To have just the right personnel, at the right time, when most needed, is key to any business’ success. However, when it comes to hospitals and healthcare sites, it takes on an entirely new meaning, representing the challenges of providing adequate quality service that each patient requires, while running a cost-effective operation.
Leave it to a company with the knowledge and experience—Interboro Systems Corp. (ISC), a leader in automated tools that help businesses effectively manage resources and minimize compliance issues—to provide the technological solutions that allow hospitals and healthcare service providers to make the most of their scheduling and maximizing their human capital with Kronos’ Workforce Scheduler and Workforce Forecast Manager for Healthcare.
Both solutions are part of the Kronos for Healthcare suite, which is supplied and supported by ISC, and is the most comprehensive integrated solution available in the market, with a totally integrated suite of web-based applications.
“Kronos Workforce Scheduler and Workforce Forecasting, among other benefits, help determine how many people are needed to cover a given number of patients at a given time,” said Juan Ignacio Gómez, sales director of ISC. “It also allows hospitals not only to have the personnel needed to cover those services, but also helps ensure they have personnel with the qualifications to provide those specific servicesto a patient according to his or her needs.”
Quality patient care requires healthcare providers such as hospitals to create staff schedules that respond to factors, including patient census as well as acuity (which refers to the number of staff required to attend to a patient), and staff workload. Furthermore, these schedules call for real-time insight and tools to rebalance staff to maintain optimal coverage levels as patient volume and their conditions change.
“Workforce Scheduler considers essential elements and factors related to creating schedules and staffing,” Gómez said. “This process results in schedules that are based on patient-volume forecasts, patient health conditions and employee workload levels, skills and availability, and schedules that maximize staff utilization and make a difference in terms of cost-effectiveness, which is one of the greatest challenges faced by the healthcare industry.”
As a result, Kronos Scheduler provides a better way to control labor costs, minimize compliance risks, and also allows the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective patient care. In addition, not only does it help ensure the right staff is at the right place for the right task, but also helps in having more satisfied and engaged personnel with the ability to access their schedules and request time off, right from their mobile device.
Thanks to integrated employee self-service, staff are able to manage their personal information, set scheduling preferences, swap and choose open shifts, submit vacation requests, and view Empower Time, Human Capital With Interboro’s Scheduler, Forecast Manager accruals at their own convenience, and even view location coverage information so they can request shifts that make sense.
In fact, Workforce Scheduler can also minimize the effects of nurse fatigue, creating schedules based on how much time employees should have off between shifts, or the maximum hours they can work in a period, critical to minimizing the chance of having overworked employees while increasing their overall satisfaction.
Furthermore, according to an American Hospital Association report, nearly two-thirds of every dollar spent by hospitals goes to wages and benefits, which makes efficient deployment of nurses and other critical staff to achieve these goals. Issues such as chronic overstaffing and understaffing, as well as reliance on unplanned overtime and costly contingent labor, can have an impact on both patient care and the operation’s bottom line.
Thus, effective forecasting is essential in the predictive scheduling capability of ahospital's needs to better align staffing to fluctuating demand and to minimize time spent managing staffing changes later on. Kronos’ Forecast Manager addresses these issues by pulling volume data in real time from traditional admissions-discharge transfer (ADT) systems or patient placement systems and stores the figures by time of day. Using historical volume data by day, week, month and shift, the feature’s advanced algorithm calculates the predicted volume. The forecasted volume gets automatically fed, according to shift, into the workload planner at predetermined intervals to drive more accurate, cost effective scheduling.
“In other words, Kronos’ Forecast Manager transforms data from previous performance into a resource for more effective scheduling,” Gómez said. “These solutions represent ISC’s commitment to provide solutions to clients— in this case in the healthcare industry—that aim to help them make the most of their human resources and their capabilities to carry on with their mission of providing quality healthcare.”
Of course, all these modules integrate smoothly with and complement Kronos Workforce Central, a suite of time, assistance, payroll and human resources workforce management solutions aimed at helping clients control costs, improve productivity and minimize compliance risks. Of course, all these modules integrate smoothly with and complement Kronos Workforce Central 8, a suite of time, assistance, payroll and human resources workforce management solutions aimed at helping clients control costs, improve productivity and minimize compliance risks.
“Labor represents a significant component of a hospital’s costs, but it is the largest controllable expense,” said Alberto Scandella, vicepresident of Interboro. “Kronos empowers hospitals with information and tools that allow for a more efficient and optimized use of human resources by providing visibility and access to productivity metrics, among other factors.”
This latest version of Kronos, built on a foundation of exceptional performance and reliability, integrates a simple, intuitive user interface with stronger functionality for solving industry-specific issues, as well as insightful reporting, analytics and the ability to meet global complianceequirements.
Scandella explained that Kronos Workforce Central 8 fulfills clients’ needs and requirements because the development of its new features was based on what clients themselves expressed about how we could make the Kronos experience even better. For example, the analytics and metrics features, in this case specialized for healthcare, were developed with input from experts in the healthcare field, such as chiefs of nursing staffs, and together with enhanced functionality provide healthcare facilities uncompromised workforce management with increased ability to control costs, improve productivity and minimize compliance risks.
“With Kronos Workforce Central 8, our clients can also transform the great amount of workforce-related data into a valuable resource. What used to just be information becomes a tool with Kronos’ analytics, to best determine the adequate use of an operation’s human resource,” Scandella said. “Furthermore, this information considers a healthy employee and a healthy work environment are essential—especially when it comes to hospitals— to achieve the levels of productivity that can both help with cost controls while also providing a service of excellence to patients.”
Interboro also gives healthcare facilities a choice of the company’s Cloud Services. Scandella explained that while this service is optional, most clients discover that Interboro’s Cloud Services are much more than just storage. Interboro Cloud Services are an advanced solution that not only eases pressure on an institution’s information-technology resources but also provides the ability and advantages of hostingworkforce-management solutions at one of Interboro’s secure remote facilities, with guaranteed availability 24/7, without having to purchase additional hardware, operating systems or database licenses.