How do you help healthcare organizations?
In this Business Profile, Tony Lombardi, group vice president healthcare, and Nanne Finis, RN, chief nursing executive for UKG, talk about how to use integrated, cloud-based HCM and WFM technology to optimize staffing and improve business performance.
UKG™ (Ultimate Kronos Group) provides a comprehensive suite of cloud-based labor and management solutions that help healthcare organizations support their people and enable them to work more efficiently and effectively. UKG was formed in 2020 through the merger of Kronos Incorporated and Ultimate Software — two industry leaders in the world of human capital management (HCM) and workforce management (WFM) solutions.
Propelled by our new tagline, “Our purpose is people,” we help organizations transform and digitize human resources and workforce management practices. We firmly believe that when companies focus on caring for, connecting with and appreciating their people, they can strengthen employee engagement and satisfaction, which can translate into stronger business outcomes.
UKG’s HCM and WFM technologies can be found in companies throughout the world and across diverse industries. Our expansive footprint gives us a global perspective on the challenges and opportunities involved in resource management and optimization. From a healthcare standpoint, we currently serve 3,500 hospitals and 10,000 post-acute organizations. Our deep level of healthcare-specific expertise gives us the insight to help our clients solve some of today’s toughest workforce challenges. We are acutely familiar with the nuances of healthcare WFM and how to maintain compliance while ensuring efficiencies and staff satisfaction.
What are some of the biggest challenges you see currently affecting healthcare organizations?
Healthcare organizations are facing challenges on almost every front. Shrinking margins, increasing competition, rapidly advancing technology and persistent staffing shortages are just a few of the issues they are dealing with. And the pandemic has exacerbated many of them, making it even more difficult for healthcare leaders to improve clinical, financial and operational outcomes.
Consider staffing, for example. Staff turnover and shortages are pushing organizations to find ways to better manage the resources they have to maintain quality and increase efficiency while preserving loyalty and avoiding burnout. The workforce is a precious commodity in healthcare and making sure it’s managed properly and to its full potential should be a top priority.
To realize improvement, healthcare organizations must have enterprisewide visibility into their workforce. For instance, they need to be able to tell in an instant who’s working and who’s not and what skillsets are available to float to other locations. Will a potential asset go into overtime if they are scheduled elsewhere? Are they running the risk of working more hours than regulators allow? Is there enough time off between shifts? What is the lowest cost and competent resource available, and does the allocation of staff make sense for the given clinical care that is needed? Organizations need to use technology that can provide managers with tools to visualize effective and appropriate staffing and make these types of decisions in real time.
How do your solutions help address these challenges?
Our integrated Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions allow us to support and drive outcomes at all points of the “employee life’s work journey.” For example, our unified scheduling and time and attendance give organizations the complete staffing picture at a glance. Every healthcare provider knows that the day a staff schedule is published is the day it becomes outdated because employees switch shifts, call in sick, have to leave early and so on. There are numerous touchpoints from the time an employee, such as a nurse, calls in sick to the time that the change is reflected in their paycheck. Our solutions illuminate those process steps, automatically updating the staff member’s timecard and accruals and opening the shift so that someone else can take it. By automating these processes, an organization can more efficiently manage its workforce while maintaining compliance with company policies and local, state and federal regulations.
In addition to streamlining key functions, our solutions offer robust data analytics that pinpoint opportunities for improvement. For instance, our technology can identify areas of unnecessary spend, such as excessive overtime, and suggest adjustments that can decrease actual labor costs and mitigate spend for the future.
We prioritize the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which allows us to assist leaders at every level in making better decisions about workforce allocations and human resources management. Not only does our solution help you enable sound clinical, financial and patient satisfaction outcomes, it also helps keep your staff content and supports fair and equitable labor practices.
What are some considerations for healthcare leaders when choosing this type of solution?
Most importantly, leaders want a solution that meets the unique needs of healthcare while incorporating key learnings from other industries. The technology should be fully integrated, cloud-based and cover the entire “employee life’s work journey.”
To drive user acceptance, look for a company that has a relentless focus on the user experience. In particular, make sure the software is mobile-friendly. Leaders and employees should be able to access and interact with the technology via their phone, making changes and adjustments anytime from anywhere.
To ensure the software stays current with emerging trends, work with a company that is committed to research and development (R&D). Technology is evolving fast, and organizations want a partner that can keep up. For the last five years, our combined investment in R&D has been $2 billion, demonstrating our commitment to ongoing innovation.
Ultimately, choose a company that is committed to a lasting partnership. At UKG, we care deeply about our customers’ long-term strategic success and aim to create partnerships for life that evolve with organizational needs and priorities. This commitment to collaboration allows our customers to grow and evolve, creating meaningful experiences for their people.
As healthcare organizations implement use of your program into their day-to-day operations, what advice would you offer so they can best set themselves up for success?
Before implementing any technology, it is important to fully understand how your business works operationally. If organizations have gone through a merger or acquisition, for instance, they may not have standardized human resources practices and procedures that span the newly formed organization. This can lead to surprises when starting to implement HCM and WFM solutions. Be prepared for setbacks, to be forced to make hard decisions or to have to issue new policies. By assessing existing operations prior to implementation, these issues can be anticipated and resolved before layering in the technology.
In addition, be sure to get input and project engagement from all stakeholders before selecting a vendor. The IT department is not the only one that will interact with this solution. Consequently, there is a need to get buy-in from various groups, including human resources, finance, nursing, physicians, operations and ancillary departments. Establishing a governance structure that represents all stakeholders is also key.
Talk to organizations similar to yours to get their perspectives on the pitfalls, challenges and unintended consequences of the change. Additionally, identify the success goals and associated metrics for the project as a cross discipline team so that the project’s operational and financial impacts can be measured and monitored along the way.
Finally, make sure you define your long-term vision upfront. Although some customers may opt to begin this work on a small scale, implementing a nurse scheduling solution for instance, think about how that solution will tie into other aspects of the business, including vacation requests, absentee information and so on. Without a roadmap of where an organization is going and how it wants relevant functions to interact, it may end up selecting a vendor that cannot support its strategic goals. This may cause an organization to implement a hodgepodge of solutions that stymie forward progress and underdeliver on outcomes.
How can healthcare providers learn more about your organization?
To learn more about UKG and its integrated HCM and WFM solutions, go to ukg.com/healthcare.
About Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG)
At UKG™, our purpose is people™. Built from a merger that created one of the largest cloud companies in the world, UKG is a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions that help organizations drive better business outcomes, improve HR effectiveness, and make work a more connected experience for everyone.
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