Healthcare providers will face a lot of scrutiny in the coming years over cost and quality of care. Those who operate healthcare organizations are challenged with both a shortage of talent and the goal to keep labor costs low.
Chances are overtime is a familiar occurrence, but these organizations have options for preventing valuable employees from being spread too thin and for keeping labor costs under control. According to Kronos, it's a matter of balancing good (planned) overtime and bad (unplanned) overtime.
One method many healthcare orgs have adopted for managing overtime expenses is an employee agreement called the 8/80 rule (explained here by BizJournals.com). This is an exception for the unique staffing needs of healthcare within the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This agreement is great for those with unexpected or irregular scheduling needs, providing flexible employees with a clearer expectation of when they can expect overtime compensation (the greater of either a surplus of eight hours per day or excess of 80 hours within a two week scheduling period).
Start with Smarter Scheduling and Analytics
While these employee agreements set a clear precedent for overtime compensation, employers can achieve greater predictability in their scheduling with stronger analytics. Although healthcare staffing needs may be irregular, data-driven scheduling can use performance histories to avoid over- or under-staffing.
When staffing levels are adjusted more closely with anticipated need, managers gain clearer insight into the fair distribution of expected hours across their available staff. Employees also gain a more reliable look at their upcoming workload, minimizing unexpected or extended shifts.
Streamline Shift Changes with Mobile Communications
When analytics form the basis of scheduling, this also allows for efficient automation of scheduling changes. The latest workforce management solutions give employees greater flexibility and control through remote access and instant notifications on mobile. Now, when employees desire a schedule change, their request can be made from almost anywhere, and the shift can be swapped or filled almost instantly.
Once a scheduling request is made, workforce management solutions like Kronos offers can notify teammates of shift availability via text, email or push notifications and automatically approve their shift pickups if they fit the organization's policy and labor regulations. This gives employees the opportunity to own their schedules while managers retain oversight at a glance, stepping in only when necessary.
In summary, workforce management with analytics helps more accurately predict the level of staffing needs, while employee mobile access lends speed, flexibility and control over changes in scheduling and equitable planning of overtime necessity. Cutting-edge workforce management is the key to giving healthcare providers a proactive means for keeping overtime low as opposed to which only affect how overtime compensation gets calculated after the fact.