Published on October 9, 2014
By Sara Vong
In healthcare, time is money.
As with all other labor-intensive businesses, ambulatory surgery centers and other healthcare providers can reap significant cost savings by tracking and analyzing labor costs with time and attendance software. These applications allow physicians and administrators to fully understand every aspect of their personnel costs, benchmark key performance indicators and make necessary adjustments.
What’s more, time and attendance software itself significantly lowers labor costs by more accurately tabulating paid hours, minimizing manual staff data entry, and limiting keystroke and calculation errors. But implementing this software requires considerable planning, expertise and follow through.
Here are the five steps to successfully launching and maintaining an ASC time and attendance application:
Time and attendance systems are not one-size-fits all applications. Different organizations require different solutions, which is why it’s important for physicians, administrators and staff to receive a comprehensive overview of the available systems, so they can make the best decision possible for the facility and staff.
While demonstrations allow potential users an opportunity to sample the user experience, before a system is selected, it’s important to formally capture desired functionality, talk through how it will be used day-to-day and outline what goals an ASC’s leadership is hoping to achieve. For example, many time and attendance systems offer seven or eight ways to capture time clock data when staff reports for work. A thorough needs assessment survey will determine exactly how data ultimately will be used and, therefore, what exact functionality is required.
Once an application is selected, specialists begin refining the software around the unique needs of the client. For example, accruals and scheduling modules help track time, utilization and determine what staff members are available and when – all at the click of a mouse.
Often overlooked, staff training is perhaps the most critical part of launching a time and attendance system. “How do I clock out for lunch?” “What are the rules for overtime?” “Does the time clock round up or down?” Staff training sessions are an opportunity for specialists to answer these important questions and others, while providing general instruction of how to properly use the new application.
After launching, time and attendance systems require regular maintenance to ensure that they’re consistent with current company policies and retention strategies. It also provides an opportunity to add or update specific modules, which can provide better workforce performance insights for a facility’s leadership.
For more information on launching a time and attendance system at your facility, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.