’s Bayhealth Hospital for the July article focusing on scheduling systems, she told me there is a good chance that the facility will use the Open Shift Management Solution from San Diego-based Concerro (formerly Bidshift) to staff the emergency room department during the race weekend.

Leveraging a scheduling system for this type of functionality is a very smart idea, as Bayhealth’s emergency department is likely to experience a spike in traffic that weekend, and not just for the obvious reason that car racing is slightly dangerous. According to, the sport draws an average of more than 100,000 spectators per weekend, many of whom tailgate in sweltering temperatures. Bayhealth’s nurse managers need to be prepared, and this may help them to accomplish that.

It makes sense, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that more hospitals and health centers have partnerships with professional sports organizations like the one Bayhealth is trying to build with NASCAR, and if health IT isn’t playing just as big a role in those alliances.

It’s a solution that really makes sense. Now, if they could only manage to find a way to make watching cars go around a track for four hours more interesting. Sorry, that’s the football fan in me talking again.

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