There is perhaps no greater challenge for creating and tracking employee time and attendance than doing so for a medical or health care facility. Besides the basic need to monitor work time and attendance information, workforce management systems must be fully customizable to accommodate variable working patterns and work rules. There is also the need to support flexible and shift work across multiple locations.
Non-standard schedules are a way of life in medical and health care facilities. From maintenance personnel to doctors, nurses and technicians, every position must be staffed and accounted for around the clock to provide continuous, safe patient care. But time and attendance management doesn’t stop with simply generating work schedules. In order to be cost effective, the system in place must save vital management time, reduce administrative costs, and have protocols in place to protect employees and the facility alike.
In this article we’ll first take a look at some of the employee scheduling and security challenges of various medical and health care facilities. We’ll then examine how intelligent employee management solutions such as Mitrefinch address those needs.
Medical / Healthcare — These facilities need an employee time and attendance solution that is able to track employee hours, schedule shifts, and provide payroll processing functions. They also want the ability to create reports on those hours, track PTO, vacation days, sick days, and allow employees to clock in at a wide range of locations. They need managers to be able to track which employee is working at which location, track where they need to go, approve shift swaps, and be able to check hours online.
Assisted Living — Assisted living facilities require biometric time tracking, the ability to track time at multiple locations, record leave and personal time off (PTO, adjust scheduling, and a supervisor self-service function that allows them to manage their direct and indirect reports.
Nursing Home — Many facilities currently use fingerprint scanners but are exploring other biometric options. In addition to the need to schedule employees across various departments, scheduling software needs to adhere to union rules so that an available shift automatically goes to the next person on the list based on seniority. The system also needs to be able to log employee time so management can have better visibility of where each employee is working and what he or she is doing. There is also the need to calculate holiday hours, overtime hours and account for any special situations.
Senior / Disability Care — Due to unfortunate abuses in the industry—including failure to provide life necessities such as personal hygiene, clean clothing, medicine, safety, and basic comfort—facilities that care for seniors and disabled patients need a biometric workforce management system that accounts for who is on the clock, where they are working, and what they are doing. Most facilities also prefer to manage payroll in-house rather than farm it out to payroll processing houses like Sage or ADP.
In its most basic concepts, employee time and scheduling solutions should be the same for any industry, that being an agreement between employers and employees that details how, when and where work is performed. For optimal success, it shouldn’t be a strict set of rules and regulations set forth by the employer, but rather a set of protocols devised and agreed to by both employer and employee.
But the medical and healthcare industry poses unique challenges. Doctors, nurses, technicians and health care aides have physically and emotionally stressful jobs that require personal interactions and extreme attention to detail. Add to that challenging work schedules and insufficient staffing and a stressful situation can be made even worse.
Employee management solutions are designed to improve employee efficiency, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. They also save medical facilities time and money that can be better spent on the programs and services the community demands.
Some examples of employee management solutions include:
Time & Attendance — Time and Attendance system not only monitors employees’ working times, it also collects attendance information which companies can analyze to find better ways to increase productivity and reduce administration costs and time. This includes accommodating various work rules and regulatory compliance, seamlessly working with different currencies, checking payroll, planning future work and running “what if” scenarios.
Biometric Time & Attendance — For the highest levels of security, The Biometric Time and Attendance system works by scanning a digital representation of an employee’s unique fingerprint to record when they clock in or clock out from the machine. Rather than storing a person’s actual fingerprint, it stores ‘fingerprint templates’ which are a digital representation of the fingerprint. This way employees and supervisors alike can rest assured that privacy is protected while security is maintained.
This system is especially effective for identification verification, preventing employees from borrowing cards from each other to gain access to controlled areas, reducing time and attendance fraud and ‘buddy clocking’ where one employee clocks on or off for another.
Time Allocation and Job Costing — The ability to accurately manage performance and job costs is crucial in health care facilities. Time Allocation and Job Costing systems provide the ability to measure the capacity and efficiency of departments and employees, and make swift decisions on priorities. These abilities become even more important where facilities have the need to manage individuals and teams across multiple sites. The system also allows planning of daily and weekly tasks across multiple cost centers, comparison of planned tasks and budgets with those already achieved, and the ability to track projects by hours, quantity, or cost.
Mobile Workforce Solutions — It is common for healthcare workers to perform their duties at various sites during the day, as well as keep in contact with management while travelling from location to location. Mobile Workforce applications improve productivity by making it easier for supervisors and employees to complete a wide range of work related and administrative tasks from any location, at any time. Employees and supervisors can access the system through mobile devices they are already familiar with including iPhone, tablet,
Android and more). The system provides the ability for employees to clock in or out, or on and off of specific jobs, from remote work sites, request holiday leave, and review their work information in real time.
Absence Management — Sick days in a medical or healthcare facility can generate widespread disruption. Covering for the shift requires bringing in other team members who had previously had the day off, or perhaps hiring temporary staff—which often means higher pay rates. Additionally, replacement employees often require specialized training to carry out the work that consumes time that could have been spent in more productive ways.
The effective workforce management system can simplify the way your business handles absences, and yield better insights into absenteeism. A sophisticated software suite can also quickly determine the impact that employee absenteeism has on a facility’s bottom line.
Employee Scheduling — Managing work schedules for employees in a cost effective and fully-compliant fashion can be a complicated and time consuming task in a medical or healthcare facility—especially if the facility operates a flexible working time policy.
Time and attendance software automates this workforce management task by keeping operating costs as low as possible, and ensuring that the right staff are
on hand to serve patients. It also ensures that all policies are in compliance with employee legislation and health and safety requirements. Because staff can be assigned to shifts according to necessary skills and training or contracted hours, the risk of error or noncompliance is eliminated. The system is also fully adaptable to meet emergency requirements.
HR Management — Human Resource departments in a medical or healthcare facility face the challenge of handling large-volume employee data, the need for a single, integrated system for employee records, thorough analysis, detailed reporting, periodic audits. HR Management system is designed to manage employee work hours and absenteeism, and aid in the recruitment and training of new employees more efficiently. The system is built around a
central repository of employee data that keeps track of contract details, benefits, vacations, training, and qualifications.
The stored information can be used to run reports on past and present data, such as training and development requirements, and requires the information to be entered only once and updated at one place when a change in information is due. The system is also fully configurable for role-based access control based on the facility’s preferences. This means some users can only access and read documents and reports, while others can edit and modify.
Workplace Health and Safety — In the unfortunate event of a workplace emergency, Time and Attendance system can provide a real-time record of everyone who is on site so that emergency first responders are armed with the right information to ensure that everyone is evacuated safely. This includes the whereabouts of staff and zone registration so fire crews can accurately pinpoint people in need of rescue and disregard evacuated areas of the site. The fact that employees and visitors can’t enter or exit the site without registering at a
terminal first provides improved security and peace of mind.