Should you ditch your budget burning legacy NHS rostering system?
The NHS has continually re-enforced the benefits of digital scheduling, with a commitment to supporting all Trusts in implementing e-rostering software and invest in improved flexibility for health professionals.
Yet despite this encouragement, rostering solutions are still not being used to their full potential in NHS organisations, with many experiencing a lack of take up due to poor integration with other solutions, overly complex user interfaces and high costs of ownership.
However, there are now new digital rostering software providers that challenge these legacy issues, offering flexibility, collaboration and simple implementation. This blog outlines the benefits of having a great rostering system in place - and why you should consider changing your legacy partner.
Determining whether to ditch your legacy NHS rostering solution
How good is it at integration and interoperability?
Implementing a rostering solution should make your employee’s lives easier. It should streamline the journey between rostering and payroll, leave requests and delivering patient care - not simply add another system into the mix.
To be beneficial to your organisation, you need a rostering system that is supplier agnostic - meaning, it has the ability to integrate into other solutions from other suppliers. If your only option is to have all your solutions from one provider, you won’t be benefiting from the latest innovation and technology available.
Look for an interoperable system that can exchange, analyse and understand data in real time between solutions. This ultimately improves overall productivity, by better scheduling the substantive and flexible workforce to meet patient dependency and provide better access to workforce information. But as well as ultimately improved patient care, healthcare workers reap the benefits too. Interoperability in healthcare rostering eliminates the need for manual administration whilst simultaneously reducing the number of overworked staff through a more flexible approach to rostering.
An interoperable rostering solution should be able to integrate with ESR and patient care systems to produce a more efficient health workforce; a crucial factor in a post-Covid world that will aid the fight against burnout and the growing NHS backlog.
Is it expensive for what you're using it for?
With legacy solutions often come complex modular pricing structures. There’s usually a hefty set up fee, inflated subscription costs and a bunch of additional modules you don’t realistically need. It can be tricky understanding what you’re actually paying for and what functionality you have the need to deploy.
Unlike legacy software, digital rostering systems are much clearer in sharing what you’ll be paying and what you’ll get in return. As the tech is cloud-based, there’s no heavy lifting required (or upfront investment). Simply pick which features work for your organisation to create a tailored product guaranteed to generate a return on investment.
Is it simple for staff and employees to use?
There’s nothing worse than investing in new technology to discover it’s a headache to use. And sadly this is a common feature of healthcare solutions. Rather than being designed for ease of use, many solutions are still very rigid in how they operate and difficult to navigate quickly.
However, with user-led digital solutions come a smoother, simpler experience. Software should always be as easy to use as possible by users of any technical ability. In doing so, it encourages better take up, increases engagement and empowers productivity. Features such as drag and drop, swipe and save, wishlists and push notifications are all simple touchpoints that improve the user interface.
This is a crucial consideration for a process intrinsically complex, such as rostering a healthcare workforce, with complex constraints, high pressure environments and huge demands in flexibility. And who said scheduling had to be boring?
Is it an agile, future-led solution?
Technology is a constantly changing world. And with increasing needs for fairer scheduling, flexibility and employee preferences, rostering solutions need to be agile.
If you're sticking with your legacy solution, you're probably not benefitting from the innovation that comes from health competition between providers. Just because you've been rostering in the same way for a while, that doesn't mean it's the best way to do it.
The benefit of cloud-based scheduling software is its ability to continual deliver benefits from the ongoing improvements being made to the software every week. New features can be deployed quickly, your rostering partner should listen to your feedback and design a solution to meet your evolving needs.
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