Call and shift patterns

Call and shift patterns link a series of shifts together. Assign someone to one day and the person gets all the shifts in the series. Use patterns when the same person covers both days of a weekend, an entire week, or some other repeating sequence on the same service.

Patterns can run for any number of days but most span one or two full weeks. If Saturday in the pattern should always line up with Saturdays on the schedule, use 7, 14 or a higher multiple of 7 days.

You define patterns by coloring in a grid. Each color, or worker number, is a placeholder for a staff member who will be chosen later. When you put a person into the schedule, Amion finds the grid position within the pattern that lines up with the day you're filling. If it's blue, the person gets all the other blue days in the pattern.

The begin date for a pattern gives it a starting point in the year. From there, Amion lays the pattern end-to-end to reach other weeks.

A pattern that puts the same person on Monday through Friday, for example, should be 7 days long. Begin the pattern on any Monday. Fill the weekday grid cells with the same color. Saturday and Sunday must have cells in the pattern; otherwise the pattern will restart on the weekend and link Saturday through Wednesday, then Thursday through Monday, and so one. Leave the weekend cells white to keep them as one-off assignments. Or fill both weekend boxes with a different color to have one person, but not the weekday provider, cover both weekend days.

Once you have a pattern, you must tell the software which row or rows of the schedule use it. Click on the name of a service off the left side of the schedule. In the Infobox (the blue letter 'i' on the main toolbar), open the selector with the red crescent C and choose your pattern. The dropdown might also say "Shift" or "No call" and have a black shift or smiley icon.

To test, click inside the schedule on a row configured to use a pattern. The grid in the upper-right of the Pattern box highlights the position to which the day corresponds. Drop a person into a shift and he or she should end up with several assignments. If not, go to the Options menu and make sure that Autofill call is checked.

Turn Autofill call off to make individual changes to a week without following the pattern.

Call and shift patterns work well for simple sequences of shift assignments. For more complex patterns involving multiple shifts or services, use the Template Tool.

Include an 'unstaffed' day in your pattern.

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