The NHS is undergoing significant change in its fight against Covid 19; with the increased use of virtual consultations and reduced footfall within hospitals. But as it stands, staff bank technology has been failing to keep pace.
However, with over 10 million patients waiting for non-urgent care, we’re going need healthcare professionals to take up much more additional work where they can to support the NHS’ on its Road to Recovery – and this is where deficiencies in current staff banks could prove a real problem.
Substantive staff can make the most of the extra hours available by utilising their hospital’s Staff Bank. However, the NHS’ new model to work efficiently and productively requires a re-think of the various paper-based staff banks currently in use by NHS trusts today. But, before trusts make a decision on their staff bank technology, we want to share the top three features that every trust should look out when choosing their next staff bank.
What is a staff bank?
Before we get into the features, the most logical place to start is by defining exactly what staff bank is…
Most acute and mental health trusts have some form of staff bank technology or if not, it will be paper-based… that provides the opportunity for healthcare professionals to work additional hours to cover gaps in shift rotas. Most hospitals will have one bank and management team or it will be outsourced to another company.
The NHS has over 100,000 vacancies and it’s obvious there’s a clear shortage of applicants with the right skills, abilities and experience which has created a more competitive market. So, your new staff bank must have to have the right features, interface and efficiency to retain people with the right skills for the job.
What should your staff bank technology offer you?
First and foremost, technology has become part of our everyday lives. It’s how we wake up in the morning, hear about the news and speak with friends and family. So, integrating technology into the working life of a healthcare professional is going to be essential to its success.
Your staff bank booking system needs to have a user-centric design: solving the problems and meeting the needs of the exact people who will be using the platform.
Ask yourself: What do healthcare professionals want from their staff bank? We’d suggest…
- Ability to self-register
- Ability to instantaneously work
- Ability to self-book
- Weekly pay
- Automated payslips
- Shift alerts to fit their stated availability
Remember to also consider the needs of all users from your HR department to your procurement staff.
After you’ve made the above considerations, why not complete an audit of your current system? This way, you can calculate both its flaws and positives, before analysing what you really need from your new staff bank technology; plus your overall objectives and feedback. You can then look with confidence into the type of technology that will fit both your needs and your implementation time scales.
For these steps to be done with ease and efficiency, you’ll need an experienced project manager who has industry insight and knowledge.
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Interoperability in healthcare is crucial as the use of technology increases within the NHS. Not only does interoperability improve efficiencies, but it also improves patient care and outcomes.
Without interoperability, NHS services heavily rely on manual workflows which can sometimes lead to inadvertent errors. By replacing these tasks with technology, not only will your healthcare staff take up more shifts with your bank, the cost of running the staff bank will significantly reduce.
Covid 19 has caused national networks to multiply and so, medical professionals need to be able to connect with patients, peers and administration staff with speed and ease. Innovative staff bank technology will allow your substantive staff to update their ability, books shifts, receive their pay slips all from the comfort of their own – meaning a reduced footfall within HR departments, less risk of burnout and most importantly, human error!
We’ve discussed how technology solutions can help mitigate the number of mistakes driven by human factors. However, staff bank technology is not flawless; it demands continuous testing as part of its delivery pipeline and ongoing IT support to ensure its constantly fit for purpose.
Quality assurance features should include security, recovery, performance, functionability, full cycle testing and more! The list is not exhaustive of course, but your project manager should be able to provide you with a tailored set of requirements to test.
With healthcare technology rapidly developing and more companies offering solutions, quality assurance should never be overlooked. With a successful strategy, not only will you have a quality staff bank but in the long-run, you’ll improve staff satisfaction, better patient outcomes and general probability.
Our Final Word
There’s doubt that technology is transforming the landscape of healthcare by offering a route to improved efficiency, productivity and quality. We urge all NHS trusts to deepen their understanding of the new capabilities that technology gives them however, it’s essential that they take a strategic and considered approach when choosing a technology partner.
Discover more about our award-winning Digital Staff Bank Technology!
ID Medical is proud to have partnered with Clarity Staff Bank to bring all NHS trusts an easy-to-use digital staffing platform that acts as a Roster System, Staff Bank and Agency Bank; creating an internal pool of compliant qualified staff that are available to fill staffing gaps. Our technology guarantees you a more efficient and flexible alternative to traditional models.
To learn more about our staff bank technology, just hit the ‘Learn More’ button below!