E-Rostering is going to play a vital part of the digital transformation of the NHS. But why is it really needed, and what are the advantages?
Whilst the NHS is classified as one of the best healthcare systems in the world, it’s also one of the most outdated when it comes to workforce management. With paper-based rostering processes very much still present, we’re here to share with you why this is a major challenge to efficiency and how the switch to an e-roster system could be life changing, literally!
The NHS’ workforce is its largest asset; however, when it comes to staffing a 24/7 service – both in terms of numbers and skills – it’s no easy job. Getting a hospital roster wrong can compromise the quality of patient care, create financial implications and unfortunately, lead to an unhappy workforce.
This is why it’s absolutely essential that each NHS trust strikes a right balance between patient safety, cost and efficiency. The issue of some trusts still using paper-based systems to finalise their roster is a serious blocker to real staffing efficiencies as it’s an extremely time-consuming, laborious process; with shifts being handed to healthcare staff just days before they’re due, compromising their work-life balance. From our experience as a leading healthcare recruiter, it’s obvious that things need to change.
With the quick implementation of an e-roster system to support all other IT systems present within an NHS trust, the pioneering technology and its’ automation will improve patient care, empower staff, provide accurate payroll within a fair and just system and finally, provide excellent daily, weekly and monthly reports to help streamline processes and increase efficiency.
Here’s the top five advantages of switching to an e-rostering staff management system:
1. Increased Time for Patient Care
Patient care is at the heart of the NHS and to constantly provide high-quality care to all patients, there needs to be a system that allows a full staff roster available to provide healthcare rather than the required administration work of their department.
Reports reveal that doctors spend “too long on admin” and in our eyes, every single hour that is spent on admin is taken away from an individual person receiving essential clinical care – which is why an innovative e-roster system has the power to save lives.
In an industry where burnout is high and there is evidence of poor retention and low morale, we urge all NHS trusts to rethink their approach to rostering, to allow their staff to maximise their productivity levels, reduce their stress levels and most importantly, allow them to focus on the job they were employed to do.
2. Empowering Staff
With healthcare professionals physically able to spend more time with patients rather than at a computer screen, it will only be natural that they will have more of a positive outlet and feel empowered to take control of their working hours rather than just “getting through them”.
2020 e-rostering technology allows all health care professional to take charge by updating their availability, altering, updating shifts and most importantly, they have ability to book onto additional bank shifts – which is very much needed in a post-pandemic climate with over 10 million patients on waiting lists.
The implementation of this technology will also largely empower your rota coordinator, HR advisors and administration teams as the time they previously spent on manually organising shifts, writing it up on a paper-based trail and informing healthcare professionals on email will all be a thing of the past as they can now rely on technology to complete every single action, and successfully!
3. Accurate Payroll Reports
Payroll is always a stressful and complicated entity, for both those processing it and those receiving it – especially when it’s shift work! Complaints, delays, underpaid, overpaid… the list is endless but as humans, we’re destined to make mistakes. So, why not remove the human hand out of the process and replace it with a highly configured AI system that ensures each and every department’s rota is fully staffed, up to date and relevant?
Technology has the power to remove the multiple-forms, weekly attendance sheets, sickness forms, time sheets and reports – and it can all be stored in one central point of intelligence without anyone having to do any of the work? Of course, it’s only natural for there to be some last-minute shift changes or sickness, which is why the right technology will notify you should there be insufficient staff levels that calls for support from staff bank or agency.
4. A Fair and Just System
When it comes to shift work, the allocation process can be a sensitive issue, especially during major holidays such as Christmas, Eid and Hanukkah. A human-led rostering system often leads to people experiencing preferential treatment which once again, leads to an unhappy workforce.
The benefit of going digital means that the responsibility of a fair distribution of shifts is all in the accordance of the “rules” set up on the technology. When it comes to who will be working national or religious holidays, instead of the previous squabbles of “I worked last year, I get this year off” – senior managers can just simply pull up the electronic records and let the system make the decision, based on the previously entered information.
In addition to the fair allocation of holidays off, e-rostering also encourages the fair distribution of annual leave. Healthcare professionals can take the responsibility into their own hands, log onto their portal, find out their remaining holiday allowance and book if authorised! This way, senior managers can ensure holidays are spread out evenly across the year, efficient!
5. Reports and Analysis
We’ve established that e-rostering technology is a must-have, not a would-be-nice but one of its features that is invaluable is the wealth of data it provides in a continuous feedback loop that can be used for performance improvement and optimisation!
With every single NHS trust under pressure to stay under budget, meet waiting time targets and reduce waiting lists all whilst providing an exemplary service – there’s a lot of pressure. But with every new data cycle, the AI systems can collect data, generate hourly, weekly or monthly reports and what’s more it always works on continuously improving itself to become more efficient, more accurate and more helpful to the department’s workload.
Discover more about our award-winning Digital Medical Staffing Technology!
ID Medical is proud 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 engaging, efficient and flexible alternative to traditional models.