Rostering in aged care organisations has become a significant issue, with more staff seeking flexibility and efficient systems and processes to manage their shifts.
Last month, Allocate facilitated a workshop and roundtable discussion at a national Aged Care Workforce Forum to discuss how aged care organisations can overcome workforce challenges like these.
Solving key staffing issues with better rostering
In a previous article we highlighted a range of staffing challenges aged care providers are currently facing including skills shortages, the ageing workforce, and staff concerns.
Our forum workshop aimed to address some of these issues and discuss how rostering technology can assist to give staff and management more clarity and consistency in their business planning practices.
This is especially important as “getting rostering right” is a key driver to employee satisfaction, according to recent aged care workforce research by HESTA.
“Employers getting rostering right is a key driver to our overall satisfaction”
– Source HESTA Report ‘Transforming Aged Care’ 2018
Shift swap and staff engagement
Our workshop discussion found shift swapping is allowing some aged care organisations to keep their sick balances at less than 1%. As long as they occur in a well-controlled manner by the managers of the residence there is no risk but just benefit to it.
While the skills of the staff swapping remain the same, it allows staff to have more flexibility around their working shifts and the facility to manage the cost with no need to fill last minutes gaps in the roster with agency or overtime.
This process has proven to boost overall staff satisfaction and loyalty to their employers.
Technology like mobile phone apps with real-time notifications and SMS streamlines this process making it easier and improving staff engagement in the process.
The challenge of finding the right balance with demand vs supply
With the right workforce solutions, patient demand versus staff supply can be measured and analysed on a daily and hourly basis.
For those organisations with a big supply, having the tools to better plan staff leave could be the answer to one of the biggest challenges of getting the balance right.
However leave planning can be extremely complex especially in the community care setting where a projection of leave based on their history of worked hours.There is a need for workforce solutions to help manage this process.
Addressing the skills shortage
Skills shortages are a significant issue for staff and management in aged care facilities.
During the workshop we discussed, how Allocate’s rostering solution helps aged care organisations identify and improve their delivery of care by ensuring their staff ratio and skill mix meets patient needs and demand.
The system can predict demand and track demand changes, while allowing for staff redeployment and shift vacancy management as and when needed.
Having the right solutions in place makes a real difference
According to the HESTA report: “Employees feel better able to care for their residents and clients when there are good systems and procedures in place that make their job easier and free up time”.
Having the right solutions in places makes a real difference.
Automated rostering solutions are just one example of how aged care organisations can help staff better manage and optimise patient safety and care.