There is no question that time is of the essence when it comes to healthcare, especially in hospital settings. From complying with the right intervals of time between administering treatments or medicine doses, to those few seconds that can mean the difference in saving a life. Thus efficient time management of healthcare professionals and their skills is essential to make the most of their talent and a hospital's resources to provide the best, most relevant care possible.
"Research suggests efficient management of hospital employee's time results in patients receiving the care they need, as well as in shorter stays," said Juan Ignacio Gómez, director of sales & marketing for Interboro Systems Corp., a leading provider of solutions in the information-technology (IT) sector. "You basically have the right people, with the right skills in the right place.”
And Interboro knows more than a thing or two about time management in the workplace.
Its Kronos solutions for the healthcare sector are a complete human-capital management solution designed to meet all requirements of today's complex healthcare organizations. Kronos for healthcare features full integration of timecards and schedules, providing a unique view into the hourly labor expended, which is information available online, in real time. In addition, a whole-house staffing report is provided to allow managers to flex up or down, before asking an employee to work overtime, with configuration options available to alert managers of staff situations that don't comply with established policies.
"Believe it or not, despite healthcare's embrace of cutting-edge clinical technology, you still find plenty of hospitals that draft out their work schedules by hand, on paper," Gómez said. "We are talking about a manager who manually must keep track of factors and elements such as average daily patient census, mandated nurse-patient ratios, employee skills mix, union and regulatory requirements, the hospital's labor policies, and the department's budget."
Gómez explained that in addition, when drafting out schedules, managers have to consider the needs of individual employees, balancing employee skills, seniority and shift preferences. Add to those constant adjustments to accommodate vacancies and requests for time off, vacations and leaves of absence.
"Sounds rough but that same schedule that managers put so many hours and effort into creating gets totally disrupted as soon as it is put into effect, due to unexpected situations that come along throughout the day," Gómez said. "These can vary from employees calling in sick just before their shift is about to begin, to a medical situation that requires more attention or additional treatments than expected."
Luis Acuña, Interboro professional services director, said the fact managers can make informed decisions to ensure the right person is at the right place, and at the right cost, is just the beginning of the many benefits Kronos for healthcare solutions represents for hospitals.
"When staff members are satisfied with their management, as well as their pay and benefits, they are also going to provide better service to patients," Acuña said. "By creating highly engaged employees, the Professional Services Team has accomplished excellent results in all our implementation projects."
Kronos for healthcare also features a scheduling engine that allows managers to select employees based on the best fit for a given shift, while applying rules to reduce employee selections that incur overtime, require certifications or other factors. In addition, the systems allow for automated generation of best-fit schedules and call-lists based on defined criteria, as well as giving employees the ability to apply for open shifts, swap shifts and manage shift preferences.
The success of Kronos for healthcare system is also due to the fact that Interboro's staff goes beyond the training and use of the system at every level into long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with Interboro and its continuous focus on customer service and attention to detail, said Manuel E. Santiago, director of customer services.
"Our vast experience, dedication and attention to detail have been instrumental in the success and excellent relationships we have with our clients," Santiago said. "Our goal is to provide continuous value through our partnerships, along with innovative and educational ways to help our clients work smarter; in other words, we are the right partner with the right solutions to mcike the most out of that talent."
Serving companies throughout Puerto Rico since 1969, Interboro has 55 employees who provide complete, integrated solutions to help businesses manage all administrative and operational tasks related to workforce management. These tools include software solutions that manage human resources, payroll, time and attendance.
Kronos Workforce Central, which is Interboro's main software suite, enables managers in all industries to staff, develop, deploy, track and reward their workforces. The suite's mobile features also allow employees to access features from their desktop, laptop and mobile units, such as smartphones and tablets. Gómez pointed out that these features help improve productivity by dramatically reducing interventions by the human resources department.