Northern Ireland trust rolls out e-Rostering solution

Improvements to workforce management as Kronos SMART solution is deployed at Western Health and Social Care Trust

The Western Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland has deployed SMART workforce management in its operating department and intensive care departments in Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry.

SMART e-Rostering is part of a trustwide roll-out and covers specialty and emergency theatres as well as intensive care, managing the complex shift requirements and on-call arrangements of staff while ensuring that Working Time Regulations are met and optimal skills mixes maintained.

The Kronos solution will eventually cover 3,000 nurses and midwives at the trust.

Benefits include better visibility and management of care and staffing Key Performance Indicators, more efficient monitoring of absence, full utilisation of available contract hours, more efficient deployment and better utilisation of in-house skills, and better management of annual leave.

The next phase of the implementation will be a rollout of SMART e-Rostering to 2,000 facilities and support workers.

Brendan McGrath, assistant director for nursing at the trust, said: “Due to highly-focused concentration on patient care, complex shifts and on-call arrangements, operating and intensive care departments have traditionally been difficult to roster electronically. By working with Kronos we have been able to develop rosters suitable for these departments using the SMART system. Staff across the department are seeing the benefit of fair and equitable shift allocation that e-Rostering delivers, while the improved management information means that the utilisation of highly-qualified staff is optimised.”

Tristan Spencer, director of SMART, added: “Western Health and Social Care Trust is proof that any hospital department can benefit from workforce management systems such as SMART e-Rostering. However, implementing such systems can be a balancing act to meet both the trust requirements to install trust-wide systems for staff optimisation and solutions that also meet the complex requirements of individual departments that are more focused on patient care. With strong leadership, workforce management systems deliver benefits at every level, from staff and ward managers up to group directors and trust management.”