It’s the elusive goal of every healthcare organisation: a fair and optimal roster and accurate up-to-date information being seamlessly exported to the payroll system.
Automated rostering and payroll systems have significantly reduced the risk of errors associated with manual rostering. The most basic of payroll errors is incorrect payments.
Allocate’s rostering solution provides huge cost savings and efficiency benefits by simplifying data entry and automatically calculating payments and clocking overtime before it gets to payroll. It removes repetitive processes to achieve improved accuracy of payroll data.
In a nutshell, it ensures employees are paid correctly and on time.
Impact of e-rostering in Australian healthcare organisations
The cost saving benefits of these features are huge - eliminating the possibility of incorrect payments, thereby reducing the manual effort for payroll staff.
Gary Loe, the payroll manager at Greenslopes Private Hospital says, “Rostering is just as important as payroll to our organisation.
“Without the rostering solution we’d have 2500 employees who wouldn’t get paid. All pay processes are driven from the export from Allocate’s rostering solution.”
Jorge Silveira, chief information officer at Northeast Health Wangaratta, can’t imagine his organisation operating with Allocate’s rostering solution.
“If we had to manage without it, it would be catastrophic for us,” Mr Silveira says.
“We wouldn’t be able to guarantee that we have the right staff in place, and we’d struggle to overcome financial difficulties without it.”
Award interpretation drilled down
Awards interpretation has always caused headaches for roster managers and payroll staff.
Complex awards can be hard to interpret at the best of times. And with a plethora of industrial awards/instruments to interpret, there’s even more room for error.
Allocate’s rostering solution effectively curbs the potential for human error and enables the streamlined automated real-time management of complex awards.
The system’s inbuilt automated award interpretation calculates the right pay for the hours each employee works by matching them to their correct award and provisions.
Its sophisticated award rules engine runs the gamut of award interpretation. It automates awards/EBAs in real time, which means costs are immediately updated when roster changes are made.
Manual systems vs e-rostering
A significant short-coming of manual rostering systems is the visibility and transparency of the rostering process. Rosters are never set in stone – situations can change quickly, with employees swapping shifts or applying for leave at the last minute.
Printing out timesheets for employees doesn’t give them an accurate real-time view of the roster. But an automated rostering system vastly improves visibility and transparency around rostered shifts and staffing levels by delivering real-times changes to the roster.
Employees can access their rosters from computers and phones at any time, giving them more flexibility to request shifts and leave.
Rostering staff can easily identify potential understaffing issues, ensure shift allocations are fair and that the right employees have been given the right roles.
Another challenge to healthcare organisations without automated rostering systems is the manual tracking of attendance.
Manually entering and updating time sheets is a labour-intensive administrative process, swallowing up precious time and resources that could be better used caring for patients.
Manual systems involve multiple forms and spreadsheets, and juggling those numbers can result in oversights such as missing incomplete timesheets or errors in completed timesheets.
Payroll staff then have to deal with the errors through a combination of follow-ups, corrections, cross-referencing and organising multiple payments for roster cycles.
This to-ing and fro-ing as numbers are double- or even triple-checked can become frustrating and exhausting. And that can lead to unnecessary conflict and further errors around hours worked and payment.
Seamless integration between rostering and payroll
Allocate’s rostering solution can also be integrated seamlessly to payroll systems. Rostering staff can accurately track actual data against target goals and draw on stored data to analyse labour costs.
Tony Roberts, director of finance at East Grampians Health Service says, “The database and reporting capabilities of Allocate’s rostering solution is allowing us to integrate these two functions in ways we have not been able to do it in the past.”
Interested in the operational and financial benefits of streamlined automated rostering?
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By Ines Huergo
Ines is Allocate's Australia and New Zealand Marketing Manager, she has spent the past 7 years working within the technology sector. She has been with Allocate for two year2 and leads the User Group events in the region.