Maximizing ROI in Healthcare: How Workforce Management Technology Transforms Patient Care

Young male doctor caring for elderly patient

What happens when health system CEOs face a challenge that—for the first time in nearly 20 years—suddenly outranks financial concerns as the biggest threat? That top concern for healthcare executives is a shortage of clinical and non-clinical personnel.

What was already a looming problem ballooned over the last few years, requiring an overhaul of workforce management processes and tools to address:

  • The complex regulatory environment: Health systems struggle to balance available resources and needs related to skills, availability, and case priority on any given shift. 
  • Inefficient/outdated communication modes: Inefficient or delayed communication increases the chance of medical errors, misdiagnoses, and poor outcomes. Poor communication also increases stress and job dissatisfaction for clinical and non-clinical staff. 
  • A lack of visibility to data: Data visibility across the enterprise is critical to operate efficiently because crucial decisions are made every minute in healthcare. Teams require access to actionable data to perform in their roles. 

Suppose healthcare organizations continue to deliver healthcare in the same manner...

If health systems continue on the trajectory of using the same siloed systems and technology (or no automation), and do not change, what will the healthcare landscape look like? Organizations will not be able to compete or survive to serve the communities that count on them. So, unfortunately, doing nothing is not an option. If you’re reading this, you’re immersed in workforce management challenges every day. So, let’s move on to what you can do—the solution, the path forward, and the next steps.  

Take our 15-second workforce analysis 

Step 1 on the way forward is to evaluate your organization’s workforce management process. Start with key questions answerable in 15 seconds: 

  • Are your timekeeping and scheduling solutions integrated? YES / NO
  • Do you have visibility across the enterprise to optimize resources? YES / NO  
  • Do your technology's workflows support the way your staff works? YES / NO  
  • Do you provide technology to automate communication among care teams? YES / NO

In short, integration of patient, staff, and operational data is a requirement for making informed decisions and delivering balanced outcomes. Only a healthcare-specific solution can meet the complex and unique needs of the industry. And putting patient and healthcare operations data in the hands of the right team member at the right time should be your highest priority to achieve any outcomes goals. 

“When timekeepers are ‘clinical care leaders’ and they are spending all of their time cleaning up messy timecards, they are not able to focus on patient care. With symplr, they no longer need to spend as much time cleaning up timecards.”

—A 190-bed children’s hospital/health system in the Southeast 

Build a workforce business case 

If the self-evaluation identifies the need to change your workforce management solutions, Step 2 is to build a business case. Investing in workforce management solutions is a significant financial decision, requiring a business case to prioritize the decision and set expectations on the anticipated return on your investment (ROI).   

symplr recently partnered with Hobson & Company, a value consulting firm with over 20 years of experience, to build a custom ROI tool for this purpose. It is the result of independent validation of “sources of value” across seven symplr customers and identifies specific outcomes they achieved by leveraging the workforce management solutions of Time and Attendance, Staffing and Scheduling, and Clinical Communications.  

Impact 9 key workforce areas 

The research identified nine benefits across three business objectives for symplr customers: 

Streamline healthcare operations  

  1. Reduce labor expenses and premium pay by improving visibility 
  2. Avoid one payroll-related non-compliance penalty 
  3. Increase the capacity of the existing payroll team 
  4. Reduce administrative time spent on staffing and timecards 
  5. Reduce time spent communicating and coordinating across the organization 
  6. Consolidate communication systems 

Grow and protect revenue 

  1. Reduce patient length of stay with more efficient clinical workflows

“We have integrated symplr Clinical Communications with our EHR, which has significantly cut down the time it takes for us to start treating a patient.” —470-bed health system in the Western United States. Head of Nursing Informatics 

Mitigate risk 

  1. Improve staff retention
  2. Improve patient outcomes

“With symplr Clinical Communications, we are able to simultaneously send a notification to the entire STEMI team and the message can include patient information that will help them prepare for treating the patient. This has been a huge win for us and we have been able to shave 30 minutes – 1 hour off the entire STEMI process, which used to take us a few hours.” 

—A 38-hospital, 6,000-bed health system in the Southeast 

On average, symplr Workforce Management customers experienced: 

  • An ROI of 467% in one year 
  • Payback on their investment in fewer than three months
    *Based on a health system of 552 beds 

Prioritizing and investing in your workforce management technology can deliver financial, clinical, staff engagement, patient experience, and compliance outcomes. A solid workforce management strategy is built on a strong foundation of technology that stretches across the continuum of care. It requires involvement and ownership at all levels of the organization. For these reasons, you’ll need a strong business case with clarity on ROI to gain alignment and move forward.  

Once you receive your personalized value calculation from symplr, Step 3 is to connect with us. At symplr we have been working with healthcare organizations for over 30 years, navigating change while helping customers deliver outcomes. We will consult with your organization to make a strategic plan to create a workforce management approach that delivers clinical, financial, and operational outcomes.  

Calculate your value potential

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