There is a need to address patient care and compliance needs with the right skills and mix of care professionals - this taking into account the preferences and constraints of individual staff members, and the complexities of juggling full time, part time, casuals and agency staff.
Historically, these rosters are managed on complicated spreadsheets and then printed and posted on walls so that staff can see their schedule. In some cases, the forward visibility can be up to six weeks in advance. We are all aware of the effort and rework required to amend these plans when staff request shift swaps, or unexpected leave, and of the economic impact of bringing agency staff in relief. Changing patient loads and flexibility to meet doctors’ requirements also leads to last minute adjustments to those complex rosters.
In response to these challenges, effective electronic rostering systems have evolved to make a significant difference to efficiency and costs. Well planned and automated rosters allocating the most cost efficient qualified staff, deliver significant benefits. Organisations can save in excess of 3% of their wage and salary cost by ensuring they are calling on part timers first, then casuals, then overtime for full timers before calling on agency staff, the most expensive option in the resourcing equation.
Equally as important is giving first priority to your workforce and valuing them before calling on an external workforce ensuring your staff with your culture are on site.
Leading practices with electronic rostering environments typically include:
- Advanced rostering automating the process of considering skills accreditation and experience in the mix
- Linking electronic rostering with acuity systems
- Access to real time productive hours
- Self-service across multiple devices for all participants
- Bio-metrics and geo-sensing capabilities
As the challenges of constrained staff supply, budgetary pressures and efficiency drives challenge health organisations management must examine the benefits that can be delivered from the adoption of sophisticated electronic rostering, including: