Staff shortages, absenteeism big challenges: survey
December 19, 2018
DUBLIN, Ireland – According to a new survey in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the top administrative challenge for healthcare providers is staff shortages, with over 82% agreeing that they are consistently struggling with a shortage of staff available to fill rosters. This was followed by absenteeism and last-minute roster changes (76%).
The survey, undertaken by Ireland-based Softworks, was carried out during the month of October 2018. National Health Executive, an online magazine in Manchester, invited its 94,000 subscribers to take part in the survey on Healthcare Resourcing & Rostering Challenges and how technology could assist.
Among the other notable results, were challenges around balancing leave requests with care needs (75%) and dealing with peaks in care levels and finding cover (74%).
Over two thirds of respondents found determining availability for additional shifts (69%), employee satisfaction with shifts and rosters (67%) and finding people to cover shifts from bank or agency staff at the right cost (67%) very challenging.
Other challenges highlighted were too much time spent building & generating staff rosters (65%), documenting skill levels & skill matching (65%), ensuring legislative compliance (64%), fair and equal shift distribution (62%) and the flexibility to change rosters according to patient care needs (60%).
According to Andrew Ferguson (pictured), Softworks CEO, “What is exciting about this feedback is that there are challenges here that workforce management technology could definitely assist with. While technology cannot provide extra resources, it can assist with more efficiently managing the resources that you already have.”
The survey also investigated how current and future technologies could be designed and developed in order to improve operational processes. Respondents were asked if they currently had an automated rostering/eRostering System, what they liked and disliked about their system and if they had a magic wand what they would add to their system. 39% of survey respondents currently have a rostering system in place while 61% had no system.
There were definitely mixed results in this section with some respondents happier than others with their current systems. Approximately one third of all respondents who had a system (34%) agreed with the statement that their rostering system is very easy to use and just under a quarter (24%) felt that their system was meeting all of their requirements, so there is definitely room for improvement.
Ferguson noted: “This is a great opportunity for technology providers to align themselves more closely with healthcare organizations to develop features and functions that meet all of their workforce management requirements. At Softworks, we continually partner with our customers to develop solutions that are very easy to use and 100% relevant to their specific needs.”
The full survey findings and analysis paper (pdf) may be downloaded via this link. https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/58253/Healthcare%20Resourcing%20&%20Rostering%20Challenges%20-%20Survey%20Results-2.pdf
Softworks assists Healthcare organizations to deliver high-quality, cost effective care within budget. Softworks solutions that include; eRostering & Optimization, Patient Acuity & Bank Staff Management, Time & Attendance and Absence Management have been designed to address the unique challenges of healthcare organizations. Softworks provides organizations with a completely automated workforce management environment. We can assist organizations to manage complex scheduling, drive efficiencies, cut costs, reduce absenteeism and ensure regulatory compliance, while simultaneously delivering exceptional patient care.