Balancing care and costs, rostering in Care Homes

by Rotageek on 16 June 2020

Post COVID-19, Rostering in Care Homes will never be the same. 

Care homes are a vital cog of the UK healthcare industry, with more than 12,250 in existence for personal care and nursing care. Even in a time of normalcy, their two biggest pain points that lead to facilities closing are falling standards, as a result of shortages in the staff, and the cost of staff increasing.

Those care home staff shortages and the overwhelming ripple effect it had on employees and residents were felt all too painfully in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through 15 May, more than a quarter of the deaths in England and Wales were care home residents. In Scotland, that number skyrocketed to 45%. 

With businesses struggling to recover from the lockdown, finding ways to improve staff retention and efficiency while still lowering costs is critical. 

Being able to combine these goals through a single solution can simplify the mission and help get it back on its feet as the threat of the coronavirus begins to recede.

The process of rostering at a care facility is time-consuming for the person or team charged with the task and lends itself to inner turmoil when caregivers question the fairness of how shifts are assigned versus time off. No matter how objective the person making the schedule tries to be, there are always going to be built-in blind spots that affect its composition. 

By employing a data-driven solution that uses personalised algorithms and a subset of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, it is possible to maximise roster optimisation while applying fairness rules through the process.

This tech solution maximises the schedule’s efficiency to reduce employee turnover through a fair, balanced scheduling system while allowing for flexibility for life’s unexpected events such as unplanned absences by caregivers.

When staff feel they are being treated fairly and scheduled in a manner that appreciates their own work-life balance needs, a noticeable improvement in staff retention and an accompanying downturn in staff turnover is likely to follow.

Care homes were exposed as badly vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak because of close contact of residents and a lack of appropriate protection for caregivers. Those shortcomings ensure that the bright light of Care Quality Commission (CQC) compliance will be shone going forward. 

Our solutions can help pave the way to CQC compliance while maintaining a safe environment for all by auto-rostering in cohorts to reduce COVID-19 transmission and maintaining minimum staffing requirements. In the event of  a CQC audit, Rotageek’s cloud-based dashboard makes it beyond simple to provide the authorities with all the information they require. 

Pleasing caregivers and maintaining compliance are a great start, but for the bill players in your company, the bottom line still weighs heavy on their brow every month. Our optimisation engine is the perfect fit for driving down costs, freeing your facility from having to rely on the high cost of agency staff with a solution that continues to deliver. You cannot put too high a value on having an utterly reliable system that is always on and always performing to keep your rostering at a peak performance level. You will see a huge uptick in hours gained for your schedule-makers week and a dip in time theft as the Rotageek software ensures staff are only paid for hours worked, not hours scheduled. On top of that, the solution enjoys seamless integration with most payroll solutions, eliminating manual errors. It can reduce your roster-admin time sink by up to 80%, freeing up financials to be reinvested into other key areas of your practice.

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