Our integrated consulting services work together to transform your approach for workforce scheduling and these changes enable achievement of many other strategic goals. In the below story our clients attention was originally captured by a group of surgeons who were frustrated with the skill level of supports in the theatre, in addition to the cleanliness of the facilities and the speed at which instruments were sterilized. Surgeries were frequently being cancelled. Here is just one example of how it all works:
Our client had just completed a merger of health networks across a large geographic area. Clinical systems integration, electronic health records, and payroll standardization had already occurred. As part of the consolidation activities, the logical next step was to implement a common staff scheduling software system. The organization wanted to take advantage of the automation and the interface payroll to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the timekeeping process. Although a few pockets were using a scheduling software already, they were doing so in different ways, and staff and schedulers were not taking advantage of the full functionality. There were a lot of work-arounds and trust in the system was low.
Our client wanted to remove the burden of scheduling activities from their managers to free them up to lead their clinical and non-clinical teams. The executive recognized the link between securing resources and enabling safe practice environments and patient safety. As they were facing attrition in a number of areas, they realized that inconsistent staffing practices and application of collective agreements were driving down morale. Both clinical and non-clinical staff groups were complaining about working short-staffed. At times nurses were unable to leave their patients to go home, as there was no relief. With most employees working part time positions, the organization projected a need to dramatically increase the number of full time positions. This was especially so for clinical employees in order to meet demographic workforce and patient population projections/service demands.
We started our partnership by analyzing the organization’s staffing model and workforce utilization trends. We moved on to assess the master schedules to identify if baseline requirements were being met and the extent to which they reflected recent skill mix changes and budgets. As there were many large hospitals in the system with similar programs in close proximity to one another, we mapped out how the relief staffing was organized and made some recommendations for major revisions. Following these assessments of current state and a number of recommendations, representatives from clinical and support areas where organized to participate in a facilitated business process design. This established common practices for staff deployment and workforce scheduling activities, and enabled a common configuration for the centralized scheduling system.
By working with the organization to optimize rotations, compose and manage relief staffing pools, and provide consistent scheduling business processes managed by dedicated teams, the coverage was improved for many units and departments. Employees had opportunities to move to full time positions and were pleased with the increased predictability of their schedule. Organization executives were pleased with their ability to implement new baselines established for a change in their care delivery model, which had been attempted for years.
By integrating consistent scheduling business processes and support for managers with a solid relief workforce strategy and appropriate changes to the unit master schedules and baselines, the organization was able to achieve its operational, financial, and patient safety goals together.
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